This week I have to be away from the helm of my business for a few days while I travel and settle down in a new country. This is no different to taking a holiday, going away for a few days, being too ill to work, or having to drop everything due to unforeseen personal circumstances. I am not available to work as I would normally work.
Clients and work still exist and projects, tasks and assignments will still need to be processed in my absence, especially for those clients on retainer agreements, and naturally any client facing the absence of their VA may be wondering what happens while that virtual assistant is away.
Whether you have a team or a virtual business partner where you ‘cover’ for each other’s clients while you are away, there is a way that you could introduce a “point of contact” for your clients so they know how to get in touch if they need something or something has gone wrong while you are absent.
You may have heard of this nifty online system before. Plaxo.com is a contact and address organiser online, which can sync with your various computers, email clients, like Google Apps, and devices, like iPads and iPhones.
Free Plaxo Card.
It’s a great solution for making sure all your contact information is up to date and the same across your business tools. They also have something called a “Contact Card” (this is mine) which is a free service and comes with their “Free” account option. So what you could do is set up an online contact card to introduce people working with you in your business to your clients, professionally. In this instance it’s for when you’re away, but you can also use it to introduce people on your team who are going to be helping you with servicing your client.
While I am away, I have chosen one of my managers to ‘hold the fort’ and handle decision making and action taking, or to make me aware of any issues that are essential to my attention. So I’ll post an update to clients to mention that while I am away, if they have any questions or concerns they can contact this person, and I can link to their online contact card so they can ‘see’ who they would be liaising with. Whilst many of my clients will know each manager already, some may have only worked with one or two, so by doing this it just clarifies that the client isn’t left to their own devices while I am away, and I’ve still got their back even when I am away.
If you have a VA partner where you just cover for each other on occasion, and you would like them to remain anonymous to your clients, simply set up a contact card with an email address from your company, so your clients have a name and a face, but won’t be confused by expecting to contact a different virtual assistant company altogether. You could also keep their surname anonymous by just using their first name, and your own company details to fill in the rest of the gaps, I have several clients who use me as a point of contact and might have different business cards set up as their companies, just to allow that seamless ‘point of contact’ experience.
Try it! It’s a great way to introduce your co-workers and colleagues to your clients.