Do you access your email on your smartphone? If you do, do you feel you need to immediately send a response? (Maybe you should).
Do you find yourself sending quick responses just so that you’ve responded – even when it isn’t convenient?
If this sounds like you, maybe it’s time to have a rethink.
Hopefully you already have a separate email address for your therapy business. You do? That’s great! You don’t? Read this.
We receive emails from prospective clients on weekdays, weekends, evenings, even in the middle of the night.
Why is this so? Maybe it’s when they are on the internet, searching for the therapist of their dreams? They found you and they knew you were the right person for them so they wanted to contact you immediately – wow!
You know that feeling – when you want to take action straight away. This is a good thing, right? We want our potential clients to feel that way about us. And – we want to create a good impression too, right?
Not only a good impression, but also, the right impression.
We want to show them that we are professional and that we care about them. We also want them to know that we keep professional hours. We are not sitting by the phone, waiting for their email at all hours of day and night, and on Sunday afternoons.
So how do we create a great first impression and also make sure we don’t accidentally send out the wrong message about our availability?
One word. (Well, one hyphenated word) Auto-respond!
What we mean by an auto-respond is NOT the same thing as an OUT OF THE OFFICE respond.
It’s a hand-crafted, personal message, that shows your clients your personality (while still being professional) and it also helps them by providing information on when and how you work. It tells them that their email is important to you and when you will be able to respond.
You can also include information on where you work, the hours you work, the phone numbers to call to book an appointment. You can also include dates when you will be away. Or you can personalise it on a particular day when you know you won’t be able to respond to emails because you are at a conference, say.
All of this information is useful to your prospective client. It immediately lets them know that you are busy – which is a good message, right?
It also lets them know that you don’t reply to emails in the evening/night-time/weekend (delete as applicable).
BUT that you are there for them and you will reply – when you have time to write a professional, considered response, and not a hasty one from your phone (with possible typos). 🙂
So – it helps them understand more about how you work (and possibly directs them to call your clinic to book their appointment, which means less work for you – yay!) and also creates some breathing space for you to organise your day so that you can deal with emails all in one chunk. Much better for you.
Auto-respond newbie? Not sure where to start?
The best place is in the ‘Help’ section of your email programme. Google is super easy, it’s in the settings section.
The most important thing is to get the wording right.
It needs to sound friendly – your prospective clients needs to hear your voice so that client/therapist relationship can start straight away.
Here are some ideas:
Thank you so much for contacting me
Thank you for writing to me
Thank you for your email
I am sorry not to be able to reply straight away
I am not at a desk today
I take time to reply to emails regularly
If you need to make an appointment to see me, you can try calling
If you’d like to book a consultation, please know that I’m available (times and days)
Let me have your phone number and some times when you are available and I’ll give you a call
Love and light
There isn’t one size fits all.
When you’ve written it, ask yourself, ‘Do I feel comfortable with it? And does it sound like me?’
When it’s all set up, make sure you get some quick feedback. We are big fans of testing.
Ask a few trusted friends or family members to email you and then ask them what they think. They might spot some glaring oversight that could make a BIG difference to how your message comes across. (Ask them to be really honest!)
Or send it to Tracy – she’d love to give you some honest feedback for free. firstname.lastname@example.org
Let us know how it goes. We love to hear from you.
Tracy and Lulu
Building your radiant business takes a lot of commitment and when we have a busy schedule it’s not always easy to see the wood for the trees.
If you think it’s time to work smarter, not harder, or you’re looking for a fresh perspective, you might be interested in Your Radiant Business seminars or private mentoring.