One of the best examples that I can remember of having a positive impact on our community and clients on a daily basis happened last two seasons ago. We had a returning client, Sonia, who came in to file her return with us. She was a client who referred a number of individuals and has a good relation with us. As we were preparing her return, she received a call that there was a tow truck trying to remove her sister’s car. Unfortunately, that same sister (and the keys to the car) were with her at our office at that moment.
To make matters worse, Sonia and her sister received a ride to our office but did not have a ride back. Sonia panicked and could not concentrate on getting her taxes done as her and her sister could not afford to get their car out of the tow yard. It was clear that her head was not on her tax return at the moment. As she frantically called her family for a ride, it started to become clear to her preparer, Alba that her client’s sister was not going to make it back in time to avoid having her car towed. Alba discussed the problem with me and suggested that she could drive the client’s sister back to her home to move her car. I explained that this was definitely above and beyond her job scope and that she was not required to do that. She explained that Sonia and her sister were experiencing financial hardships and this was the last thing they needed to deal with. I told her it was okay and she took her sister while I stayed with Sonia at the office helping with her return.
About thirty minutes later, Alba came back and explained what happened when they got there. There was a lot of arguing between the tow truck driver and the family, but Sonia’s sister managed to convince the driver to allow her to move her car. Sonia was so relieved they didn’t have to deal with the trouble of getting their car out of the tow yard that she offered to make us lunch later that week.
A few weeks later her sister came to file with us as well and became a raving fan from then on. Although it seemed a little crazy at the time, I can imagine how grateful I would feel if I were in that situation and a preparer that I didn’t know helped me like that. It stands out as a great example of fanatical service at its finest.
Alba didn’t take help the sister with the thought that she was a potential referral, but because she was genuinely concerned with the wellbeing of that person. It’s preparers with that attitude which contribute to a reputation that clients will feel comfortable referring friends and family.