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Vikram Rajan

Want to Be More Valuable to Your Clients?

Enhance your website with useful information and quick touch-ups in time for busy season. Five tips show you how.

January 23, 2012
by Vikram Rajan

It’s that time of year when your clients will be Googling your firm to remember your address, introduce you to their partners and fish for some free advice. If you don’t have a website, you can visit Wordpress.com and launch a free, good looking and Google-friendly one. If you do have a website already, now is the perfect time to update it. For starters, ensure that your website is free of typos and grammatical errors and that your phone number is visible.

Quick Improvement Ideas

  1. Put Your Contact Information in Text and Not in an Image. More often than not images get blocked on smartphones and so many of your clients may miss this pertinent information. How can you check? Go to your website on your smartphone and see if you can view it. How does it look? If there's any “old-fashioned” flash page? If so, an iPhone will probably not bring anything up. It is best to remove it.

    Make sure your phone number and address are easy to find right on top. See if you can click these. Nowadays, smartphones can detect phone numbers and addresses and clicking it automatically directs the user by dialing the phone number or providing directions to your office through a map app. If your contact information is an image and not text, it will not be clickable and may frustrate your client. This can be easily solved by typing out your phone number and other contact information somewhere visible on your website. Do the same for email addresses.

  2. Offer Quick Checklists, IRS Forms and Worksheets. “Where can I find that?” your client asks. “Oh, just go to our website and click ‘Forms and Worksheets.’ ” Wouldn't that be nice? Update your website with the latest forms and worksheets and information that is value to both your clients as well as prospective clients.
  3. Give Your Website the Personal Touch. Your website is like your personal office. Do you have personal photos on your desk and a few diplomas on the wall? Why aren't they on your website? Have a professional photographer take a headshot of you. Additionally, you can also add a few vacation photos of yourself with key associates or partners, or at an industry tradeshow. It helps break the ice with prospective clients; they see a glimpse of the person behind the voice and may find common ground in your vacation photos. If you have staff that helps clients, take a few group photos and upload them on your website. Your clients will like the “human” side.
  4. Set Appointments Through Your Website. As you revamp your website, consider adding practice management software that can help cut costs and save you and your office staff time by letting your clients enter a meeting time that is mutually convenient. Today’s practice management software programs let you enter your “busy” days and then blocks out those days so that your clients can see when you are free and pick a time to meet with you. You’re giving them the power to choose the time that fits them best. No hassles. Remember, if you don’t make your services suitable and convenient to your clients, your competitors will.

    Online appointment setting is relatively simple to set up and will have an immediate impact on your clients. They can simply go to your website, reserve a time and receive automated reminders by email or SMS, whichever works best for them. Today’s popular practice management software programs seamlessly sync up with Outlook, Google Calendar, among others. Getfriday.com is one software program that can help with setting appointments, answering your phone calls as well as serving as a full-time assistant.

  5. Update Your FAQs. Do you end up answering the same questions over and over again? Place them in a list and add them to your website. As you hear more questions, answer them and add them to your list. You’ll be on your way to creating a blog before you know it. It’s just that simple.

    What's the value of having an FAQ-oriented blog? It enhances your personal touch and conveys two very important messages:

    • That you are an expert and can anticipate your clients' questions; and
    • You have a blog and not just an old dreary and drab website anymore, making you in tune with the times.

Before it starts getting too busy, update your website. Start today!

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Vikram Rajan is the founder of phoneBlogger.net, an Internet referral-generating service for CPAs and attorneys. He has written for the AICPA 'CPA Insider,' Journal of Accountancy, AICPA webinars and authors his own PracticeMarketingBLOG.com.

© 2012