Something as complicated as tax reform can be difficult to explain in simple terms to clients who would rather focus on their businesses than be overwhelmed by one more phone call, newsletter or even email string. We feel their pain; after all, how many times do you want to repeat the same information?
Video communication is one solution that has worked well for our team at AdminBooks for three reasons:
- It’s effective and efficient. Our tax team is virtual, so offering video conference meetings are a great way to communicate with clients while remaining approachable, even when distance separates us.
- It’s easy to understand. Videos are like having a conversation with a friend. Instead of relying on a written article to explain something, having a video conversation to clarify complex issues can deepen a client’s understanding of the situation. People are more likely to remember videos they watch.
- It’s relational. Hearing a person’s voice – more specifically, the tone of their words – and seeing them in a video makes the contact more personal. And, if the video is a collaborative web meeting, it turns tax reform topics into reality when they relate to a client’s specific situation.
In the summer of 2018, my team proactively invited our clients to a webinar to explain different aspects of tax reform. In a live, three-part series, we explained in layman’s terms what clients could expect from the new tax laws. During a portion of the webinar, we took questions from attendees and provided valuable, real-time tax advice. For clients who couldn’t attend the webinar, we posted recordings of the full series on our website.
Then, in the fall, we used webcam video to meet with individual clients to review their specific situation and project their tax liability in order to eliminate any surprises at tax time. We explained how tax reform will affect them, and provided thoughtful guidance and strategies to ensure they are getting the maximum tax benefit allowable.
When integrated with social media, video really soars. Social media offers the opportunity to educate our clients on tax reform in a relatable and highly accessible way. In three-minute video segments, we tackle specific topics within tax reform, breaking down the details in easy-to-understand language. Because the videos are stored on our various social media platforms, clients can re-watch any videos that are of particular interest to them. In addition we keep the ability to comment on the videos enabled so we can interact with our clients when they have follow-up questions.
Now that we’re in tax season, our team will use a webcam to meet with clients. During these sessions, we’ll review their tax return line by line, carefully explaining where the numbers are coming from. We’ll offer targeted advice about how tax reform is either helping or limiting their tax situation, as well as discuss strategies they can employ to maximize every allowable deduction or make a course correction if necessary.
Video communication can be a powerful tool to use if you want to get your message across to a broad audience in a personal, relatable and memorable way. If you’re not yet using video for your firm, I hope these ideas have inspired you to consider doing so!
Editor’s note: Check out this step-by-step guide on how to make your own videos.