We ask advisers for their tips on managing clients when they go on holiday...
Martin Bamford, managing director, Informed Choice:
"In order to have a relaxing and issue-free holiday, you need to have robust systems and processes in place, as well as people who are confident and competent.
The aim should be ‘business as usual’ during your holiday, with minimal disruption to business operations. This takes a bit of forward planning. Employees, self-employed advisers and clients need to understand who does what when you are not there.
Out of office messages on your email system should give clear instructions about who to contact when you are on holiday. With email now a main form of communication, it is important that people know they are not going to get a response in your absence.
Alternatively, you could set up your email system to automatically forward messages to an assistant who could filter them and reply where necessary.
Technology means you do not need to be completely out of touch during your holiday, unless you want to be. During my recent holiday, I was able to check my emails on my iPhone and even remotely access my office PC a couple of times using a netbook, wi-fi connection and Citrix.
Of course keeping your business running smoothly when you are on holiday is really about dealing with some fundamental structural issues long before you start your vacation.
If you have a team based approach within your business, then clients are not overly reliant on one individual for everything. They will feel comfortable talking to a member of the support team or another adviser when you are not there; not only when you are away on holiday but at any other time of the year."
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