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Client Email Communication Tips

Updated: May 30, 2023


Email is a common method of communication for state and local tax professionals to communicate with clients. However, sometimes the things you say to or ask for from a client gets lost in transit. Here are some tips to help you effectively communicate through email:


Be Clear and Concise in Your Subject Line

Use a clear and specific subject line that accurately describes the content of the email. This will help the client identify the purpose of the email and prioritize it accordingly. For example, if your client needs to sign a document and return to you, make sure the subject line starts with “PLEASE SIGN AND RETURN.” Not only will your client’s memory be triggered about what needs to be done, but it also helps your client find the email quickly.


Use A Professional Tone

Avoid using “You” in your emails when you’re talking about a company. Instead use the company’s name It helps separate the employees from the company in a way that will clarify any assumptions the company employee has. For example, instead of saying “You have sales tax nexus in Alabama” say “[Company] has sales tax nexus in Alabama.”


Be Responsive

Respond to client emails as within 24 hours, even if you are just letting them know you will get to their email later in the week. This shows that you value their time and are dedicated to providing excellent service. No one likes to be ignored, especially if they are paying that person.


Keep The Client Informed

Make it a habit to keep the client informed about any updates or new information related to the project. Depending on the project, we recommend updating your client once a week. You may think this is unnecessarily flooding their email with information, but it’s better to have them ask you to give less updates than it is for them to ask for more updates.


Restate the Client’s Facts or Your Assumptions

When you are answering your client’s questions, restate any facts you know about the situation or assumptions you made when drafting your answer. This way both you and your client are on the same page as to what information you have and the information that played a part in your answer.


Keep It Brief

Keep emails brief and to the point. Avoid using excessive text and only include the information that is necessary. Just like you, your clients are busy. So, provide enough information to answer their question without providing all the details that they may not care about.


By following these tips, you can improve your email communication skills with clients and build stronger, more productive relationships with them. Remember, effective communication is a two-way street, so be sure to actively listen to your clients, respond to their needs, and provide them with the information they need to make informed decisions.


 

About The Author Kristina Cassone-Rhodes has worked in state and local taxes for more than 5 years. She currently owns her own consulting firm, Cassone Consulting LLC, and is a co-founder of Peper (Formally known as TaxStream LLC). She has a J.D. from the University of Montana and an LL.M in Taxation from Boston University.


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