A big part of being a Virtual Assistant is building relationships with our clients based on trust and respect. One important way to do this is to make it easy for your clients to contact you.
Back when I worked in an office, my manager could see me sitting at my desk. But in the “virtual world, clients don’t know if we’ve read their emails, listened to their voicemails, or seen their text messages. That makes them anxious … especially if they have a big deadline looming.
Here are three of the ways I stay visible and accessible to my clients:
- The Phone. If a client calls me on the phone during working hours, I answer (unless I’m already on the phone). If a client calls me on the phone while I’m not working – and I can easily answer – I do then, too. This might seem crazy, but my clients have never abused this. If there is an emergency and I can help, I want to. Often, I am the one with the “keys” to their business (files, passwords, etc.) and so being able to reach me is part of what they depend on and appreciate. If you have a client or two who you think might abuse this, you can always let the call go to voicemail. Just make sure to listen to it right away to see if they really do need you. Helping during a real emergency has created strong client relationships, many of which have lasted years and years.
- The Calendar. Clients can schedule time with me any time I’m available (and I make sure there are plenty of pockets of availability every week). I set up a web link using Acuity Scheduling (www.acuityscheduling.com) where my clients can schedule a time to meet with me directly on my calendar. This saves both of us time because we are not playing email tag trying to nail down a date and time to meet. Both my clients and I love how easy it is to set up working sessions.
- Emails and Texts. I scan my incoming emails all day and make sure that clients know I’ve received their requests, even if they can’t be completed on the same day. When something is not a priority, I find that just a short email back lets them know I’m on top of my work and I will take care of them as soon as I can.
Being visible in a virtual world is an important thing to remember. It’s easy for you and high value for your precious clients!