Being a Virtual Assistant has many perks and advantages, but still requires you to maintain a
certain amount of diligence and professionalism to do it successfully. Supporting an executive you don't have the opportunity to see everyday comes with its own challenges, as does working from home compared to working in an office environment. The good news is, there are steps you can take as a virtual assistant to ensure a successful relationship with your clients. Here are some tips I've learned over the years of working with different clients that can aid in your success.
Communication is such a vital part of any relationship, but especially the business relationship, so it is important to keep open lines of communication with your client. Their time is valuable, as is your time. To help better understand your client needs, learn to ask smart questions. Early in your business relationship ask your client what their preferred form of communication is. This may be email, text, messaging app, phone call, etc. Ask them what their goals are. Ask them what they perceive their needs to be. Ask them the best way they feel you can help them. The goal is to be able to understand how to support your cliwnt in the best way possible, and to understand what methods and tools will allow you to do so in a way that works best for both of you. Don't be shy!
Also in regard to communication, throughout your business relationship, ensure you communicate urgent matters quickly so that they can be resolved as soon as possible.
Planning is so important to work at home staff because it ensures productivity. Plan your next day activities the day prior so that you know exactly what needs to be accomplished when you get to work the next day. Additionally, consider sending a "Start of Day Report" to let your clients know that you are online and ready to accomplish your tasks. Some clients prefer hourly updates to know what you are currently working on. Regardless, determine what their requirements are and ensure you meet them in a timely manner. At the end of the day, it is also a good idea to send an "End of Day Report" that shows a list of tasks you've worked on. Don't forget to include links of your work, or attach files when applicable. Even if they don't require this, or even instruct you to do this, take the initiative! This will show your clients that you are diligent and can work independently.
Keep Distractions to a Minimum
Before you start your shift, prepare your working environment to help condition yourself for work. Thís may include turning on the AC, closing the windows to eliminate noise or maybe playing a little bit of music to put you in a good mood. Consider the environment you need to allow you to be the most productive, so long as it doesn't distract your attention from your tasks.
Be Honest and Take Accountability
There would be times when we may overlook a deadline or miss a task. In these times, honesty and accountability are of utmost importance. We all make mistakes. Mistakes are not necessarily negative - they can help is learn and improve. The most professional thing to do as a virtual assistant is to be honest and let your client know what happened. Take accountability and create an action plan on how to prevent this from happening again in the future.
These are just a few tips on how to build trust and a long and lasting relationship with your clients. As you grow and build experience as a virtual assistant, you will have the confidence in yourself and your work and be abñe to master the best ways to start what is sure to be a successful relationship with your clients!
Do you have other tips to share with us on your VA journey? Let us know!