Write or phone?

The Practitioner
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To write or to phone? We apparently have some trouble getting hold of a number of clients, which is causing problems as the 31 January tax return filing deadline approaches. They don't respond to letters or emails and never answer the phone. Except that they always seem to answer when I call their mobile phones!

I'm sure my team isn't just going through the motions, but I sometimes wonder how hard we are trying to contact some of these people. Maybe my tax team is just not switched on to the mobile generation. The reality is that most people these days seem to live on their mobile phone, they carry them with them at all times, so it's the obvious way to get hold of them. The mobile phone generation isn't going to send us a letter, and probably doesn't take much notice of letters they receive either. I toyed with the idea of using text messages to send reminder to clients last year but never pursued it. I reckon it's definitely worth a small trial to see if we get a better response. A quick Google search turned up www.e-txt.com where for just £14 I can get 200 pre-paid texts that we can send like emails. They even have a free Outlook 2007 plug-in so we can send text messages from Outlook rather than having to use a separate program. Must look into this and give it a go.
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Latest news on my Tax Credits appeal: my assistant refuses to let this case rest now, so he phoned them again and has a name and direct dial number for the case worker. The appeal has been logged and they are committed to responding within 14 days. Debt recovery have given us until the end of the month to sort it out.


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14th Jan 2010 10:16

Try mobile and landline

I have some clients who will always ring me on my mobile - never the landline.

What they perhaps don't realise is that the mobile signal where I am is not strong, so normally the mobile will not ring when I am indoors.  And of course most of the time I am indoors.  So they don't get me.  But if they hand rung the landline . . .


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14th Jan 2010 13:20

Reclusive Tax People

I have long come to the conclusion that tax departments attract people who simply don't like talking on the phone.  I frequently have problems put to me by the tax department to which the answer is an obvious 'well ring them up and ask'.  But if there is a way to avoid human contact, then yer average tax person will choose it.

Something in the genes I think, an attraction to tax matters and the systems which underpin them means that you don't have the same interest in human beings.

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21st Jan 2010 08:04

email !! email

i wish i had serfs to give instructions to....however i digress (which is why i never have time to do any work).

Tell them to always send time-critical emails e.g. "hand over your tax papers" with email setting to ask for a receipt. That way you will probably be able to prove if drama came to crisis, that the recipient received the request even if they ignored it.

I always tell my staff to find a previous email FROM the esteemd client, and reply to it to avoid email adris tie pin erras.

strrrrresd of e14




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By daymar
21st Jan 2010 08:16

Try Mobile and landline

David - I have exactly the same problem but I solve this by always putting my mobile to divert to my landline when I am in the home office. As long as I remember to do this, it works well ! (Also I have to remember to undivert when I go out !)

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