I’m not a bad person. I try to take care of myself and my family and my cats. Sometimes I wish you’d just phone me.☎️
My Vet sends me a beautiful letter for each of my 3 cats “Mischa is due for her vaccination. Please call us on 9876 1224 to book your appointment.”
The paper is beautiful quality, colour logos and an envelope with full postage stamp. I have 3 cats so I receive 3 individual letters.
A few weeks later
I’m at the mail box again and here are another 3 envelopes from my Vet. I feel awful and for 2 reasons. First the cats are now overdue for their vaccinations and second because there is more beautiful paper and stamps – the cost and the trees!!
So here’s the thing.
I collect these letters at 6:30am on my way home from Pilates. I go home and I jump in the shower, have breakfast and head out to work with clients all day.
I do what most people do with these letters – I add them to the “to do” pile on the bench. And in my head, I rationalise: “There’s no-one there now, I’ll call them later.”
And of course I don’t. Not because I don’t want to take the cats. Not because I don’t have the money. Not because I’m a bad person. None of these reasons. I just plain forget.🤔
I just wish they’d phone me.
“Hello Ingrid, Natasha here from the Vet, Mousee, Mischa and Ollie are due for their vaccinations. Do you have a moment now to make a booking? Or can we arrange a vet to come to the house?”
Do you know what I’d say?
I’d say “Thanks very much, let’s book that in.”
This isn’t just about my cats.🐱
My dentist sends a text. I’m on a coaching call or a client session or I’m running a training session and I notice the text, and it is just one of the more than 5 texts I receive when I turn on my phone.
I think to myself “Oh yes, I need to make that appointment.”
Please just phone me and let’s lock it in.
The same thing happens with the medical checks we have available to us here in Australia; Pap tests and mammograms as an early detection and prevention strategy. The people who manage these programs have created a pretty rigorous system.
They send a letter or a text and then when you haven’t made your appointment, they call “Ingrid, it’s Susie here from Mammogram clinic do you have a minute to make a booking?”
I’m on my phone, and it is super easy to pull up my calendar and commit to the appointment.
Why am I talking about this?
I’ve thought a lot about this topic because I work with many well being practitioners and health professionals on the other side of this story. And almost without exception the office people who would make those phone calls on behalf of these health professionals do not like making the calls. Why is that?
Almost without exception they tell me the reason they do not like making these calls is because “I don’t want to bother people.”
Please. Bother. Me.
Care enough about me to make that call. The message I get is that you don’t care when you let my appointment lapse.
About a month ago I received a text from an optometrist I went to last year. “We haven’t seen you for a while…” and nothing since.
I know I need to make an appointment and I also need new contact lenses.👓
Here is what would be terrific.
They call me and say “Ingrid, we notice you probably need new contact lenses, would you like me to order some for you? And do you have your calendar, let’s make your annual appointment?”
And I would really appreciate that.
For the past few weeks I’ve been thinking about visiting the chiropractor. When do I think about it? When I’m at Pilates, or as I’m getting into bed and need to get the heat pack because of some ache or pain.
Eventually I called and made my appointment. While being treated I told my Chiro about this idea I have that it would be terrific if they “Could please just call me?”
She said they had had a long discussion about this very idea at their last team meeting. Is it a good idea to call patients or not.
My Chiro personally felt it was a good idea, but others didn’t think so. They feel it is bothering people. I’ve asked to have my file noted for someone to please phone me to book my next appointment.
Do you want your clients to rebook with you?
This is a message to all the people who are involved in helping people book their next appointment.
Sometimes you do just need to call them (even if you don’t like it). If they are too busy at that moment they’ll tell you. If you are genuinely being helpful and wanting that person to come back for that checkup, that vaccination, that appointment, my guess is that most people will appreciate the call. I know I do.
Over the years I have worked with many different health professionals and they all want to know how to find new patients, new clients. 👪
Call the ones you already have, many of them are just waiting for your call.
Enough said! I’m off to book my dentist, the optometrist and book the cats into the Vet!
Thanks for reading – I trust it is thought provoking and at the same time helpful – and will encourage you to take action. Taking action is a key characteristics of successful business owners.
I’m Ingrid Thompson and as a Trainer, Business Coach and the Founder of Healthy Numbers I help people take action to build their own business – whether from scratch or build an existing business.
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