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September 13, 2016

The Self Nanny-ing Notary

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: , , , — admin @ 11:24 am

The Self Nanny-ing Notary

We all hate to be micro-managed by others. But, we really do micro-manage ourselves. We make thousands of little decisions every day. That decision making does not trouble us; it’s a natural part of our daily lives. It’s the intrusive and disruptive that we perceive as being obnoxious. Well, there is a good lesson to be learned from those “newbie” shops that recruit fledgling notaries. They, if one is open to learning from them; provide an excellent tutorial on notary/client communications. That’s an area many of us have room for improvement.

In addition to the baseline of providing a perfectly executed set of documents, you will be judged by your attention to communications. This is one area when “too much” is way better than “to little”. Some examples: I have confirmed the date, time and location with the affiant. I received the documents via email. I printed two sets, some went to letter size, and some went to legal. I have the airbill. I am leaving for the assignment (tells them that you can no longer receive an updated document). I have arrived and am with the affiant. We have completed signing. I am taking the package to the shipper. The package has been scanned and is trackable. I am sending you my W9 and Invoice. Thank you for selecting me, I appreciate your business.

All of that, every time? Of course not – but, as those are typical of the nanny shops; they show information that is meaningful to your employer. If you have a reputation, have done many jobs for them, perhaps only 2 or 3 of the above are necessary. But, if you wish to make a great start with a new client; keeping them informed is really the right thing to do. Not sure if they want a minute by minute email – ask them; let them tell you the level of communications wanted.

Most, but not all, of the example I routinely do. It’s easy with a properly set up cell phone’s email software. Result? Many comment that they like the communications. Keep in mind that even though we receive a modest fee; others are depending on us to earn their substantially larger commissions. And, they do want to know that things are proceeding smoothly. Your updates let them know that no problems have developed; otherwise you would have mentioned them. As mentioned, ask if they would prefer frequent progress updates, or just the final “signed & shipped”.

Today I had a client frantic about a package that had not been delivered on time. Fortunately, it is my custom to either scan or cell camera photograph the drop off receipt and email that with my “signed and shipped” statement. Of course when they supply the airbill they have access to the drop off location and time. However, my email with the client name (the initial “work order” that they sent to me) and the drop off image makes it much easier for them. That email from me ties the client name to a tracking number. It also puts me “out of the loop” at I can prove the drop off was punctual in relation to the signing completion time.

While I don’t permit others to micro-manage me with frequent calls, I have no problem providing very frequent status updates via email. Incoming calls are intrusive, they busy my line; possibly costing me a new assignment. Sending updates via email, short and to the point is the way to go.

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September 6, 2016

The Rapid Response Notary

The Rapid Response Notary

We frequently see the flashing lights and hear the wailing siren. It could be a fire truck, police car or an ambulance. They know the value of a rapid response, often minutes, sometimes seconds will make the difference between being –on time- or being late. Their systems have evolved to, in many ways; shave seconds wherever possible. They use short radio codes in lieu of lengthy verbiage. Often they send a signal to the traffic light to turn green for them. The classic image of sliding down the pole to the fire truck, so much faster than stairs; is known to all.

While our clients rarely have life threatening situations, they too desire a rapid response. Most of use endeavor to avoid our incoming calls going to voicemail; a good start. True, we make lots of calls ourselves, tying up that very important incoming line. Simple solution: use two phones; they are certainly cheap enough. One should be dedicated to incoming calls, and nothing else. The other is for outgoing calls, and those critically important email and text functions.

You just completed the signing, time to send “signed with no issues” to your client. Soon after you have just dropped off the edocs with FedEx. Being a good communicator you send a second status of “package is with FedEx, scanned, and now trackable”. But, that’s not worth setting up an external keyboard, so you “thumb” it into the tiny phone keyboard. However there is a better way. Install on your phone(s) a macro facility that can generate the standard messages, and many others. I use the “signature” facility in ProfiMail (my email program), to select the appropriate message. It took a while to setup; but now those routine messages can be sent with little effort. More importantly: they are sent moments after the event.

Possibly on your business card you list both your home and cell numbers. When you are out on an assignment and a call goes to your home phone will it be forwarded to your cell? Most phone providers allow this, and if you configure it to forward on the 5th ring, you will have plenty of time to answer the phone when home. The objective is to not have clients connect to voicemail.

I assume you use a Bluetooth hands free device with your phone. Just holding a phone while driving will qualify you for a traffic citation, and possibly a fatal accident. You have the phone mounted where it can be seen and reached easily, great. Another problem, the caller wants to give you some detailed information to write down. Most of the time I request the caller to send me the information via email, and offer my email address. But, they are driving too, or unable to text or email. That is when I ask permission to start the voice recorder in my cell phone. A quick tap of a widget on the home screen starts the recording function in Dictomate.

I prefer a separate GPS device and rarely use the one in the cell phone. At a critical turn, a “pop up” for an incoming call can be annoying. No GPS? – you become a “Delayed Response Notary” while you struggle to ask at gas stations which way to your destination. It’s a good idea to go to the right house the first time. But, the GPS does not indicate which it is in a “cluster”. That’s the time to use a powerful flashlight to find the house number; avoiding the neighbor’s guard dog!


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