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Stay Up-to-Date With Our Tax Services

At Caiafa & Company LLC, we want our clients to have current information regarding our CPA and tax services. Your financial situation is always changing, and if your tax situation or retirement plan needs to be adjusted, we are always ready to be on hand to help. Whether you are an individual or a small business owner serving the Milford and New Haven area, our office has the resources to help you. Our team takes pride in our communication level; we can be in touch as often as you need, regardless of the service you require. With that in mind, we want to make sure that you stay up to date with the current news from our office and the resources we recommend. Take a look at the links below if you need more information about our tax services.

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Stay up-to-date with tax planning insights for individuals, businesses, estate planning, and finance management.

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Avoid the Summertime Tax Blues With These Planning Tips

If you picked up a part-time job for some extra summer spending money, you may have to set aside some of your cash for taxes. Here are some tips to help you manage the taxes on your summer earnings:
• Take advantage of tax-free earnings limits. If you anticipate making less than the annual standard deduction ($14,600 for single taxpayers in 2024), none of your earnings are subject to federal taxes! If possible, earn at least that amount each year to maximize your tax-free earnings. Remember, this only applies to earned income like your summer job. These rules do not apply to sources of income such as interest income or dividend income.

Tax Tip: If your annual earnings will be less than the standard deduction, you can claim EXEMPT on your Form W-4 if you work part-time for a business. That prevents federal income taxes from being withheld from your paycheck. And don't forget to review state and local taxes and regulations, which can be another source of tax surprises!

• Review the need to make estimated payments. As an independent contractor, you are responsible for paying all taxes on your earnings. This is done by making quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS using Form 1040-ES. In addition to income taxes, contractors also need to pay self-employment taxes of 15.3% on earnings at the federal level. You may also need to pay estimated taxes at the state level.

Tax Tip: Track your expenses and save receipts. By doing this, you can subtract eligible expenses like mileage and supplies from your gross earnings. Use this lower income number to calculate your self-employment tax and correctly estimate your quarterly income tax obligation.

• Closely monitor tax withholdings. As an employee, your employer withholds taxes based on what you claim on Form W-4. The tax tables used by this form to calculate your withholdings unfortunately do not account for seasonal jobs. This typically results in paycheck withholdings being too low for supplemental income workers and too high for students working during the summer.

Tax Tip: If you anticipate earnings in excess of the standard deduction, request a revision of your withholdings. Use tools on the IRS web site, review last year's tax return, or ask for help to estimate the correct amount to withhold. From there, ask your employer to increase or decrease your federal and/or state withholdings.
With a little tax planning, you can ensure that your summer job or side hustle provides the income you're looking for without the disappointment of unexpected taxes. Please call if you have any questions.

#estimatedpayments #tax #Withholding
... See MoreSee Less

Avoid the Summertime Tax Blues With These Planning Tips

If you picked up a part-time job for some extra summer spending money, you may have to set aside some of your cash for taxes. Here are some tips to help you manage the taxes on your summer earnings:
• Take advantage of tax-free earnings limits. If you anticipate making less than the annual standard deduction ($14,600 for single taxpayers in 2024), none of your earnings are subject to federal taxes! If possible, earn at least that amount each year to maximize your tax-free earnings. Remember, this only applies to earned income like your summer job. These rules do not apply to sources of income such as interest income or dividend income.

Tax Tip: If your annual earnings will be less than the standard deduction, you can claim EXEMPT on your Form W-4 if you work part-time for a business. That prevents federal income taxes from being withheld from your paycheck. And dont forget to review state and local taxes and regulations, which can be another source of tax surprises!

• Review the need to make estimated payments. As an independent contractor, you are responsible for paying all taxes on your earnings. This is done by making quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS using Form 1040-ES. In addition to income taxes, contractors also need to pay self-employment taxes of 15.3% on earnings at the federal level. You may also need to pay estimated taxes at the state level.

Tax Tip: Track your expenses and save receipts. By doing this, you can subtract eligible expenses like mileage and supplies from your gross earnings. Use this lower income number to calculate your self-employment tax and correctly estimate your quarterly income tax obligation.

• Closely monitor tax withholdings. As an employee, your employer withholds taxes based on what you claim on Form W-4. The tax tables used by this form to calculate your withholdings unfortunately do not account for seasonal jobs. This typically results in paycheck withholdings being too low for supplemental income workers and too high for students working during the summer.

