It’s always important to make sure that your clients are kept in the loop when you’re going to be away on business — especially if your trip is going to be for any significant length on time. Follow these best practices to ensure that your clients are well taken care of for the duration of your travel.
- Always let them know well in advance. About a month in advance is a good time to begin prepping clients for your departure. You can follow this up with a notice a week before you leave, just to catch anyone who may have missed your notices the first time. Otherwise they may be caught off guard, having simply assumed you would be available.
- Brief your temporary replacement on each client. Take some time to go over your client list with the person who will be assuming your duties and answer questions about each one. Things that may be second nature to you might not come as easily to someone who isn’t familiar with your accounts! Your replacement will also need to know how to prioritize each account.
- Add information and contact details to your email auto-response and voicemail. Your email auto-response and voicemail should include the following:
- When your trip started and when it will end.
- Who to contact while you are gone, for ordinary questions.
- Who to contact if they need an immediate response.
- (Optional) Your cell phone number for emergencies.
If you’re going to be available via email during your business trip, you may not want to put in an auto-response on your email — but you might still want to send out an email to your clients notifying them that you are traveling and that you may have difficulty responding at specific times for that reason.
- Introduce your primary clients to your temporary replacement. If you’re going to be away for more than a couple of weeks, it’s usually considered good form to introduce any of your higher priority clients directly to your temporary replacement. This is especially essential in areas of finance. Your client will want to know who is taking care of their business, and it will be easier for your replacement to deal with your clients once they have an introduction.
If handled properly, your clients may never even be aware that you’re gone! The goal is to provide as little disruption to their ordinary services as possible, and the above best practices will facilitate this. Don’t forget that there may be times when there are emergencies, so make sure that you are available.Tags: Business travel, travel tips