When the calendar flips over from December to January, accountants and tax preparers enter their busiest time of year. That’s right, it’s everyone’s favorite time: tax season.
While some tax preparers work from home and complete their clients’ taxes virtually, many work from an office. And when that office is filled with stressed-out and confused people coming and going, it can be overwhelming for everyone who works there.
In 2022, the IRS processed 262.8 million tax returns. Based on survey data, 27 percent of taxpayers chose to use a tax preparation service to file their taxes that same year. This is good news for your tax prep business: people need and want your help.
However, it can be difficult to keep track of everyone and everything happening in your office during the height of the tax season crush. A visitor management system can help you maintain your sanity and keep everyone moving through your office in an orderly fashion.
What Does a Visitor Management System Do?
If you’re not familiar with visitor management systems (VMS) like The Receptionist for iPad, they are a simple way for clients, job candidates, delivery drivers, and other visitors to alert you to their arrival without the need for a human receptionist to direct office traffic. Instead, that person can focus on other duties.
Visitor management systems allow your office to run more smoothly in a number of ways:
Organize the Chaos
A steady stream of customers coming through your business can be chaotic. Not just because the number of people in your space increases, but also because of the nervous energy they bring with them.
When people are in a state of high stress, their nervous systems are more activated, and they are more likely to become agitated and less likely to handle their frustration in a calm manner.
Get ahead of that frustration by having all of your clients check in when they first arrive. Using The Receptionist for iPad, your visitors can tap a button to choose the reason for their visit and the system will automatically send a notification to the appropriate person or people in your office via email, text, or messaging app (such as Slack or Microsoft Teams).
If you allow walk-ins, as many tax prep offices do, there’s an even greater potential for chaos to reign in your space.
You can set up your VMS to enable walk-ins to alert you to their presence, allowing you to greet them in a timely manner. Since the system is highly customizable, you can collect some relevant information from walk-ins, so you can get some of the more basic questions out of the way before starting your visit with them. This helps you maximize your appointment slots.
You can also leverage our Assigned Visits feature to create a queue of guests that your employees can claim in the order that they check in. When an available staff member is ready to take a new customer, they can claim the visit from the Visit Log or from the notification email that gets sent. That claimed visit is then assigned to that employee, so you can keep accurate records.
Many people who provide services such as tax prep are forced to wait in the lobby of their office for their next appointment to arrive. When using a VMS, you will automatically be notified of a new arrival. Conversely, the system will let your client know that you are on the way so they can rest assured that someone will be with them shortly.
If you need to know who made it to their appointment and who was a no-show, you can easily access a visitor log through your admin account on The Receptionist for iPad.
Additionally, it must be said that paper visitor logs are:
- Not secure
- Easy to lose
You can also store notes about your clients’ visits, allowing you to quickly familiarize yourself with their situation if and when they come back.
Tips for Success
Once you’ve partnered with The Receptionist for iPad, there are a few tips to help you get the most out of it.
Make it Obvious
Clear the area around the iPad and create signage if necessary so that people understand they are meant to check in there.
Create a Designated Waiting Area
If you don’t want clients loitering around the iPad and preventing others from accessing it, make sure you have an obvious waiting area where they can sit until their appointment time.
Imagine All Possible Scenarios
You may welcome all kinds of visitors to your office, so make sure you prepare for all of them. You can design your check-in experience so that everyone knows exactly what the next steps are. For example, you should plan to check in delivery drivers if you frequently receive packages or food deliveries.
To learn more about integrating The Receptionist for iPad into your business, join our free product tour here.
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