Tax Tip: If you anticipate earnings in excess of the standard deduction, request a revision of your withholdings. Use tools on the IRS web site, review last years tax return, or ask for help to estimate the correct amount to withhold. From there, ask your employer to increase or decrease your federal and/or state withholdings.
With a little tax planning, you can ensure that your summer job or side hustle provides the income youre looking for without the disappointment of unexpected taxes. Please call if you have any questions.

#EstimatedPayments #Tax #Withholding

Retiring Early Catches on FIRE

Is trying to retire in your 30s or 40s the right move for you?
Retiring early is an idea that an entire community of people across the United States is putting into action. It even has an official name – Financial Independence Retire Early, or FIRE. Read on to find out how it works. And who knows – maybe you or someone you know may want to try it!

How it started
The origins of FIRE started in the early 1990s when a former Wall Street analyst, Joe Dominguez, shared his story in the book Your Money or Your Life about retiring at age 31, never to work again, and have total financial independence. The ideas presented in the book became popular during the 2008 financial crisis when younger people started re-evaluating the historical practice of working a 9-to-5 job until age 65 or older. Many people identified with what Dominguez discussed in his book, especially doing things when they're younger rather than waiting for the golden years of retirement.
How it works
The FIRE concept is built on extreme saving and frugality in your early years so you can comfortably live with enough money well before the traditional retirement age of 65. Here are some of the basic rules:
• Spend as little as possible. Refrain from activities such as eating out, going on vacation, and purchasing brand name clothing. Focus on activities such as bunking with friends and riding your bike to work. You adopt (almost) anything you can to cut expenses.
• Save as much as possible. Once you identify the minimum amount of money you need to live comfortably in the present, save everything else. The goal is saving 50% to 70% (!) of your income.
• Earn as much as possible. Whether it’s quickly climbing the corporate ladder, adding a side hustle, or making smart investments, maximizing income is the name of the game. Income-producing activities are also prioritized in place of most of your hobbies. The more you make, the faster you can get to your goal of financial independence.
• Set a specific goal, then retire when you achieve it. The idea is to get to your goal as fast as possible so you can retire in your 30s and 40s. Even if you're in your 30s, 40s or 50s right now, you can do a modified form of FIRE to retire as quickly as you can.

FIRE can become COASTING
While retiring early and having total freedom sounds great in theory, some people struggle with boredom and overspending after achieving FIRE. One option to consider if you find yourself in this situation is called coasting. Instead of completely retiring in your 30s or 40s, coasters simply downshift to a less demanding or more enjoyable job to continue earning money while also enjoying the benefits of financial freedom without the stresses of maintaining a certain income level.
While the FIRE movement isn't for everyone, you can adopt your own variation by saving as much as you can while you're working so you can enjoy some level of financial independence as soon as you can.

#RetiringEarly #Earn #Save
... See MoreSee Less

Retiring Early Catches on FIRE

Is trying to retire in your 30s or 40s the right move for you?
Retiring early is an idea that an entire community of people across the United States is putting into action. It even has an official name – Financial Independence Retire Early, or FIRE. Read on to find out how it works. And who knows – maybe you or someone you know may want to try it!

How it started
The origins of FIRE started in the early 1990s when a former Wall Street analyst, Joe Dominguez, shared his story in the book Your Money or Your Life about retiring at age 31, never to work again, and have total financial independence. The ideas presented in the book became popular during the 2008 financial crisis when younger people started re-evaluating the historical practice of working a 9-to-5 job until age 65 or older. Many people identified with what Dominguez discussed in his book, especially doing things when theyre younger rather than waiting for the golden years of retirement.
How it works
The FIRE concept is built on extreme saving and frugality in your early years so you can comfortably live with enough money well before the traditional retirement age of 65. Here are some of the basic rules:
• Spend as little as possible. Refrain from activities such as eating out, going on vacation, and purchasing brand name clothing. Focus on activities such as bunking with friends and riding your bike to work. You adopt (almost) anything you can to cut expenses.
• Save as much as possible. Once you identify the minimum amount of money you need to live comfortably in the present, save everything else. The goal is saving 50% to 70% (!) of your income.
• Earn as much as possible. Whether it’s quickly climbing the corporate ladder, adding a side hustle, or making smart investments, maximizing income is the name of the game. Income-producing activities are also prioritized in place of most of your hobbies. The more you make, the faster you can get to your goal of financial independence.
• Set a specific goal, then retire when you achieve it. The idea is to get to your goal as fast as possible so you can retire in your 30s and 40s. Even if youre in your 30s, 40s or 50s right now, you can do a modified form of FIRE to retire as quickly as you can.

