The small section heads are all also not cutesy in any way and help the consumer get where he or she wants to go immediately: Welcome, Find an Office, File at Home, Why H&R Block, Tax Calculators & Tips, Support. What else do you need?
Each has a related dropdown menu to select from that looks cool and feels professional. There’s nothing crazy fancy here, but everything works and is laid out to make it easy for consumers to find what they need and travel through the site easily.
The home page is repetitive, suggesting the same things over and over again (Find an office find an office find an office.), but it works. There’s not enough there to make it mind-numbing and it is simply grabbing consumers in any way they look at the home page. For the basic needed tasks, the site gives you all you need right up front.
And if you want to be like your favorite H&R Block accountant, there is also an invitation to “Learn Tax Prep from the Best” right there on the home page. Block is smartly doing everything it can to bring in some revenue. It’s a wonder there isn’t a place on this site to buy H&R Block T-shirts and logo-emblazoned Nerf-basketball sets.
One thing that is surprising is that the only apparent place that the company pushes consumers to its social-media offerings is a very small “Join the Conversation” box in the very lower right-hand corner of each page on the site. It’s too bad because Block has been certainly putting effort into its social-media offerings (Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter) so you would think the Web designers would want to find more ways (or at least a more apparent one) to direct consumers there.
The company has just over 39,000 people who like its Facebook page, where its Wall is filled with people singing the company’s praises or complaining about some service issue or another. The company seems to dutifully respond to any that could be emergencies and play up the good news from individuals. It is clearly monitored by Block employees, though, with specific hours posted: 7 a.m. to 7p.m.
Another page on the H&R Block Facebook site gently pushes the company’s At Home tax software: “To do a job well, you need the right tools. If you're filing your taxes online, don't settle for less than the best tax software. Use H&R Block At Home™ and combine your smarts and our expertise,” it reads. Then it provides two buttons: File for free and Learn More.
The YouTube page on Facebook is disappointing as it contains only one video. And you need to give permission for the site to go into your personal information in order to open it up. No, thanks.
However, if you are needing a dose of H&R video, check out the company’s Web site, which features tax tips, commercials, instructional videos on tax forms, and that sort of thing. Should be helpful when April rolls around.
H&R’s Twitter page also appears to be very responsive and helpful to its nearly 9,000 followers. Employees respond directly to customer questions or just provide interesting tips such as: “Many #teachers use their own $ to pay for classroom supplies. Teachers of K through grade 12 who work 900 hours can get a $250 deduction.”
Any way you slice it, H&R Block very clearly understands that it is a service company. Its clientele have a slew of ways to do their taxes these days so Block tries to make itself as helpful and useful as possible. And its digital offerings really help sell that message to consumers.