Following up with a client once they have left your center is one of the most important things you can do to ensure support and build trust with that individual.
A client’s situation can quickly change once she has left your center. A woman who showed excitement about her pregnancy may go home and find her parents or the child’s father are not supportive of her decision. She may be surprised to find she does not have support, and you might be the only one in a position to encourage her to carry the baby. You may also be the only person she feels she can reach out to during an unsafe situation.
Sometimes, you will find the opposite news to be true. A woman who came in seeking an abortion might tell you that she has changed her mind and that she would like information about maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
At the end of the day, following up with a client communicates that you care. For an abortion-minded client who visited your center and decided to follow through with the procedure, you may have been the only individual who knew she was ever pregnant.
Regardless of whether a client has answered your follow up calls or messages, she will know that you cared enough to reach out regardless of her actions. If she continues to make the same lifestyle choices, she may find herself in need of your center’s services in the future.
She is more likely to consider coming back to your center if you have shown that you support her in a way that is not contingent on her actions. Continued communication and relationship building are ways to show unconditional love to her.
Some clients may choose not to be contacted after their visit. We recommend including an option on your initial client intake form requesting permission to call, text or email after the visit. Offer the opportunity to indicate a preferred means of contact. We would also recommend your center offer an option to call from a blocked line.
If your center does not have an in-office cell phone that can send text messages, you may want to consider purchasing a cell phone for the sole purpose of contacting clients. You can also download texting apps on computers if purchasing a cell phone is not an option.
Here are a few additional tips for following up with clients:
- Take a few moments to review the client’s chart prior to the follow up. You may be reminded to reference a special event, job interview or wish her a happy birthday if it is appropriate and was addressed during the last visit. Regularly charting detailed notes after client visits will allow you to communicate more personally and let the client know you were listening and care about small details.
- We recommend making three follow up attempts. Again, this can be done with a phone call, text message or email. Just be sure that the means of your follow-up was approved on the client’s original intake form. If given permission, it is best to talk over the phone. The client should initially be contacted within two to three days of their appointment.
- Once the call, text message or email is delivered to the client, chart your conversation or follow-up attempt. This allows you to refer to your discussion, or lack thereof, on a later date. Charting also helps you remember how many times you followed up with the client and ensures you reach three follow-up attempts.
Whether it be a first time father, abortion-minded woman or a client who receives a negative pregnancy test, follow-ups should be done to ensure holistic care and support.