FIRE can become COASTING
While retiring early and having total freedom sounds great in theory, some people struggle with boredom and overspending after achieving FIRE. One option to consider if you find yourself in this situation is called coasting. Instead of completely retiring in your 30s or 40s, coasters simply downshift to a less demanding or more enjoyable job to continue earning money while also enjoying the benefits of financial freedom without the stresses of maintaining a certain income level.
While the FIRE movement isnt for everyone, you can adopt your own variation by saving as much as you can while youre working so you can enjoy some level of financial independence as soon as you can.

#RetiringEarly #Earn #Save

Partner With a Tax Expert if the IRS Comes Knocking

Sleuthing your way through a tax audit or responding to a letter from the IRS by yourself is not the same as fixing a leaky faucet or changing your oil. Here are reasons to partner with a tax professional as soon as you receive a letter from the IRS:
• IRS auditors do this for a living – you don’t. Seasoned IRS agents see your situation many times and know the rules better than you. Even worse, they are under no obligation to teach you the rules. Just like a defendant needs the help of a lawyer in court, you need someone in your corner that knows your rights and understands the correct tax code to apply in correspondence with the IRS.
• Insufficient records will cost you. When selected for an audit, the IRS will typically make a written request for specific documents they want to see. The list may include receipts, bills, legal documents, loan agreements and other records. If you are missing something from the list, things get dicey. It may be possible to reconstruct some of your records, but you might have to rely on a good explanation to avoid additional taxes plus a possible 20 percent negligence penalty.
• Too much information can increase audit risk. While most audits are limited in scope, IRS agents have the authority to increase that scope based on what they find during their original analysis. That means if they find a document or hear something you say that sounds suspicious, they can extend the audit to additional areas. Being prepared with proper support along with concise answers to their questions is the best approach to limiting further audit risk.
• Missing an audit deadline can lead to trouble. When you receive the original audit request, it will include a response deadline (typically 30 days). If you miss the deadline, the IRS will change your tax return using their interpretation of findings, not yours. This typically means assessing new taxes, interest and penalties. If you wish your point of view to be heard, get help right away to prepare a plan and manage the IRS's deadlines.
• Relying on an expert gives you peace of mind. Tax audits are never fun, but they don’t have to be pull-your-hair-out stressful. A tax expert can help map out a plan and take it step-by-step to ensure the best possible outcome. You’ll rest easy knowing your audit situation is being handled by someone with the proper expertise that also has your best interests in mind.

#IRS #Audit #TaxExpert
... See MoreSee Less

Partner With a Tax Expert if the IRS Comes Knocking

Sleuthing your way through a tax audit or responding to a letter from the IRS by yourself is not the same as fixing a leaky faucet or changing your oil. Here are reasons to partner with a tax professional as soon as you receive a letter from the IRS:
• IRS auditors do this for a living – you don’t. Seasoned IRS agents see your situation many times and know the rules better than you. Even worse, they are under no obligation to teach you the rules. Just like a defendant needs the help of a lawyer in court, you need someone in your corner that knows your rights and understands the correct tax code to apply in correspondence with the IRS.
• Insufficient records will cost you. When selected for an audit, the IRS will typically make a written request for specific documents they want to see. The list may include receipts, bills, legal documents, loan agreements and other records. If you are missing something from the list, things get dicey. It may be possible to reconstruct some of your records, but you might have to rely on a good explanation to avoid additional taxes plus a possible 20 percent negligence penalty.
• Too much information can increase audit risk. While most audits are limited in scope, IRS agents have the authority to increase that scope based on what they find during their original analysis. That means if they find a document or hear something you say that sounds suspicious, they can extend the audit to additional areas. Being prepared with proper support along with concise answers to their questions is the best approach to limiting further audit risk.
• Missing an audit deadline can lead to trouble. When you receive the original audit request, it will include a response deadline (typically 30 days). If you miss the deadline, the IRS will change your tax return using their interpretation of findings, not yours. This typically means assessing new taxes, interest and penalties. If you wish your point of view to be heard, get help right away to prepare a plan and manage the IRSs deadlines.
• Relying on an expert gives you peace of mind. Tax audits are never fun, but they don’t have to be pull-your-hair-out stressful. A tax expert can help map out a plan and take it step-by-step to ensure the best possible outcome. You’ll rest easy knowing your audit situation is being handled by someone with the proper expertise that also has your best interests in mind.

