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March 10, 2011

Going on vacation?

How to lose half your clients while on vacation!
 
Are you going on vacation?  Smart notaries call all of their regular clients up and let them know that they will be away.  Its good to let people know when you will and won’t have phone or internet access just in case.  Smart notaries give everyone a “heads up” in any situation just to let people know what to expect.  The worst thing for a signing company is to be left high and dry by a notary, and it happens all the time.
 
Will you lose your clients?
If your clients love you and swear by you, you are in good shape.  Sure, they will use a substitute while you are gone, but if you are loyal and good to them, they will go back to using you when you come back, especially since you gave them a  “heads up” before you left.   Not all notaries are so clever though. Many notaries just leave when they feel like it, and when their regulars call, they get an answering machine and no call back.  Thats a no-no!  The main thing is to give great service when you are in town, so that everyone will wait for you during the periof of time when you are going to be away.
 
When should you go on vacation?
Its good to get away regularly.  If you are on a budget, even a nice camping trip will do you a lot of good. There is nothing better than being around trees, rocks, grass, and animals — so long as the animals are not bigger than you (or hungrier).  Keep your food in a bear container if bears are around. Nature replenishes the body’s qi supply and replenishes the mind and soul.  Your mind needs a break and needs a few days to think about something completely different than phones, work, pressure, and problems. 
 
I recommend going away no earlier than the 4th of the month and no later than the 14th of any particular month.  The first few days of the month sometimes have some clean up issues from problems during the end of the month rush.  Going towards the end of the month when people need you is suicide. Of course, since the economy is so bad, the end of the month rush might not be such a rush.  But, in general, go when its quiet.  December is generally a slow month in general, and people expect that you might be away for the holidays anyway.
 
Excuses, excuses.
Don’t be an excuse maker.  Nobody wants to hear it.  Whenever notaries fail to call a signing company back, the signing company often comes to me, and I always get the same types of excuses. 
 
(1) “I was on vacation in Panama and didn’t have access to a phone”. 
Commentary – you could check into an internet cafe every few days.  Internet cafes exist in almost all countries.
 
(2) “I was at a funeral, and couldn’t step out”
Commentary – Did the funeral last for the 72 consecutive hours that you were not able to make your call for? — Did someone had a gun to your head who wouldn’t let you go to the bathroom either during this time? Give me a break!
 
(3) “I was in the hospital and couldn’t make a phone call”
Commentary – If you are not incapacitated, and want to keep your customers, call them NO MATTER WHAT!
 
Be accountable for your last job.
Notaries often get in trouble when they are on vacation. They forget that they have to be accountable for the last few jobs that they did.  Maybe there was a mistake.  Its usually a mistake made by the Title company or Lender, but the notary still needs to be responsive.  Many phone plans will charge you $2.00 per minute to answer calls overseas.  $2 is less expensive than losing a client!  Stay in touch, and keep your clients.  Getting clients is hard, but losing them is easy.  Just be unresponsive while on vacation!
 
Maybe its good to not do any jobs for 48 hours before your trip!
In this economy you need all the jobs you can get.  But, if you do a job, and are in Japan the next day, what if there is a problem with the loan?  The lender will need you to go back and fix the problem with the loan whether its your fault or not, and if you are in a Zen garden in Osaka with no phone, this will be difficult.  At a minimum, let the signing company know that if there is any type of problem, you will be staying in Kyoto and that they can call the hotel there if they need you.  Then say, “Sayonara”.
 
Map out where the internet cafes are.
Its tough when you are on vacation.  There are tight itineraries, foreign languages, strange customs, and even stranger people depending on where you go!  Just getting off the plane and getting to your hotel without an intestinal challenge can be a mouthful in itself in many countries.  Should you schedule time between your museums and culinary adventures to spend thirty minutes at an internet cafe?  If could save you a client.  Then, go back to your trip, enjoy the scenery, enjoy your tours, savor your nights out, and then enjoy the pleasures of reverse culture shock and jet lag once your plane lands and you arrive back on American soil!
 
The main point is to warn people ahead of time regarding where you will be and when.  When you are not around, its much better if you are accessible through one means or another too.

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1 Comment »

  1. I think this is very good advice to know, and it makes sense. I have just had to leave town for a funeral and I am going to sit down now to do just this. Thank-you

    Comment by tonya — July 6, 2013 @ 2:51 am

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