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TranscriptandWorksheet VA Helper Podcast for Virtual Assistants Episode008 Handling Rush Project Requests From Clients

TranscriptandWorksheet VA Helper Podcast for Virtual Assistants Episode008 Handling Rush Project Requests From Clients

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Published by Loretta Oliver
Eventually there will come a client who is going to want something in a hurry for a project. Are you prepared with policies and procedures – and rates – in place for your virtual assistant business? That’s what this week’s episode is all about…
Eventually there will come a client who is going to want something in a hurry for a project. Are you prepared with policies and procedures – and rates – in place for your virtual assistant business? That’s what this week’s episode is all about…

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Categories:Business/Law
Published by: Loretta Oliver on May 19, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/19/2013

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VA Helper Podcast for Virtual Assistants
Our topic this week is
handling client 
’   
s rushand urgent requests
.
Welcome back to the VA Helper Podcast for Virtual Assistants. I
’m your host
Loretta Oliver and I would like to thank you for listening today.In this episode I want to talk about handling emergency and urgent requests fromclients. This is one of those things that everyone handles just a little bit differentlyand that
’ 
s totally okay. Eventually it
’ 
s going to come up and someone is going towant something done in a hurry and they
’ 
re going to ask you if you can do that forthem, so it helps to be prepared in advance with some policies and ideas in placefor how you
’ 
re going to handle that.Let
’ 
s just start off with the policies that you
’ 
re going to have in place.The first thing that you
’ 
re going to have to decide is whether or not you want tohandle those kinds of requests. The nice thing about being in business for yourself is that you get to make that decision.
You can say
no
 
and that
’ 
s totallyacceptable, there is nothing wrong with that at all.If your schedule personally doesn
’ 
t allow for you to drop everything and do a rushproject for a client there is nothing wrong with saying no. I know it
’ 
s really hard to
 
 
say no because it
’ 
s nice to have that income and to have clients that come to youand trust you to do those kinds of things, but saying no is a perfectly acceptableresponse.Let
’ 
s say that you
’ 
ve decided you
’ 
re going to accept rush projects on a case-by-case basis, which is pretty standard policy. You want to make sure that you canhandle the project, get it done in the right timeframe, so on and so forth.The first thing you
’ 
re going to want to do is
make a plan for policies andprocedures
that you want your clients to follow when they make these kind of requests to you. And you want to make sure they know what those proceduresand standards are so that when something does come up that they need done in ahurry they know how to contact you, how much it
’ 
s going to cost them, and anyinformation that they need to provide to you before they get started.I think the best way to do this is to just go ahead and either post it on yourwebsite
maybe make it a separate page from your rates and services, say thatrush services are available and link to the page with the information on what rushprocedures are going to be that lets them know the quickest way to contact you,what the additional charge will be for a rush project, and any information that youwant them to provide to you at the beginning of that project.Now, if you only want to offer the rush and urgent project handling to certainclients
maybe your reserve clients that pay a monthly reservation fee, maybeyour best clients that provide you the best work and that you
’ 
ve worked with thelongest
that
’ 
s okay too, you don
’ 
t have to offer the rush services to everyone.In that case, you probably don
’ 
t want to post it on your website for everyone tosee, but you want to maybe make up a document that you can send to thoseclients so that they have that information and they know how to contact you incase of an urgent request. That can be as simple as a Word document or a PDFfile, you can even record a short audio to send to them, it
’ 
s up to you how youwant to handle that. I think a PDF is probably the easiest way to go there.Another thing there that you need to
make a decision about is how you wantthose clients to contact you
when they have their urgent request. There are afew options
 I
’ 
m not a big fan of giving out my home phone number to clients. In fact, I don
’ 
t
 ever. Very rarely do I give a phone number at all. In some cases if I
’ 
m going to beout of town or traveling, I will give my clients my cell phone number and tell them
 
 
to text me or leave me a voicemail message. But, I
’ 
ve never
ever
given any of my clients our home phone number. Ever. That
’ 
s a personal decision and it
’ 
ssomething that you have to decide on your own.I know some virtual assistants have a separate business line setup in their homeand that can be beneficial in situations like this so that your home phone isn
’ 
tringing with client requests and your kids aren
’ 
t answering the phone and takingmessages there, that
’ 
s not something that you want to have to deal with whenyou
’ 
re putting out fires for clients every now and then. That
’ 
s just one thing toconsider.Another thing is that you can have a separate email address that clients use
 “
incase of emergency
” 
that might reach you faster or filter into your inbox at the topso that you see it sooner and you know that it
’ 
s an urgent project that they wanthandled right away. Of course this is easily open to abuse and clients will use thatemail address for
everything
, in which case you have sort of an organizationalissue to deal with there. You have to let them know,
 “
Hey, this is for urgentrequests and your day-to-day requests are not urgent.
” 
 Another way that I
’ 
ve seen this handled is virtual assistants having clients tweetthem on Twitter. When they have an urgent project that needs to be handled theysend their usual email to the virtual assistant and then they send them an @ tweeton Twitter so that they know there
’ 
s an urgent request waiting for them in theirinbox.A lot of people have a Twitter app on their phone or they have their Twitter profileset up so that @ messages pop up as a little alert on their smartphone. That
’ 
seven available directly from Twitter; you can login and edit your profile at Twitterso that you get those notifications to your phone as a text message.I
’ 
ll tell you that the first time I saw that happening on Twitter I thought it was alittle unusual. Then I saw it happen a few more times and I realized the clientswere using a sort of prewritten tweet that the virtual assistant had given themthat had text in front of the @ so that the tweet was public and not hidden fromthe Twitter stream like it might be if it was a back and forth conversation with the@ in the beginning of the tweet.That kind of gave the virtual assistant a little bit of extra social media exposure,which was actually pretty cool to see happening. In the end, I think it was a reallygood use of social media as a tool to connect with clients and also to get that little

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