#IRS #Audit #TaxExpert

Watch Out For These Sneaky Vacation Costs

Going on vacation is a time to get away, relax and enjoy new experiences. But if you don’t pay close attention, extra costs can sneak up on you like tiny money-stealing gremlins. Here are several sneaky vacation costs to watch out for:
• Covert airfare increases. Airline pricing algorithms are programmed to store your browsing history to see if you’ve been looking at flights. If you have, they will bump up the price. Before searching, clear your internet history and switch to private (or incognito) mode on your web browser. When you are finally ready to book the flight, do so using a different computer from a new location to be sure that you’re avoiding this artificial price increase.
• Stealthy resort fees. The nightly base rate for a fancy resort will often compare favorably to a standard hotel in the same location. This is an intentional pricing tactic used by resorts to get their rooms on the initial search results page. Don’t be fooled! These same resorts will add a daily resort fee on the back end of your bill to cover the extra amenities they offer. The extra fee might be worth it to you, but it’s better to understand the full cost of the stay before making your reservation.
• Useless rental car insurance. Rental car companies will try to sell you insurance to cover damages you may cause during the rental period. Often, the auto insurance you already have will extend to the rental car. In these cases, the extra insurance isn’t necessary. Before renting a car, check with your insurance company to see if a rental will be covered.
• Bloated baggage fees. You probably already know that airlines may charge for checking a bag, but do you know they will charge extra if a bag is too heavy? Exact weight can vary by airline or location, so check the weight limits before you go and weigh any heavy bags using a bathroom scale.
• Crafty parking costs. Downtown hotels in big cities charge as high as $100 per night for parking! Research alternative parking options near your hotel or compare the cost of using rideshare options before committing to the hotel rate.
• Sly extra driver charges. Rental car companies will charge an extra daily fee to have a second driver listed on the rental. If possible, commit to one person to handle all the driving on your vacation.
• Tricky foreign transaction fees. Traveling abroad and paying an extra fee for every purchase will add up in a hurry. Before you go, check your credit cards and bank accounts to see if they charge foreign transaction fees. If they do, shopping for another card or account that doesn’t charge fees might make sense.
Some vacation fees can’t be avoided, but many of them can if you know where to look. Implement a plan to navigate the fees in the planning stages of your trip to avoid dealing with them during your vacation.

#Vacation
#Saving
#StealthyFees
... See MoreSee Less

Watch Out For These Sneaky Vacation Costs

Going on vacation is a time to get away, relax and enjoy new experiences. But if you don’t pay close attention, extra costs can sneak up on you like tiny money-stealing gremlins. Here are several sneaky vacation costs to watch out for:
• Covert airfare increases. Airline pricing algorithms are programmed to store your browsing history to see if you’ve been looking at flights. If you have, they will bump up the price. Before searching, clear your internet history and switch to private (or incognito) mode on your web browser. When you are finally ready to book the flight, do so using a different computer from a new location to be sure that you’re avoiding this artificial price increase.
• Stealthy resort fees. The nightly base rate for a fancy resort will often compare favorably to a standard hotel in the same location. This is an intentional pricing tactic used by resorts to get their rooms on the initial search results page. Don’t be fooled! These same resorts will add a daily resort fee on the back end of your bill to cover the extra amenities they offer. The extra fee might be worth it to you, but it’s better to understand the full cost of the stay before making your reservation.
• Useless rental car insurance. Rental car companies will try to sell you insurance to cover damages you may cause during the rental period. Often, the auto insurance you already have will extend to the rental car. In these cases, the extra insurance isn’t necessary. Before renting a car, check with your insurance company to see if a rental will be covered.
• Bloated baggage fees. You probably already know that airlines may charge for checking a bag, but do you know they will charge extra if a bag is too heavy? Exact weight can vary by airline or location, so check the weight limits before you go and weigh any heavy bags using a bathroom scale.
• Crafty parking costs. Downtown hotels in big cities charge as high as $100 per night for parking! Research alternative parking options near your hotel or compare the cost of using rideshare options before committing to the hotel rate.
• Sly extra driver charges. Rental car companies will charge an extra daily fee to have a second driver listed on the rental. If possible, commit to one person to handle all the driving on your vacation.
• Tricky foreign transaction fees. Traveling abroad and paying an extra fee for every purchase will add up in a hurry. Before you go, check your credit cards and bank accounts to see if they charge foreign transaction fees. If they do, shopping for another card or account that doesn’t charge fees might make sense.
Some vacation fees can’t be avoided, but many of them can if you know where to look. Implement a plan to navigate the fees in the planning stages of your trip to avoid dealing with them during your vacation.

