The COVID-19 pandemic has gone on longer than most people anticipated, which means that most professionals have attended or hosted a slew of online meetings that may or may not have gone so well. Now that viable vaccines are in the pipeline, an end to virtual meetings may be in sight, but not for many more months. With the world almost unanimously shifting to a new normal, working remotely and avoiding face-to-face discussions are likely to become the standard, which means it will remain imperative to brush up on your video call etiquette.
While professional tax preparers software has lightened the task of calculating your clients’ taxes, you’ll still need to keep them updated on any important developments. Staying connected to your clients at this time is essential, especially as business activities picking back up across the country. Here are five tips to help you out:
The phenomenon of endless Zoom calls during the pandemic has made headlines for the many mishaps and funny moments during such an unprecedented time. However, you’ve probably heard of disastrous or dull meetings where the other participants were staring down at their phones or were visibly distracted. Although some people cannot take their calls in peace because they share their residence with many other people or have young kids, it is still essential to pay attention and stay engaged throughout the meeting.
Giving your client your full attention will assure them that you’re giving your 100 percent to all their needs, demonstrating your dedication to your role. They’ll definitely appreciate your attentiveness, so be sure to have the correct body language that makes it clear you’re hanging on to every word they’re saying.
Having online meetings at home means you’re vulnerable to many distractions that can interrupt the call. Barking dogs, neighboring construction, or hyperactive children can sometimes become the main attraction, which can often hamper the effectiveness of the call. Before your meeting, ensure to eliminate as many of these distractions as possible.
Be sure to prepare proper lighting in your work area so that your client can see you clearly. Put lighting in front of you or over your setup, although if you can take advantage of natural lighting, that would be even better. Be sure to dress appropriately like you were meeting in person as well.
Even though you’re conducting the meeting at home, it doesn’t mean you can do away with the professionalism of in-office meetings. Behave like you’re still meeting in their office or yours and use the same formal language and mannerisms you usually would. Not only would they appreciate it, but it would also instill a sense of normalcy in an incredibly unpredictable time.
Online meetings are much easier to attend than in-person ones because there’s no traffic—vehicular or elevator—to contend with, but it doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to show up late. Log into your meeting early so that you can organize your notes, verify the stability of your Internet connection, and ensure you have the right meeting link and credentials. It will also demonstrate to your client that you’re remaining professional and appropriate throughout your meetings, mainly as you discuss something as important as their taxes.
Sometimes, you can’t control the noise around you, no matter how hard you try. If your atmosphere contains a few distracting background noises, be sure to use the mute feature when you’re done talking. That way, you can hear your client clearly even amidst the noise of the vacuum cleaner, the food processor, or any TV shows your household is watching. Wearing earphones or headphones will also help cut out the noise and focus on what your client is saying. Your client is sure to appreciate the extra gesture and consideration.
While the pandemic has forced people to stay home to stem the virus’ spread, people have found ways to remain productive and keep businesses going to support the economy through online meetings. In fact, they’ve often been called the lifeblood of many companies, as these virtual discussions have allowed businesses to stay afloat even during the most unpredictable times. By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll enjoy productive and successful online meetings with your clients.
Keystone Tax Solutions provides the best professional tax software for those who take care of their clients’ taxes. It’s easy to use, designed to grow your tax business, and comes with unlimited customer support. Contact us today for a free, fully working demo!
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