I Haven't Answered Client Calls in MONTHS... & Here's Why!
In this overwhelming and overly-accessible day and age, it can be so time-consuming, annoying, and frustrating to constantly be answering our phones…. Bodyworkers often feel dictated by their business, being a slave to their buzzing pocket or constantly responding to every text, regardless of business hours.
A couple of months ago, I decided to STOP answering any incoming calls. Yes, I looked at my Google Analytics on the times of day customer calls are surging. Yes, I checked how many Yelp customers clicked on my phone number directly from the Yelp app. Yes, I checked incoming calls from Facebook.
THANK YOU, INTERNET FOR THE FREE LEADS!
Don’t get me wrong… I am EXTREMELY grateful to have an influx of calls and client requests. Whether it be same-day appointment requests, inquiries about spa parties, people calling to purchase gift cards over-the-phone… I have the problem every business owner has: TOO HIGH OF A DEMAND.
Buuuuuut…. I started to become so overwhelmed… having to interrupt business meetings to take a call, having to finagle getting a credit card number on file for confirmation while at a stoplight, giving a client directions to the spa early in the morning while scrambling to set up the treatment rooms, texting clients back during the middle of family dinner, barely aware of the present moment.I have a full staff and employees now… so WHY was I still adamant on taking client calls when all I do is complain about “not having a life” or time to myself? Probably because I have a business owner’s complex where I HAVE to have control some aspect since I didn’t trust many people to have a high level of customer service I am so proud of. I KNOW I can trust myself to build rapport with clients, upgrade a service, give proper directions, explain spa policies, and have a badass and thorough over-the-phone consultation.
I’ve always used a calling service for when I was booked in the treatment room, but I still wanted to “save money” whenever I wasn’t hands-on with a client. I still answered incoming calls and message while on vacation, while driving down the road, while attempting to spend quality time with friends. I had the mindset that I only needed help when I wasn’t physically able to take a call, and that I needed to save every penny I could.
Headache after headache, being stretched thin, and being in a constant fuzzy, unfocused haze finally got the best of me. I was mentally worn out, exhausted, and overall fed up with having zero time to myself… all for the sake of saving a few dollars. Was it really worth the tears at the end of the day, knowing I didn’t have one moment to myself with clients and staff tugging at my strings constantly? Those strings were now FRAYED.
I was DONE with talking to people.
I was burnt out on customer service.
I started to dread every time my phone rang.
I felt resentment having to spend another minute talking to clients when I should be feeling grateful instead.
The overwhelm finally got the best of me, and burnout started creeping in.
I was mentally exhausted, and I finally drew a hard boundary for myself: NO MORE TAKING PHONE CALLS.
It was a tough boundary to draw. I needed a break. I finally gave in to my intuition and booked myself a road trip and let my virtual receptionist take over ALL my phone calls. I needed to wind down and UNPLUG.
Driving down the highway, singing my favorite songs UNINTERRUPTED at the top of my lungs felt amazing. Listening to my podcast without breaking the flow of the episode made the content stick in my mind better. Being able to arrive at my destination with a sigh of relief that nobody bothered me gave me a sense of balance I’ve been longing for.
It has been AMAZING to just let go of the control and trust my VA to do the badass job that I trained them to do. Every time I checked my phone, I saw “New Appointment Booked” notification from Jill’s Office, or a note from them stating they helped a customer purchase a gift card or answered a FAQ about cupping therapy. All the common questions, all the basic scheduling, avoiding the random robocalls messing up my flow, has been taken care of by this team of badass receptionists that are basically my customer service clone..
Some therapists just aren’t cut out for real-voice customer service, and even resent having to speak to a live person. And that’s OK. It’s not everyone’s forte.
There are many calling centers and virtual receptionists at different rates and plans available for hire online - I have been using Jill’s Office for over a year now. Whichever company you go with, it will save you MAJOR time, make you MORE money, and reduce headaches.
Make me more money, you say?! YAAAASSS QUEEN.
Let's break it down for you in this example:
> Got to your Yelp, Google, and Facebook analytics and write down the number of incoming phone calls across those platforms for the month (these will be real calls, not robocalls.) Let’s take a wild guess and say your incoming calls that were missed because you were busy or in a session averaged to 64 potential clients.
> Take your average session amount (let’s say this number is $100/hr for math purposes) and multiply that by the number of missed calls. That is $6,400 of potential revenue! Take an educated guess and assume that only half of those clients would have booked an appointment… That’s still $3, 200 of potential revenue, missed out on because that client didn’t want to bother texting you or leaving a voicemail that might not have gotten returned, and went to someone else who DID have a front desk to help them. After all, we do live in an instant gratification and super hectic world… clients do NOT have time to CHASE YOU DOWN and wait around to MAYBE hear back form you.
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!
Assuming that $3,200 in clients ends there is a misconception as well. Even ONE client can bring you in several thousands of dollars of revenue due to packages, referrals, products purchased, and gift cards. The lifetime value of one customer is more than your average hourly rate. This starts with customer service and getting clients booked from the get-go. How much money are you missing out on by not being able to cater to client’s inquiries when they call?
I first hired Jill’s Office when I realized that I was missing out on an average of $3500/mo for several months in a row. I still regret not having hired them earlier… who knows the potential that those clients could have done for my business. (I was referred to them by a deaf therapist who has been using them for years, which is also another reason for people with hearing impairments to delegate phone calls out.)
After my initial in-depth and very thorough consultation with Jill’s Office, I felt confident that I made the right choice. Not only are they professional, but they always answer the phone with a smile on their face, and take huge pride in customer service. I don’t have to worry if they are going to be rude to my clients, I am reassured that they can give proper directions to my clients and that they can elaborate on all the common FAQs people call about. They are very familiar with my software system, so booking a handful of new clients and filling my staff schedules is easy-peasy. Jill’s Office is an extension of my business. They save me money on having an in-house receptionist. They keep our schedules filled and our clients happy.
A while back, I interviewed my colleague Michelle Jeppesen about the common misconceptions and problems that arise in customer service called “Truth Bombs with Jill’s Office.” We experimented on random members of Badass Bodyworkers, and the results SHOCKED us. We had to spill the beans and call people out on why they are missing out on so much money and how to improve their overall customer service. You can hear why we were so flabbergasted by our own colleagues in the video HERE.
Jill’s Office understands the spa industry. They know how to converse with clients and get them booked. The receptionists are well versed in popular spa industry software systems such as Vagaro, MindBody, MassageBook, etc. and will make sure to turn your missed calls into REVENUE. Whether you prefer to be updated via their app or email, you can easily check and update all client statuses or listen to a client voicemail in seconds.
And best of all - they are affordable and have partnered with Badass Bodyworkers to provide busy industry professionals an in-depth customer service experience and take a load off your workload. For more info and a demo on hiring a virtual receptionist to boost your business, click HERE.