Is faster better than slower? The advent of new technology has brought expectations of speed in everything. That’s not true. While the technology itself is faster everything shouldn’t be. Let me give you an example.
Assumption #1. Technology means faster
In the early 80s when personal computers were new most people assumed that because of technology their work would get done faster. I know firsthand what they thought because I taught our clients (I co-owned an Apple computer dealership in Toronto) how to use computers and their applications.
They were both right and wrong. While computers could do work faster than a human, a human took a lot of time to learn how to use a program.
By 1990 most companies had computers and the user’s learning curve was shorter. But now it took them time to develop a template.
Assumption #2 Learning slows you down
This is only partially right. Yes, learning slows you down at the beginning in order to do the work faster later. It’s like return on investment. Spend more now and get more later.
People eventually understood the two assumptions but like forgetting what it’s like to drive on snow and having to relearn it every winter, with the advent of voice mail and email and their speed they have forgotten what they learned about technology and its speed.
… This leads me to our topic about training clients ….
How to train your clients
Does it bother you when clients using email expect you to reply right away? Don’t they know that you’re working on something for another client just then? Aaargh!
You’ve probably unknowingly taught that you’d reply right away or that you work on weekends or late in the evening.
Here’s how to train clients so they have expectations that match yours.
#1. First meeting
You have a set of questions you ask clients in your first meeting. Conclude by asking them the best manner to communicate with them and then tell them the best way to communicate with you and even more important when you’ll get back to them. In summary tell clients how and when.
Record a message which is very explicit about when you’ll get back to them. For example “This is Trudy of BoomerBizBuilder. Thanks for calling. I answer all calls within 2 business days and read my email at 9 am and 3 pm. Please help me by leaving your phone number. That will save me time looking it up. Thanks and I’ll speak with you soon.”
Email time and date stamps every message so you know when it was sent … and so do your clients. If you don’t want them to know you’re working at night or on the weekend type the reply whenever you can and save it as a Draft. It’ll be put automatically in the Drafts folder. Then send it during working hours.
Remember you can “train” your clients about communicating with you. Just be sure you do what you say
Keep learning, and until next month’s newsletter
Trudy Van Buskirk