No matter how hard you try there are going to be times when a client cancels their account and stops using your services. As virtual assistants, we get used to this happening from time to time. Sometimes you know the reasons why and other times you don't.
Because of our experience in the virtual staffing industry, we've been in a position for many years to get real answers from clients about why they cancel their account. This article is being offered to virtual assistants everywhere as a point of reference on what makes a successful virtual administrative assistant. In other words, what are the successful ones doing that the unsuccessful ones aren't?
The successful virtual administrative assistants:
- Are communicating regularly with their clients
- Are keeping regular business hours. Yes, working virtually does allow for flexibility of hours.BUT, it doesn't mean you can shirk your duties without repercussions.
- Following through with their promises.
- Giving their clients daily updates.
- Letting their clients know immediately when there's a problem.
- Giving their clients a heads up when they have a planned day off - as soon as they know about it.
- Are not treating their position as a hobby to be taken lightly.
- Are treating their position as a JOB and taking it seriously.
- Are taking a proactive approach to potential problems.
- Are taking ownership and responsibility for their work.
- Are not blaming others for their shortcomings.
- Are not blaming others for work that didn't get done.
- Are continuing to learn more about the software's they're required to use on a regular basis - Word, Excel, etc.
- Respond quickly to client requests.
- Promptly return phone calls from clients.
- Make themselves available when the client needs them.
- Realize that to EARN flexibility from the client, they themselves cannot be rigid.
- Don't make demands of the client, rather offer suggestions for improvement.
- Are offering to help the client grow his business realizing that this will make their position that much more secure and will allow their position to grow in the process.
- Are keeping their clients apprised of their marketing efforts, offering suggestions or solutions when necessary.
- Are up selling the client - letting the client know what other duties they might do to lighten the client's load.
- Are being respectful of the client, realizing s/he holds the purse strings.
- Are exercising patience with a demanding client.
- Are reporting their time accurately.
- Never talk badly about their client to others
- Never talk badly about others to their client
All of these things and many other factors, weigh into being successful as an admin/virtual/freelancer/contractor.But first and foremost, you must realize that despite its outward appearance - this is a JOB. The client will expect you to treat it as such and not as something to be done when you decide you have time.
Most clients, for example, don't make any outlandish requests - just normal, everyday duties that they've hired a virtual assistant to do and they expect them to be done. That's really not too much for any client to ask, is it?