As a Virtual Assistant looking after a number of clients, it is really important to diarise items that need following up.
With the increased number of emails, phone calls, and information to read and take in, it is very easy to get in overload mode and not realise that someone didn’t respond to your email or phone call till several days later, or even weeks later. I usually do make a note to follow up on behalf of clients but often forget to do this for my own personal things. I mean, you just expect that people will respond and return phone calls or reply to emails but they just don’t, do they?
Two cases in point:
1. A client emailed me at the beginning of this month to get a mail merge letter out on her behalf – she knew I was going on holiday soon and was keen to get this done before I went away. After all I had given her (and all my clients) over a month’s notice so they could get work in – before the last minute. However, she didn’t check to see if I’d gotten the email and rang in a panic over a week later, a few days prior to my leaving, because she’d not heard from me.
I hadn’t received her email at all so was unaware of this job to be done and it ended up being an urgent one that had to be fit in amongst all the other last minute stuff that clients gave me last week – something I had hoped to avoid by giving them all over a month’s notice in the first place! If the client had made note to contact me just a few days later to see if I had received the job it would have saved her some panic, and me some stress in trying to fit something else in.
2. I contacted an organisation about my forthcoming book launch but didn’t chase them up when I didn’t receive a response because they’d been slow in responding the last time I contacted them. However, a good 2 weeks had passed so I rang them only to find out they had emailed me the very day I had spoken to them last – again, it left me with last minute activity before I go away.
Now, I know you’re thinking, what’s up with her email? Usually, nothing – it works 99% of the time, but email is not 100% proof, and emails can get held up in spam filters – even if I check it regularly just in case. And it’s always the case the Murphy’s Law will strike when it’s least needed. But the above should help emphasise how important it is that we put in our diaries follow up activities when we are expecting a response – just in case the person we contacted didn’t get our message or it got lost in a filter or just the general busy-ness of life. KMT