For those of us that live in the United States, we are in the thick of tax season, organizing the necessary paperwork and documentation to make sure we are paying our dues to good ol’ Uncle Sam. As stressful as this time of the year can be for us, perhaps even greater levels of stress can be found within the offices of tax professionals. These seasonal businesses are extremely busy from the start of the new year all the way to the dreaded personal tax deadline: April 15th. Tax preparing businesses quickly expand their workforce during tax season, oftentimes tripling the number of workers, many of whom pull 10- to14-hour days.
From a communications standpoint, the seasonality and structure of these businesses present some unique challenges that modern phone systems can help solve. Let’s take a closer look at how Unified Communications (UC) in the cloud can help tax professionals be more efficient and save money:
Seasonality brings challenges that can cost companies a significant amount of money. Even though these companies must account for the peak number of employees using communications tools, they only really need these tools five months out of the year. That leaves them with 7 months of unused equipment and software licensing fees during the off-season. Metered services for Cloud-based phone systems can solve this problem by only requiring companies to pay for the minutes they use and the equipment they need. With this type of payment option, companies pay for their phone service on a per-minute basis and can rent the phones they need and send back the ones they don’t. These metered and rental services save seasonal businesses thousands of dollars annually.
Because tax-prep businesses hire tax professionals so quickly, it’s extremely difficult to successfully train every new employee on company policies, let alone technologies around the office. It’s not only the preparers that get hired, but an entire network of employees that need to provide technical support, appointment scheduling and management, general customer service, and more for clients needing their taxes done. Switchvox and Switchvox Cloud provide managers with training tools to help them understand how their employees are performing, and it provides immediate feedback on metrics such as call duration, peak call volume times, on-hold length, and more. Managers can also listen in and record calls, and even give live help by talking to their employee without the customer hearing.
Tax offices are usually time and resource-poor during peak seasonal times and can benefit from automating routine processes to free employees to handle more complex tasks. UC systems like Switchvox Cloud have IVR systems that provide this type of automation. An IVR can be put in place to automate the appointment scheduling process as well as send out automatic appointment reminders to clients.
Managing Multiple Offices with the Cloud
It is not uncommon for tax-prep businesses to have several or even thousands of various office locations around town, or even the country. Connecting dispersed offices together through a phone system can be complicated and extremely expensive. Switchvox Cloud allows companies to offer the same tools to every employee, regardless of location, and do so easily and without costly hardware for each location.
As you can see, hosted UC is ideal for seasonal businesses, such as tax preparation services, in that it scales to the needs of the business and is flexible in both deployment and payment options. To see how Switchvox Cloud can do the same for you, sign up here to get a personal demo from our Account Team!