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How Will Coffee and Perfume Change Your Tax Clients This Year?

In a research study, research subjects read the words “coffee” and “perfume” and the part of their brains devoted to the sense of smell lit up. A new study suggests that reading doesn’t just make a fleeting impression. It may make long-term changes to the brain.As a tax preparer, what can you actually do based on learning from these studies to make your tax clients happier, more satisfied or more loyal? Read on…..

Brain, Habits and Feelings:

Human beings associate things with causes and results. The brains work both ways e.g. coffee is associated with mood enhancement, stress-relief etc. So if one is in stress, he/she may “want” coffee. Conversely, when one has coffee, he/she may experience a better, more positive mood.

Tax Season Effect On Your Clients, You and Your Staff:

For tax preparers, tax season equals stress season. The tolerance levels of all client facing staff as well as back-office staff keep going down as the stress keeps increasing. Clients’ phone calls and face-to-face interactions become increasingly irritating. The clients themselves feel the stress, as they want to make sure they get done with the taxes as quickly as possible and as painlessly as possible.

This is where coffee and perfume can come in handy!

Coffee, Perfume and Your Tax Clients:

As the studies indicate, just reading the words coffee and perfume can make the brain think differently. Imagine what coffee and perfume can do in reality.

For the clients who visit your office during tax season, can you offer coffee – even if the client says no, just saying, “Would you like some coffee” – can help making the person feel good. If he/she indeed does have coffee, then he/she surely gets into a better mood.

Alternatively, how about essential oils diffusers at your reception area? The sensory effects of perfumes / essential oils that enhance mood or relieve stress are well documented.

What About Clients Who Don’t Visit Your Office?

You always deal with them by email and phone calls. Can you include coffee and perfume in your emails and phone calls? Well, not literally but just use the words coffee and perfume? E.g. how about starting the email with a sentence like this “Good morning Bob, Did you have your morning-fresh coffee yet? Just wanted to let you know that we need x, y, z document for completion of your tax return….”


Neuroscience studies have become deeper, more reliable and scientifically more accurate in their conclusions on causes and effects. Taking such intelligence from neuroscience and applying them to your day-to-day business situations is increasingly possible. This article is just a trigger to get you started. If you do implement these ideas or some similar ideas, we would be keen to learn of your experience.

P.S.: I am stepping out for my morning-fresh coffee. Oh…somebody just walked by and she has a nice perfume on her!

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