#Vacation
#Saving
#StealthyFees

Surviving Wedding Season Without Breaking the Bank

According to this survey by TheKnot.com, the average wedding in 2023 had a price tag of $35,000. And it's not just the lucky couple doling out serious money. Wedding guests can also face steep costs between gifts and traveling to and from the big event. If you're planning on attending a wedding or two (or three or four?) this summer, here are several ideas to help keep your wedding costs under control.
1. Give cash instead of buying a gift off a registry. Most people want to give a wedding gift that, on some level, reflects the relationship they have with the couple. This desire to find that perfect gift can sometimes lead to overspending. Instead of buying a gift off a registry, consider giving cash. Sticking with cash can help you stick to your wedding season budget and avoid your gift being stuck in a box or closet that never gets used.
2. Think outside the box for lodging. If traveling to a wedding, start looking at lodging options as soon as you know the date. First, check to see if you have family or friends in the area you would be comfortable staying with. Next, consider reconnecting with friends that are attending and share a room. Perhaps the wedding couple saved a block of rooms in a local hotel at a special rate. If so, compare the cost of that hotel with nearby hotels and short-term rentals. Remember to figure out your accommodations early so you don’t get stuck with just one expensive option.
3. Share your travel expenses. It's possible you'll have some friends or family attending the same wedding as you. If the wedding involves traveling, split some of the costs with them. This can include carpooling, sharing a rental car, teaming up on taxi or ride-share expenses, as well as sharing hotel accommodations.
4. Rent your attire. Going to a bunch of weddings in a short amount time can create a wardrobe challenge. Purchasing a new outfit for each one will get really expensive really quickly. If you take the one-and-done approach with your formal wear, renting a dress or suit will only set you back a fraction of the cost of buying new clothes for every wedding.
5. Respectfully decline. Whether it’s the cost of travel, poor timing, or something else, it’s OK to decline the invitation. The wedding couple expects some people won’t be able to make it to their big event. But it's important to let them know you won’t be there. When sending back the RSVP, include a kind greeting and the reason for your absence without going into great detail. When the wedding day comes, remember to send a card or a gift.

Wedding season is a time of fun and celebration. Knowing that you also made the best financial decisions possible makes the occasion even better.

#WeddingSeason #Save #ShareCosts
... See MoreSee Less

Surviving Wedding Season Without Breaking the Bank

According to this survey by TheKnot.com, the average wedding in 2023 had a price tag of $35,000. And its not just the lucky couple doling out serious money. Wedding guests can also face steep costs between gifts and traveling to and from the big event. If youre planning on attending a wedding or two (or three or four?) this summer, here are several ideas to help keep your wedding costs under control.
1. Give cash instead of buying a gift off a registry. Most people want to give a wedding gift that, on some level, reflects the relationship they have with the couple. This desire to find that perfect gift can sometimes lead to overspending. Instead of buying a gift off a registry, consider giving cash. Sticking with cash can help you stick to your wedding season budget and avoid your gift being stuck in a box or closet that never gets used.
2. Think outside the box for lodging. If traveling to a wedding, start looking at lodging options as soon as you know the date. First, check to see if you have family or friends in the area you would be comfortable staying with. Next, consider reconnecting with friends that are attending and share a room. Perhaps the wedding couple saved a block of rooms in a local hotel at a special rate. If so, compare the cost of that hotel with nearby hotels and short-term rentals. Remember to figure out your accommodations early so you don’t get stuck with just one expensive option.
3. Share your travel expenses. Its possible youll have some friends or family attending the same wedding as you. If the wedding involves traveling, split some of the costs with them. This can include carpooling, sharing a rental car, teaming up on taxi or ride-share expenses, as well as sharing hotel accommodations.
4. Rent your attire. Going to a bunch of weddings in a short amount time can create a wardrobe challenge. Purchasing a new outfit for each one will get really expensive really quickly. If you take the one-and-done approach with your formal wear, renting a dress or suit will only set you back a fraction of the cost of buying new clothes for every wedding.
5. Respectfully decline. Whether it’s the cost of travel, poor timing, or something else, it’s OK to decline the invitation. The wedding couple expects some people won’t be able to make it to their big event. But its important to let them know you won’t be there. When sending back the RSVP, include a kind greeting and the reason for your absence without going into great detail. When the wedding day comes, remember to send a card or a gift.

Wedding season is a time of fun and celebration. Knowing that you also made the best financial decisions possible makes the occasion even better.

