Create technology boundaries. Don’t allow technology to get in the way of family time or be the cause of customer disservice.
Clearly share technology boundaries with others.
Here’s a good example:
The coaching industry has performed virtually since its inception in the 1980’s. We meet with clients via online session calls. Our marketing started with us teaching using audio conferences. We marketed online by posting articles to our websites, even before blogs came into existence, and online books or eBooks.
As a coach, it was customary for me to ask clients to call me at their scheduled session time. After all, I would be in my home office, but my client could be sitting on the beach during our session! That model, taught to me at CoachU, where I was trained, worked very well for about 5 years.
Every few months I ask clients what I could be doing better or differently. “Barbara’s” response was to ask why she must call me. Why can’t I call her?
I hadn’t thought about calling her. I was using the model I had learned.
Right then and there I realized that something must change. Today, I give clients the option. Of course, Barbara was very happy, too!
Improving productivity by using technology is great, but not when it’s done at the loss of customer service.
Here are a few ways to create technology boundaries:
- Check your phone system. No one should be forced to listen to which of the 5 numbers they need to press in order to speak to a human or get something done with your firm. If your business phone system is set up this way, find ways to shorten the messages or have one person answer the phone and THEN switch to other employees. Let the first contact with your firm be personal.
- Everyone needs to learn how to transfer a call to another number without losing the call.
- If you request a caller’s phone number just in case the call is dropped, and the call is indeed dropped, call them back immediately.
- There should be a basket located near your office conference room specifically for all cell phones to be placed before meetings. You might want to try one in the kitchen of your home before meals, too!
- When you use a client scheduling system (more on them next month), don’t force clients to use it. Give them the option to call your office to schedule or use your online system (for their convenience).
Today, look at ways you can create boundaries with technology.
Ask your clients what you can be doing better or what changes they’d like you to make. Then take their advice – even if the whole industry does it “your way”.