How contactable are you?

Do you get text messages or calls on the weekend from your clients? Maybe Sunday night at 10pm looking for an appointment the next day… what a pain in the arse that is! In the ideal world when we leave work we should leave work, however now a days everyone is ultra connected through all sorts of different devices and it’s hard to get away. People may disagree with this statement but as a business owner you want to minimise your client time outside of work hours.

Phone

If you agree with the above statement then you may find the following tips useful.

Privacy: When I ran my Physiotherapy business only three clients had my number, these clients were also my friends. I did not make friends or follow any of my clients on my personal social media pages and I also advised my admin team never to give out my personal number. The reason for this was that some people don’t respect your privacy or what time of night it is. If you use your phone for business make sure you have a personal number to separate work from personal calls, otherwise you always feel like you’re in work.

Set up voicemail: Having a clear and simple voicemail is a really effective way to minimise the amount of time you spend with your clients. “Thanks for calling PracticeNav, sorry I can’t take your call, If you want an appointment you can book online at http://www.practicenav.com otherwise leave a short message and I will get back to you at my earliest convenience”. You earliest convenience being Monday morning NOT the middle of the night, that’s why hospitals were invented so people can go there in emergency.

Autoresponder: Having an auto responder setup on your email from 3pm Friday to 8am Monday morning is a really good idea, that way people know not to expect a response. I’d also advise you set up an autoresponder for your business facebook page detailing how clients can book appointments online or via telephone during business hours.

Online Booking: Having an online booking system in your business reduces admin time and improves efficiency. It also mean you don’t have to go back and forth with your clients in a text message advising when you’re free and confirming their appointment. With online booking the client can book an appointment any time in any country as long as they have internet making your business more professional and accessible whilst maintaining your privacy.  

Train your clients: Your client will behave the way you train them, if you answer their calls on Sunday night at 11pm then you can expect to continue to receive calls on Sunday night. If you answer client emails as soon as you get them then expect to get emails asking for an immediate response (start batching). However if you respond during normal business hours then clients (however we always deal with a few interesting characters) will appreciate your boundaries and act accordingly.

To find out how PracticeNav can improve your systems to have more time at the weekend or evenings then take our Online Audit which gives you instant results. This can help identify the weaknesses in your business systems. Contact PracticeNav via email info@practicenav.com or take our Free business audit to find how we can help. Also feel free to share your experience reducing your personal contactability improved your business.

Colin Phillips
Business Consultant
PracticeNav

2 comments

  1. […] What structures do you have:   To allow my 3 day week to work for me, I use a lot of structures to streamline the process, the main one is outsourcing my telephone calls and diary to a company (I don’t have a receptionist – yet). I use online booking through cliniko and facebook. I generally don’t sms my clients (apart from automated reminders) because they may feel it’s an easy way to contact me. If I don’t know the number ringing my private phone, it goes to voicemail with the clinic number and instructions on how to make an appointment. For more on this point read this blog. […]

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