(Voice mail messages or sending e-mails don’t count as a “touch-point”. Only “live” conversations do.)
1st call – (24 hours) Review Engagement (scope of work) Letter and timing with client
2nd call – (48 – 72 hours) Verification of facts and circumstances with client about their situation
3rd call – (72 – 96 hours) Gathering information and documentation from client
4th call – (28 days from being retained) Status, progress, open items
5th call – (56 days) Status, progress, open items
6th call through the 14th call – made every 28 days giving client updates and status reports (even if, actually especially if, you are in a “holding pattern” with IRS).
The average length for an offer in compromise case with IRS, that involves several years of preparing unfiled returns, is 12-14 months. The main purpose of the “14 Touch Point” system is that you are having live conversations with your client every 28 days until their matter is resolved.
The compelling “pros” of having a system like this in place are as follows:
You are managing client expectations on every call;
If there are issues you will know about them in advance;
The client knows you care about them and feels “taken care of”;
The client is more apt to refer other clients regardless of the outcome of their case due to your attention to client care;
If the 24, 48 or 72 hour call does not go well, you can part company (early in the relationship), refund 100% of fees paid and not expend time and resources on a client that will not cooperate; Not to mention saving you aggravation and bringing down the rest of the team.
Will reduce complaints, if any, to a minimum;
Remember, you could be doing everything right, but if the client doesn’t know that and hear from you on a regular periodic basis (regardless if nothing is going on with their case), or worse, you don’t return calls or e-mails, you are setting yourself up for an unhappy client compliant and a refund of fees paid. If someone is happy with your customer/client service they’ll tell 2-3 others. If they are unhappy they’ll tell 10 people. Every happy client is a future referral source to you. You’ll also want to obtain a testimonial from this client to use in your marketing and advertising.