WHAT TO EXPECT AT A FOLLOW UP VISIT

July 14 2013

An implementation of Patra services doesn’t end when the Client Service Manager leaves your office.  In fact, it’s only just beginning.  In the days, weeks and months that follow the initial engagement, both Patra and the agency are learning workflows, processes, systems and personalities. This is the foundation on which the partnership is based.  An often-overlooked element of the implementation is the follow-up visit.  This meeting is an extension of the partnership and should be an open forum to discuss what’s going well, what could be better, and what changes may need to occur.

Your Patra team is here to assist you in making your agency more effective – we want to know all of the issues, positive and negative. If we don’t know what they are, we can’t help you fix them.

The single most important factor in ensuring a meaningful and effective follow-up meeting is preparation. Your Patra Client Service Manager will come prepared with a lot of information – data about volume and variety of tasks, documentation of any issues, and a variety of ideas and suggestions to make the engagement more effective.  From the agency perspective, your Patra manager will want to better understand what your staff feels about how the engagement is progressing.

COMMUNICATION is key!

Taking the pulse of your staff to learn how the engagement is going can sometimes not be as easy as asking, “What do you think of Patra?” We’ve found that agency staff often have small issues, concerns or questions that go unaddressed because they were never brought up.  These small issues, not voiced, are the sorts of things that can grow to big issues.  Every staff is different, but here are a few tips on ensuring that your staff has a forum to fearlessly voice their feelings.

  • Be Open: As much as we think that an open door will invite communication, there’s often an unseen barrier that stifles constructive feedback. “Pleasing the boss,” is a natural behavior and we frequently see a mindset that says, “Well, the boss chose to work with Patra, I don’t want to voice a concern that looks like it challenges that decision.” Patra is here to help your staff get the most from their time and effort and to make their jobs better.  Please be honest in your request for feedback, good OR bad.
  • Start Early: Keep a rolling log of issues.  Waiting until a week before the follow-up meeting will miss a lot of the everyday frustrations that can really make a difference in morale.  And don’t be shy about sharing it – your Patra Manager would be happy to get the feedback as you get it and in fact would prefer it!
  • Seek Out the Individual: In addition to asking for feedback in staff meetings, if you see an account manager or CSR in the hall, ask how it’s going. The dynamics of a group meeting can limit what staff will say. Sometimes that word in passing will lead to a change that makes everyone’s job easier.

What Else to Expect

Your Patra representative will have a report to go over with you and your team explaining production as well as reported issues.  It is a PowerPoint presentation that you will get a copy of.

We generally like to do a “Patra Refresher” during our follow up visits and answer any questions your staff may have about how Patra works or any general questions they may have.  We have found that staff sometimes “get in the groove” and forgets that this is a collaborative process, working together to make processes efficient.  These staff meetings are very helpful to not only your staff, but for Patra, as we can address issues directly.  It also lets everyone get to know each other a bit better.

If you have been thinking of other services that Patra may be able to offer your agency help with, please ask!  You can find a link to our most popular services here: www.patracorp.com/services .  If you do not see the process you are thinking of, don’t fret!  We are always adding more services and would be happy to speak with you about them.

As always, please feel free to contact your Patra representative at any time with any questions, comments, issues or concerns you may have.