client service / dealing with clients

Just Say NO

Especially in the early days of building a new advocacy or care management practice, you might be very tempted to attempt to fulfill any request that comes your way.

But smart business owners know when to say NO.

Sometimes it seems almost impossible to eek that small word out of our mouths!  But there will be as many times it’s important for NO to be your answer as they will be times you can agree. Maybe more.

So many advocates, because they have such HUGE hearts, want to please the person they respond to. But being a people pleaser at the wrong time won’t help you build a strong business.

When might NO be the right answer? 

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Oops!

Nobody is perfect and you will make mistakes.  We all do!

You might forget to return a phone call, or you may invoice a client for too much or too little. You might run late, or even fail to appear at an appointment, or you might make a math mistake on a medical bill review … or thousands of other errors, large and small.

There are three “must dos” when you learn you’ve messed up in some way, as follows:

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The First Question to Ask a Potential Client

How exciting!

You’ve got a real live potential new client on the phone… you dive right in and begin asking questions, letting them answer, listening carefully, taking copious notes… a good start, right?

The potential new client seems very ready to speak with you. He seems to know just how to answer your questions. He seems pretty savvy about what the advocate-patient relationship might look like. 

What a joy!

Or…. is it?

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Leave Transportation to the Professionals

New advocates are often surprised to hear the advice, “Never transport a patient yourself.”

At first it seems like transportation would be a great service to provide, especially to seniors who may no longer want to, or be able to, drive themselves. How convenient for their patient advocate to provide transportation!

But let’s examine the idea for a moment, and you’ll see why transporting a client is a bad idea.

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Friends Aren’t Clients

As advocates, we often hear from “friends”:

“My friend really needs help!  Her health is deteriorating and she has trouble getting to the doctor. Will you help her?”

“My sister can’t handle her medical bills and they are piling up. I need an advocate who can help her organize them and get them paid.”

“My boyfriend has chronic pain and gets so frustrated with his doctor because he won’t help him. I need you to talk to his doctor.”

… and so forth…

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