Business

5 Things to do in the Next Hour to Keep Your Customers Smiling

Virtual Reception, Allied Health, Wellness, Virtual Assistant

Choice Australia recently published a study on Businesses that are hard to contact. They found that customer dissatisfaction rates rose when their calls went unanswered and their calls and emails weren’t returned.

As a small business, marketing for your business is sometimes not all that affordable, so when you manage to attract a client, you want to put your best foot forward and make them fall in love with your business. Let's explore 5 effortless ideas to not only make your business easy to contact, but to make sure your customers feel good about their interaction with your business as well (and you can implement these ideas in under an hour!)

1. Make sure every call is answered

As a small business owner, you may be acting as the Receptionist as well. Whilst in your start-up phase, it might not be such a terrible thing, but as your business gets busier, it is likely you’ll be missing more calls (and losing more business). Every missed call is a lost opportunity, so at the very least you need to make sure your calls are returned in a very efficient time-frame. This can be troublesome if you run a clinic and you’re always in consultations, so an easy and cost-effective option is to engage a Virtual Receptionist.

Your Virtual Receptionist is the voice of your business and answers every call, makes bookings, manages your diary, takes messages, rebooks cancellations and provides a positive experience for your customer. Check out Pro-Assists Virtual Reception Packages.

2. Have amazing form

Embedding a contact form onto your website is one thing, but to give your customers an amazing experience, there are some small initiatives you can take to take it up a notch.

  • When your customer submits the contact form, display a message acknowledging their contact. Give them a timeframe they can expect to hear back from you.
  • Remind your customer of the other forms of contact available. Giving them options helps if they are feeling a little lost.
  • This should go unsaid but actually RESPOND in the time frame you promised (or quicker).

3. Don’t play Hide and Go Seek

Games are for kids, so don’t be like those big businesses that make it impossible to find their contact number. Embrace your customers contacting you in their preferred fashion, and publish your contact details loud and proud. Remember, after you’ve hired your Virtual Receptionist, you’ll be able to take all those calls, so go ahead, PUBLISH THAT NUMBER!

4. Get Chatty

More and more people are preferring to contact businesses through instant chat. Keep these customers happy by installing a Website Chat app (We recommend Smartsupp) and promote Facebook Messenger on your Business Facebook Page.

5. Automate your booking process

Consider offering Online Bookings. It is a convenient way for your customers to make time with you. General programs like Acuity Scheduling are perfect for Coaches and more studio/clinic specific programs like Cliniko and Mindbody Online are perfect in supporting online bookings.

That’s it! 5 very easy things you can implement in under an hour to make your business the most contactable and pleasant business to deal with.

 

 

4 Facts About Virtual Clinics That Will Annoy Your Competitors

virtual clinic

Running a small wellness business on your own is tough work, and it can seem impossible to ever compete with those super clinics with a never-ending stream of clients, a fancy receptionist, and big budgets, right? In this post, I’m going to show you how you can annoy your competitors by transforming your business into a Virtual Clinic.

Let's get started.



FACT ONE: A Virtual Clinic reduces your overheads

So your competitor has that fancy receptionist, great! And for $42,000 per year the receptionist usually answer the phones, arranges the appointments and keeps the clinic in order; but here’s where your competitor will get annoyed. With a Virtual Clinic, you get the exact same service but you only pay for the time your Receptionist actually works for you. If there are only 10 calls answered this week, that’s all you pay for. There’s no leave entitlements, equipment or standby time you have to pay for.

FACT TWO: Virtual Clinic Receptionists don’t go on holidays

How annoyed would your competitor be to hear that not only do you not pay leave entitlements, but you are never (ever) left without reception coverage? Sick days? Not a problem for you. A patient calls after hours? Your personalised Voicemail system takes your patient’s message and delivers it to your receptionist to take care of.  

FACT THREE: A Virtual Clinic allows you to step away from the front-end of your business

Considering small wellness businesses just like you that have to manage every aspect of their business, transforming your wellness business into a Virtual Clinic means everyday admin tasks are either done automatically or carried out by your Virtual Clinic Receptionist. Appointment reminders are sent on your behalf, monthly newsletters are prepared and sent, emails are read, responded to and filed and phones are answered. Any admin task you dread is done in the background for you.

FACT FOUR: A Virtual Clinic is flexible and without boundaries.

Operating a virtual clinic opens avenues to grow your business and increase your profits. Unlike your competitors that need to offer extended hours and see bulk people to turn a profit, you can offer services online, such as Group Facebook Challenges, Skype Consultations, selling e-books and products online and even allowing your patients to book their appointment online.  

A Virtual Clinic is the best of both worlds

So there you go, 4 brilliant facts about Virtual Clinics that will annoy your competitors and put your wellness business worlds in-front. I am running a Webinar on January 17, 2017 about how to transform your wellness business into a virtual clinic, I’d love to see you there. Follow this link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3820853863142598915



3 Admin Tips to transform your working week

Admin is one of those things that, as business owners, we’ve come to accept is an unavoidable part of our business journey. Many clients and fellow business owners often say they are setting aside the day to do admin, or they need a Virtual Assistant to keep on top of things. Whilst a Virtual Assistant is a great option, you can certainly make yourself more productive and save yourself hours each week with these three simple admin tips.

