I have a friend who just had surgery and was told to make follow up appointments ten days and four weeks after coming home from the hospital. When she called to make those appointments, she was told there were no openings for six weeks.

After a series of frustrating phone calls, she reached the doctor’s nurse, who, of course, got her scheduled.

When services you provide are designed to be used as a series, why not package them that way? When someone makes an appointment for this surgery, at that time schedule the two follow up visits. When you buy a new set of tires, at that time schedule the re-torquing that is necessary after 100 miles. When you book a photography session, at that time book the session to review your proofs.

We all spend too much of our time doing follow up: resending the emails that are not answered, chasing down the forms that are not submitted, waiting for the calls that go unreturned. Don’t add scheduling to the list. When you know there will be a part 2 or part 3, treat it all as one action to add to your calendar.

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