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A Weight Lifted

February 01, 2016 | Written by: Kyle Hopkins
Customer Service Representative
Each morning when I come in to work at I see our mission statement posted on the side of my cubicle: “To provide our Members with the finest income tax audit representation and the best taxpayer education available while minimizing the stress involved in dealing with the IRS or any tax authority.” While I’m in a non-tax role in the Membership Services Department, my team and I play a vital role in minimizing the stress of our members.

Each day I monitor the emails sent in by our customers requesting assistance with everything, from website problems to reporting their audits. Our company policy is to respond to all correspondence within one business day, but I make it my personal goal to have no calls left to respond to by the time I leave each day. To provide the best service and minimize the stress in dealing with the IRS, being prompt in responses to our members is vital. Oftentimes I will call a member back within minutes of receiving their email.

Frequently I hear people say how quickly we handled their problem and how a weight is lifted when they are assured that we will act promptly to take care of their audit issues. It’s easy to forget how much a prompt reply can help and how we all want to feel like someone is there for us when we need them, but I am reminded of it every day.

Recently I handled a call from a member who was very concerned about her notice, which she received late due to a move. While the notice itself was a typical 30-day notice, more than two weeks had elapsed before she received it at her new address. Not knowing exactly what to do, she turned to our website,, and found our customer service email address. I received her email, which included her phone number. Our internal system automatically generates an email response to members letting them know that a reply can take up to one business day; on a Friday that could mean they may not receive a response until after the weekend.

The member was understandably worried about losing a few more days with the deadline looming. And she was quite surprised when her cell phone began to ring less than five minutes after she sent the email. When I introduced myself and told her I worked for she was immediately relieved that we had responded so quickly. I started an audit report and went over the instructions on what she needed to do to get her case assigned to a tax professional. She was prompt in sending her documents, and when I checked on her case later I found out that an audit representative had been assigned before the end of the day, saving several days towards the deadline.

Every day our Membership Services Team strives to meet the needs of our members and understands that when we receive messages someone is anxiously waiting to hear back. Our members’ peace of mind is important and we empathize with the stress they feel when trying to get their audit process started. To all of us at meeting that expectation is an everyday thing, but we also recognize how much of an impact a timely response can have on the confidence and stress levels of our members.

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