A lot of my friends in the field of virtual assistance are asking me how I manage to maintain my clients while they on the other hand cannot even find one client that will give them long term work. Well the answer is “reliability”.
Answer emails promptly
For more than 5 years I have always been reliable and I try my best to answer emails as soon as I get them. If I can’t respond in detail immediately, I would at least reply that I got the email and will be replying in detail later of the day. This would assure the client that I did receive the email and that I am already aware of it and will be working on it.
When there are days that I can’t work, I email my client in advance so they can prepare and plan ahead of time what to do in my absense. I do this because I am aware that my absence may interrupt the flow of my client business and they may panick if not properly informed. In case of emergencies, I still send an email to inform my client that I won’t be able to work. Again this re-assure the client that I didn’t disappear just like the many VA’s they have hired in the past.
It is very important to send daily update so that your client will know what you have been up to, what you were able to accomplish and it will also let them know if you need more work for the next day. I think the secret here is consideration. I want to be considerate at most time with my client because the reason why they hired an assistant is because they are already overwhelmed with work. If the client has to chase you for a daily update, then it has defeated the purpose of hiring you in the first place. Always, always put yourself in your client shoe and try to think what you would need, and want to know or understand if you were the client and report that on your update. This action will be greatly appreciated.
Because virtual work is “real work” you need to be present and easily reached via skype of gtalk for chat or calls. Answer chat/calls immediately. If you have to go out, then put the correct status – Away or Sign out so that your client will not get infuriated when you have taken 3 hours to respond to his/her message. Again, put yourself on your client shoe and try to imagine how you would feel. It’s better to ask permission if you need to go out during working hours. You will be less stressed thinking that your client may have messaged you while you are running an errand.
Make it a habit
Make it a habit to be reliable and it will come a long way. Some of my past clients (per project) has come back to me several times and has even referred me to a lot of their friends because they said I am reliable and I don’t disappear like most VA’s do. You don’t need to be the greatest VA to become successful. You just need work hard and always always be “reliable”.
What about you? What’s the secret to your success – come and share and let’s learn from each other experiences!