Okaysies, so lately we’ve been talking about biz systems + organisational stuff in the Academy mastermind forum on Faceybookiewookie.
And one sweetheart asked this question:
How did you hand over your email to someone else to handle?
Logistically, how did you do it and then how did you look after the bits that you actually would need to respond to for example; I work w my clients 1:1 and part of that is communicating with them directly over email as well as real estate agents. how would I manage the things I need to while outsourcing the rest?
Also what about subscriptions? Sometimes I want to read someone’s article/newsletter other times I don’t. How does my email fairy sort that out for me
How would you “check” to ensure all your emails are being answered by the VA and secondly that they are being handled the correct way!
My guess is a bunch of you are wondering the same thing.
So I thought I’d create a little how to to help ya’ll along on the path.
Here’s how to work it:
1. Decide it needs to happen. Preferably before you want to neck yourself.
At a certain point in your business you’ll realise you need to stop being the bottleneck in your business. That you simply can’t keep up with the emails. That they are stopping you from creating the strategy of your business and growing it intentionally.
You might also find these articles useful: 13 Steps To Hiring An Exceptional VA and How To Hire Staff When You Want To Do It All Yourself.
Either set yourself a date for making enough money to hire a VA.
Or come up with a plan of what you need to do in order to afford one.
Or if you are just procrastinating because you’re afraid… you’re going to have to jump and do it.
2. Hire ’em
Use the steps in the hiring program to find your right team member.
3. Create your email Standard Operating Procedures
Write up a set of instructions on how to answer the common questions that come into your inbox.
Write the answers exactly how you want them answered. You want to get tone across as well in that personal style of how you like your customers to be treated. I prefer mine to verge on joyful sovereignty with love.
5. Train ’em
You’re going to need to have a convo (preferably over the phone/Skype/Google Hangouts) where you can communicate exactly what you want, including:
- how often emails are to be answered each day/week
- where they can find the email Standard Operating Procedures to use
- what to do with emails they don’t know the answer to.
6. Be prepared for training time
It’ll take at least a couple of weeks before your new VA hits their stride in confidently answering emails. Be prepared for a lot of emails from them asking what they should do with emails that aren’t super simple.
7. Either pre-check or retro-actively check responses for coaching purposes
Either get your new VA to save drafts of emails for you to check before they are sent out, or go through and check email responses after they’ve been sent. Do this for at least for the first couple of weeks. Coach your new VA with what needs to change in order to make them the best they can be. Communicate, communicate, communicate.
8. Set up your own private email
This should only be given to peeps who absoloodely must have direct access to you.
For example, the only peeps who know mine are:
- my team
- my family/friends.
My team will answer emails to me for me – they either ask me for a response during our weekly team meetings on Google Hangouts, or I’ll send it from my private email to my VAs to send on.
9. How to handle email coaching clients
If you have private coaching clients who have email access to you, you can either give them your private email, or set up a coaching email address.
I’d suggest setting up a separate coaching email address. That way you’re less inclined to think “ohhhhh I’ll just check my email before I go to bed…” and wind up staying up half the night thinking about a response or deciding to just stay up and work.
That way you can have some lovely self-boundaries in place that you only check it once a day or three times a week and set aside time to respond then and there with some great, thoughtful responses. (Of course, you’ll need to communicate with your clients about your time frame for responding.)
10. How to deal with email subscriptions
Get your VA to unsubscribe from all that end up in your main email account.
Then – here’s my challenge to you – you can only sign up for ones to go to your private email account if you can remember them off the top of your head and still really enjoy them and find them useful.
Don’t look back on what you’re already subscribed to.
Just resubscribe to the ones you remember, use and love!
11. Have boundaries
Do NOT go into your business email account everyday after the training period for your VA is complete. Once you trust they are doing a great job, you need to either decide to not go in there at all (and instead just get updates about potential issues/changes to be made in team meetings), or do a review once a month or so and see if there’s anything that needs optimising on the customer service front.
12. You can also automate your customer service quality
My mate Laura Freaking! Roeder taught me this trick – if you use a service like Help Scout, you can install Team Hively to imbed a customer satisfaction rating in your emails. And then you can review that each month to see how your customer service is going!
13. Now Enjoy The Faaarrrck Outta Your Free Time (But Don’t Get Bloody Well Distracted!)
Make sure you don’t fill the vacuum of email-less time with other unimportant bullshit (social media, Imalooking at you).
Make sure you stay FOCUSSED on creating passive income, creating what needs to be created, driving your business forward. Put your CEO hat on and go to town!
You’ve got some big dreams to make come true.
Now go do ’em!
Your loving fan,