As a virtual assistant, you will be working with many different clients. Some may have experience working with virtuals and delegating tasks to virtual assistants, but others may be new to the process.
What may occur is that, sometimes, you and your client may not be effectively communicating which then falls into the work not being completed or done correctly. As a virtual assistant, you will need to pick up on these issues and see how you can mitigate it with a client to create a better working relationship.
Below are some of the most common issues virtual assistants deal with when working with clients:
Client workload not what was agreed upon
Sometimes, as a virtual assistant, you may have agreed upon a certain amount of work to do. When a client begins to pile more on without much notice or explanation, it may be a good idea to sit down and talk with your client.
You are there to work, but you also must speak up if you feel that the work and agreement are no longer being followed. The same thing goes for clients that remove work or work slows down to a point that was not agreed upon. Make sure to have a firm minimum and maximum hours of work per week with each of your clients. If you have found that work has slowed discuss it with your client and ask if there is more work you can be doing to fill your agenda each day.
Client does not treat VA as employee
Although you may not be in-office, as a virtual assistant, you are still a part of a team even if you aren’t sitting next to them. Clients need to create a level of respect for virtual assistants as they would their employees. Creating that extension of the in-office employees to virtuals is key for a solid working relationship.
Blending traditional and virtual teams can be accomplished by KPI accountability reporting, contests, and virtual team building. If you are experiencing this issue with your client offer some solutions to blend the team together. Also, just having idle chit chat before and after meetings is helpful to bond in a more meaningful way with your clients. Learn about them and have them learn more about you.
Client does not pay on time for VA work
It is never fun to have to hunt down your pay and if you feel that you have to wait much longer than agreed upon for your payment for work, it is time to chat with the client you are working for to set up an agreed upon amount of time for payment and what to do when that time passes.
You worked so you deserve to be paid for that work without issue. It is highly recommended that all clients be on an auto bill system. This will drastically reduce your administrative time in billing clients but it will also create a firm understanding of billing. It is also recommended that you do not continue work for clients that do not pay. The chances of you coming out of pocket for these clients is great and you do not want to end up being the one holding the bag in the end.
Client is not clear on delegation of work
As a client, you must be able to delegate tasks to your virtual assistants so that they know what they are doing and how to do so. Taking the time to create tutorials or videos to show a process is a key to continued success in that role or task.
If you feel, as a virtual assistant, you are never being taught how to do work and left to figure it out on your own, speaking up to your client about how your needs to properly do the task are not being met should be the next step. It is strongly advised that if the client does not have formal process and procedures for the work they want you to do that you create them and have them approved by the client. It ensures that you and your client are on the same page and gives the client ownership over an unseen process that they may have trouble understanding. It is a highly effective tool that will make you look like an absolute professional in your work.
Client is not responsive to VA questions and needs
This is an extension of the above statement, but taking it further to all questions and needs. If you feel that you are never getting timely responses but are still put on a deadline for work, then you will need to speak with your client.
You cannot finish the work or solve a problem if you are not getting the answers and guidance you need as a virtual assistant.
Taking the time to address these issues with your client is a great way to determine if the working relationship is functional and how to move forward. Sometimes, a client may simply be unaware of something they may be doing that is making the process to learn and complete tasks harder. Having an open and honest business relationship with clients will be key to continued work and success.
For those virtual assistants still uneasy about any potential issues that could arise with a client, working with an agency for virtual assistants, such as Meadows Resources, can help ease the fear of anything going wrong because the support and mentoring will be right there, ready for you to use if need be. Additionally following Virtual Best Practices will lead you to the most sound long-lasting client relationships. Meadows VA School offers specific training on Virtual Best Practices that will take you to the next level in your virtual career. You should never fear finding and working with clients, as these ideas are not the rule, but the exception. Regardless, it is still smart to work with an agency who understands the dynamics between virtual assistants and their clients and are making extra efforts to prepare new clients for work with talented virtuals.
Meadows Resources offers the tools and knowledge to help both virtual assistants and clients understand their roles within this symbiotic working relationship.