1. Simply, get structured.

Hands up if your electronic filing system is either your Computer Desktop or local computer drive? Keep your hands up if you spend more than 30 seconds locating files. If your hand is still up, you are wasting time, not just finding your files, but your computer will most likely be SLLLOOWWW because the computer needs to use operating memory for no reason other than to maintain a messy desktop.

admin tips, time saving, organisation, virtual assistant
Messy Desktops are time wasters. Image Credit: About.com

Messy Desktops are time wasters. Image Credit: About.com

The great thing is, setting up a filing structure doesn’t have to be (and it shouldn’t be) complicated. It just has to reflect your business, and be intuitive enough for you (and your staff) to quickly and efficiently locate files. If you still don’t think having an efficient electronic filing structure is important, consider this. Every file that you cannot locate instantly, creates an unnecessary workload. If you have to spend more than 30 seconds looking for a file, being interrupted by a colleague to check if the file is saved on your personal drive, you’ve wasted everyone’s time. An example of a simple, yet effective filing structure is below. I use DropBox (Google Drive is also a great option) to store my files, as I can invite others in to folders to find and save files.

An effective, simple filing structure is an easy way to save time.

An effective, simple filing structure is an easy way to save time.

My tips for creating an efficient filing system are:

  1. Don’t Over-complicate.
    • Have a few broad, but descriptive folders that cover the main aspects of your business. Being overly specific can cause confusion, and isn’t necessary in most cases.
  2. Keep Sub-Folders to a minimum. 
    • Sub-folders may seem like a great idea, and have you feeling super organised, but it can be like navigating through a stranger’s mind. You’ll spend far too much time going in and out of folders to find the correct files. I recommend 2-3 levels of sub-folders at most.
  3. Sequence your folders.
    • Create a sequence to display your most important (or frequently visited) folders first, rather than having the folders listed alphabetically. Simply name the folder 01 Folder Name, 02 Folder Name, and the second level, 01.1 Sub-Folder Name, 02.1 Sub-Folder Name and so on.

2)      Make your Inbox Sing!

Many of my clients and previous colleagues report feelings not dissimilar to anxiety, stress and overwhelm when faced with their Inbox. It is estimated that 212.1 billion emails are sent and received each day. Without an effective Inbox strategy, it is really no wonder people tend to avoid their Inbox. A complete Inbox Detox is a great place to start.  Consolidate your email accounts, organise your Inbox and introduce automation to make your Inbox work harder – not you.

Read about the Inbox Detox over here. http://www.pro-assist.com.au/blog/inboxdetox

3)      Standardise for Success

If you seem to always be creating documents and emails from scratch for the same type of purpose (Client Reports, Proposals, Letters), then you will benefit from creating templates.

You can customise these each time you use them, but get the body of the template correct and you’ll save so much time. CRM systems such as HubSpot integrate with many mail clients so you can effortlessly add templated responses to your emails.

The 3 admin tips are quick and simple to implement, but will drastically reduce time spent on admin, leaving time for the more exciting aspects of your business.

 

 

 

5 Tips To Save Time And Be More Productive

Time is a precious commodity; we all wish it would slow down or hurry up and we wish we had more of it. You may be surprised to know that nothing drastic has to change in your life to give you more time in your day. Just 5 simple tips will have an untold influence on how much time you get back in your day.

Following these 5 simple tips in my business saved me on average 4 hours per week AND I'm working less and being more productive because of these tips. 

1. Embrace Technology

There have been some mind boggling advances in technology, even in the last year. In my business, I do a lot of file sharing and collaboration with clients. At first, collaboration between my clients and I was done via email - back and forwards we would go, and it started to get confusing and time consuming. So, I embraced 2 technologies in this case: Asana and Google Docs. At commencement of a project/ task, I open Asana, create a new project, give my client access and set up step by step the tasks to be done, assign as necessary and add deadlines. Questions and comments are also made through Asana. Then comes Google Docs. I give my client access, and they can pop in whenever they like and see how things are going. Before embracing these technologies, I wasted on average 2.5 hours week collating and sending progress reports and answering queries. Now, that time is next to nil. Yep! I save on average 2.5 hours a week, just by embracing 2 technologies!

2. Automate Processes

This one is somewhat tied to the first tip, but we can take it a little further, and even make it more basic. For example, I tend to get the same questions asked over and over "What are your services?", "How much do you charge?", "What's your availability?" I took some time to collate these Frequently Asked Questions, and put the answers on my website, and I direct them to my website. For my availability, I signed up to a free Online Booking System, so I send the link to my calendar for people to see my availability for themselves. These are BASIC automation processes, but they have saved me untold amounts of time. Imagine how much time you can save if you automate your largest, most time consuming process.

3. Schedule your time

This one is important, as it not only saves you time, but keeps you productive, not just busy, because Busyness is the enemy of Productivity. Create themes for each day. For me, Mondays are Dreaming Days - I think about where my business is going, then document what I need to do to get there. Wednesday is Blogging Day and so on. Flitting between tasks not only wastes time, but it creates a false feeling of productivity. 

Busyness is the Enemy of Productivity - Tweet that!

4. Stop the distractions

The most common distractions are email and social media notifications. Lifehacker reports that after a distraction, no matter how small, it takes on average 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back on task. If you receive 10 notifications in a day, how much time are you losing in Productivity? Inbox Pause is an amazing tool to manage email. Gmail users, can download it, here. It works by pausing emails from entering your Inbox; when you are ready, un-pause and TADA! They transfer to your inbox. You can even set it so the new emails enter your inbox on a schedule rather than one overwhelming wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am moment. So, stop the common distractions and enjoy more productivity time.  

5. Optimise Meetings

People view meetings differently. Some view them as the best way to be productive, and others sit there for the hour wondering why they are there. If you've been invited to a meeting, ask for an Agenda. If you are hosting a meeting, see if you can squeeze it into 30 minutes - you'll be surprised that most times you can. 3 x 1 hour meetings a week optimised into 3 x 30 minute meetings? Time Saving of 1.5hours.