It’s something we hear all the time. Sales and service professionals telling the world they are available 24/7 or even 24/7/365. Don’t get me wrong. Kudos to those who work hard and keep going when others are closing up for the day. That kind of effort almost always pays off.
I do struggle with the concept of 24/7 when it applies to individuals. Stores, shops and businesses may be open 24/7, but can an individual, really?
If someone is working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, chances are they’ll be dead in a week, so let’s assume that they mean that they are available to their customers/clients 24/7. Does that really make sense?
I care for my clients and team as much as the next professional but, sorry, I’m not going to be available 24/7. When I hear someone promising this, the following thoughts run through my head:
- no you aren’t, what else are you telling me that’s not true?
- how come when I call you, I’m put on hold?
- so, you’re okay with me calling at 3:00 a.m. to chat?
- who are you trying to impress?
- does that mean you’re a workaholic?
- what does your family think of the idea?
- how close are you to burn out?
Okay, I’m having a little bit of fun, so let’s get serious. What’s wrong with proudly stating our real numbers?
I’m confident in telling my clients that, “I’m available to you 14/6. My phone goes on at 7:00 in the morning, and I stop taking calls at 9;00 in the evening. I don’t work Sundays. Outside of my regular hours, text me. If I am able, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can, but it may not be until 6:00 am tomorrow/Monday. Oh, and I do take 3 – 4 weeks vacation each year. When I do, I have people to back me up who have the same integrity and dedication as I do. You’ll be well looked after.
“The reason I do this is to maintain a healthy life balance with adequate time for family, rest and exercise. You see, when I’m at your service, I want to be top of my game, focused, energetic and low on stress. You can be sure that when I’m with you in person, on the phone or on-line that you’re getting the very best from me. How does this sound to you?”
Of course, this is just me. You may have your own times and activities to insert.
You can argue with me. All I can tell you is that every client I have told this to is absolutely fine with it, and a number have complimented me on my approach.
There’s nothing wrong with spending time on you and your family, and any reasonable customer or client will appreciate it.