Whether you run a private practice or a company in the services sector, keeping up with client appointments shows your clients that you’re serious about doing business with them. They have a tendency to run away and never come back if you don’t stand by your commitments. The risk of falling off the radar increases proportionately with the amount of clients you have. So, in such a business, your number one priority should be to keep up with their schedules.
There are a number of solutions to this problem, such as using index cards, Post-it notes, or a wall calendar. Many businesses still use these because they’re unaware of the new technologies that can keep them organized with their clients in a manner that’s much more efficient and less messy. Such solutions include using cloud-based CRM software (like Citrix’s Podio) or desktop database applications like ClientTickler. Both solutions have their advantages, and both of them get the job done with little need for effort or technical know-how.
With Podio, you get a fully-customized interface on the cloud that lets you create your own applications. The learning curve is a bit hefty sometimes, but you don’t have to be an IT engineer to understand the concept. Once you get used to it, you can create an application within minutes that allows you to track all of your clients. For small teams with up to 5 users, it’s free, so it doesn’t hurt to try it out. As I’ve mentioned earlier, the interface may be confusing at first, but it’s worth going through the learning curve.
If you’re looking for a strictly calendar-based application that allows you to keep a tight relationship with your clients, you might find ClientTickler more to your advantage. The company offers its software for free on the first 25 uses, after which you would have to pay $99 for a basic license. The professional license that allows you to send emails via Outlook, add multiple tasks at once, create templates for tasks, and track billable time runs at around $199. They also offer a multi-user version, which you can run on a centralized server for your employees to share the database with.
Basically, ClientTickler lets you schedule appointments, arrange introductions, and get all of your client data organized into one database. This is the ideal solution for doctors, lawyers, and real estate agents running their own practices; but it’s also great for small inns or restaurants that have receptionist computers that are cut off from the Internet but are still connected to the local area network of the establishment, as is the case with many small operations.
So, there you have it! These are two solutions that can keep your business from falling into Santa’s naughty list. With streamlined client management, you can now focus on other things such as making that perfect espresso!