Ok, you're not going to like this. You're really not going to like this, but I have some pretty earth shattering, critical advice for you. This will transform how you care for your clients. It's radical, though, so don't be mad.
Return phone calls. Or even better yet, actually answer the phone.
(shock, sputter, gasp, cry)
I know, I know, that is absolutely cruel and old fashioned to ask that of you, but guess what? It works.
Let me give you an example in my own experience, something that is happening right now in fact for me:
I sent a pretty important email to someone about two weeks ago. Inside the email was some rather crucial information, but I have yet to receive a reply. I've heard through the grapevine that this person is mulling over what I asked, but I haven't even received a "Got your email, will get back to you soon!" reply.
Now, what am I thinking? He's busy. I know its important to him, but he's busy. He has to think about it and then he'll get back to me.
Notice who is doing the work, at this point? Me. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. I'm waiting on him. I'm making his excuses for him. I'm explaining to myself why he is not getting back to me. And truthfully, I'm getting very frustrated.
Dear piano teacher friends, YOUR clients should not be doing the work. You should be.
If you're like me, it gets to be overwhelming and it becomes easy to procrastinate on getting back to people. Easy to procrastinate on returning that phone call or replying to that text.
But don't do it. Give yourself a 24 hour return rule. Your clients deserve that and believe me, they will appreciate it.
I haven't always done this perfectly, but I'm trying to get better at it.
In fact, a few moments ago, a client of mine who is also a friend, called my cell phone. And (gasp, sputter), I actually answered it. I'm glad I did.
And you will be too.