Something that has helped me in my practice is implementing a few systems for when a potential client calls or emails me for a new session. I’ll share what has helped me and maybe it will spark an idea for yourself when it comes to being productive vs. being busy and overwhelmed.
Creating a Canned Response on Gmail
I use GSuite for my email service for my practice. A great tool I use is having “canned” responses set-up. These are emails that are pre-written that you can easily input into the body of the messages and this is a huge time saver! It even fills in the subject line!
I use these emails when I get inquiries via email about my packages and how to set-up an initial session.
Now remember, you don’t want to send a generic email to a potential client, but it is a great template to follow. Be sure that you fill in the blanks when you are going to use the template as well.
Get a script together
Know how you will respond when clients call with an inquiry. The majority of clients calling to set-up a session have a set of questions when it comes to availability, rates, if you take insurance, location, initial intake paperwork process, and what does therapy look like. Be sure to know how to respond and have a cheat sheet ready and close by in case you need it. When you know the answer quickly and can ease the process for the client who is calling, they feel confident in your professionalism!
Intake paperwork process
If you have an EMR that incorporates an online client portal, I highly recommend that you use it. This has been helpful for me because I have my clients submit their intake assessment prior to their session, so it saves time during the initial session and my clients enjoy being able to complete this information at home. A tip to include on your intake assessment, is to ask how the client heard about your services, this helps with knowing how your marketing is working.
Balancing your personal calendar with the long list of private practice calendar is definitely a skill. Find a system that will help you organize everything outside of your head. If you are using your EMR to schedule clients, link this to your personal Google or Apple Calendar. Personally, I have my Theranest Calendar synced with my Google Calendar and it’s great when I’m planning networking events and taking care of personal errands. Another tip to manage your to-do lists is Trello, I highly recommend it for balancing your different to-do lists.
When setting these systems up, know that it may need to change as your practice grows or as you become more comfortable. It’s okay if this needs to happen and adapting your systems to a new phase of your practice is a great problem to have!
I hope you find these tips helpful when you are setting up a system as you fill up your caseload.
Priscilla Rodriguez is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who owns a private practice, Modern Wellness Counseling
, in San Antonio, TX. She works with couples and individuals who are wanting to enhance their relationships and connections with others. She offers online services and an online relationship class; which couples can learn a multitude of research-based relationship skills.