Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Drive EAP Utlization Up with the Smallest Things

It sounds simple, but one of the best ways to get word-of-mouth publicity and build credibility fast for your EAP is to return phone calls to potential employee clients and supervisors quickly. Instant gratification is what people want. (Yes, it’s tough, I know.) The 21st century is the era of high-level customer service, and customers have expectations that are no less for EAPs. But how do you respond quickly when you are so busy doing more with less? Here are a few ideas from EAPs in the trenches: 1) Leave appointment times in your return messages for your callers to select. It will reduce telephone tagging. They’ll call back with a chosen time. Place a star in your appointment book to indicate the times you gave out so you don’t fill them with other clients. 2) Unless it is an emergency, develop the habit of returning voicemail messages in the order that you receive them--first in, first out. Don’t mentally categorize messages into several layers of importance. You’ll reduce your stress by having stored 40 voicemails, later having to go back and search like a madman for the one you want. 3) If you promised a client to do research on some issue, like searching for a special topic 12-step group--after a day or two, call the client to update your progress. Don’t keep a client wondering, even if you have no information yet. This is tantamount to a waitress in a restaurant walking past you because they aren't ready to serve you. It's the acknowledgement you want, not the food.