#WeddingSeason #Save #ShareCosts

Business Advice: Every Impression Matters

With competition knocking at your door for virtually every product or service, you need to hone every advantage available to you. One of the ways you can set your business apart is to create an awesome customer experience with every interaction. This is less of an event and more a state of mind for your entire team. Here are several steps to help you get there:
• The three outcomes. Start by understanding that every interaction with customers AND vendors has three – and only three – possible outcomes: positive, neutral, or negative. Your goal is to make every interaction, from a label on a product to speaking with someone on a call, a positive experience. Or in a worse case scenario, neutral.
• Make a great first impression. The first impression a potential customer creates about your business can come from many different avenues. Train your customer service reps and create an approachable tone on the phone. If you choose to use social media, keep it fresh or take it down. See your lobby as others see it. All details matter.
• Manage the outcome. The best way to do this is to eliminate the possibility of a negative outcome with your first impression. With customer interaction, this is often accomplished with active listening and a smile.

For example, let's say you receive a call from a customer wanting to hear about a new service. The employee that handles the service is not available and you are limited in your knowledge. The worst thing you can say is, I'm sorry, the person responsible for the service is not here at the moment. In the customer’s mind, you immediately remove the possibility of a positive outcome! Instead, engage the customer to hear about their needs, gather as much information as possible, and commit to finding the answers for them and calling them back immediately.
• Create slingshot experiences. No matter how well you strive to offer top-notch customer service, there will always be instances that are less than favorable. Use this as an opportunity to turn a negative experience into a positive one by thrilling the disgruntled customer with your solution. Even if the solution is costly and unreasonable, that customer will tell everyone the story about how you solved their problem.
• Use problems to make permanent improvements. Knowing your strengths can reaffirm your approach and help set customer service performance goals. On the other hand, learning about a bad experience from a customer’s perspective will give you great insight into how you can improve. Use these problems to focus your activity. Over time, the results of this continual improvement can have a tremendous impact on your business.
Creating a culture that excels at customer service is attainable if you put in the effort to know your customer’s needs and to understand that every impression matters!

#BusinessAdvice #FirstImpression #Improvements
... See MoreSee Less

Business Advice: Every Impression Matters

With competition knocking at your door for virtually every product or service, you need to hone every advantage available to you. One of the ways you can set your business apart is to create an awesome customer experience with every interaction. This is less of an event and more a state of mind for your entire team. Here are several steps to help you get there:
• The three outcomes. Start by understanding that every interaction with customers AND vendors has three – and only three – possible outcomes: positive, neutral, or negative. Your goal is to make every interaction, from a label on a product to speaking with someone on a call, a positive experience. Or in a worse case scenario, neutral.
• Make a great first impression. The first impression a potential customer creates about your business can come from many different avenues. Train your customer service reps and create an approachable tone on the phone. If you choose to use social media, keep it fresh or take it down. See your lobby as others see it. All details matter.
• Manage the outcome. The best way to do this is to eliminate the possibility of a negative outcome with your first impression. With customer interaction, this is often accomplished with active listening and a smile.

For example, lets say you receive a call from a customer wanting to hear about a new service. The employee that handles the service is not available and you are limited in your knowledge. The worst thing you can say is, Im sorry, the person responsible for the service is not here at the moment. In the customer’s mind, you immediately remove the possibility of a positive outcome! Instead, engage the customer to hear about their needs, gather as much information as possible, and commit to finding the answers for them and calling them back immediately.
• Create slingshot experiences. No matter how well you strive to offer top-notch customer service, there will always be instances that are less than favorable. Use this as an opportunity to turn a negative experience into a positive one by thrilling the disgruntled customer with your solution. Even if the solution is costly and unreasonable, that customer will tell everyone the story about how you solved their problem.
• Use problems to make permanent improvements. Knowing your strengths can reaffirm your approach and help set customer service performance goals. On the other hand, learning about a bad experience from a customer’s perspective will give you great insight into how you can improve. Use these problems to focus your activity. Over time, the results of this continual improvement can have a tremendous impact on your business.
Creating a culture that excels at customer service is attainable if you put in the effort to know your customer’s needs and to understand that every impression matters!

#BusinessAdvice #FirstImpression #Improvements

newsletterStay Informed & Up-To-Date

Each month, we will give you tips and useful information to help you protect your finances, begin planning on ways to save for your future, or how to begin preparing your taxes. Our goal is to help you get the information you need for a financially savvy today and tomorrow. So sign up for our monthly client newsletter today to stay up-to-date with news from our office and to receive special offers from our team.

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