One of the many perks about being a Virtual Assistant is that you get to work with such a large variety of people. On the VMF books we have Teachers, Consultants, Language Specialists, Life Coaches, Business Coaches, Event Planners, Pharmaceutical Strategists, Fitness Instructors, Nutritionists, Youth Workers, Internet Marketers, Virtual Assistants, Government Workers, Hotel Owners, Salesman, Counsellors, Software Developers, and Much Much More… Not only this, there are many cultures, languages and countries in the mix too.
But whilst this can prove to be a very rewarding and certainly varied line of work, due to the many and varied industries, it can also become challenging to meet and exceed the expectations of everybody you work alongside.
So how do we ensure that we retain the loyalty and satisfaction of each and every client?
Guidelines is the Answer.
Creating and sticking to guidelines in your business will allow each of your clients to have some sort of structure to working with you. Because you set your own guidelines in place, and you display these freely in your contracts, terms of service, website pages and/or within estimates and invoices as well.
You are setting your clients expectations of you from the word “go,” because you have clear and concise boundaries and limitations in place, and the client will either accept them, or they will choose another VA who is able to meet their requirements.
The fact is that you are setting your clients’ expectations from the offset by providing them with guidelines on how you can work with them. They won’t have any preconceived notions about things — like when they have to pay you, when their work will get done, and when they are able to contact you, because you are already explaining to them before you begin, that this is the way things will be.
Here are some examples of the basic guidelines you can set in your business:
- “Office” Hours
- Payment Terms
- Response Times
But let’s go into some examples of more detailed options:
- How you like to receive work.
- Timescales to deliver work.
- How the client can work with you.
- Preferred methods of communication.
- Policies on design and Web work (e.g. which browsers you test in).
You can pretty much put guidelines in place for anything that is universal to every client you work with. By doing this you can avoid conflicts which may come up at a later date from a client not being aware of your guidelines and how you operate.
Being open, honest and up-front is the only way to engage and retain a large client base of very satisfied customers.