What does a successful virtual assistant-client relationship entail and is it difficult to maintain? Preparation, understanding specific outcomes, communication, organization and tracking progress are all necessary for an effective and successful virtual assistant-client relationship.
The client must prepare before hiring a virtual assistant for the relationship to be effective & efficient from the beginning. Prepare by setting up a system of sharing passwords and files. Two options for sharing passwords include actually sharing the password with the virtual assistant or using LastPass to share without actually giving your passwords to the VA. Google docs is my preference for sharing files, but dropbox is a great tool and option as well.
Along with setting up as system, on boarding the virtual assistant is important. Give the VA knowledge of the systems and methods of the specific softwares utilized, signature lines in emails sent on behalf of the client and what email the VA should use, and important people within and outside of the business.
Defining specifics for the VA assists in a successful partnership. Expectations should be set from the beginning. Tasks and/or projects should be assigned with at least two-days worth of work outlined in a project software or google doc. Be clear on the start and due dates with a progress check-in plan. Know how you will analyze and reevaluate saving you and the VA time. The key is efficiency!
Communicate! Communicate! Communicate! Communication is imperative on BOTH ends. Daily check ins for the VA and client is helpful. It has worked best for me to have a running Google Doc for questions that are not urgent but necessary to complete tasks and the client use the last 15 minutes of the workday to answer them. I check the Google Doc for responses highlighted or typed in another color. This method of communication saves email time and works for non urgent issues. If something is urgent and time sensitive, an email and or phone call has been utilized. Setting a specific time to check in, setting it on the calendar, and sticking to it will make the relationship’s communication flow.
Stay organized. Stick to your systems of file sharing, have a document for Q&A for checkins and make sure to set specific times to communicate.
Measuring progress will help the VA & the client remain on the same page. I like to send weekly reports of time utilized to let the client know where we stand on retainer hours so more work can be assigned if necessary or to let them know a project is taking more time than originally planned. Project management softwares can be utilized to help the VA & client log in and view the progress without needing to send an email or ask a question in the Q&A doc.
To maintain an effective and successful virtual assistant-client relationship, preparation, understanding specific outcomes, communication, organization and tracking progress are all necessary. This can be the best working relationship of a client’s business if the client understands while the VA is trained to be the best in their niche, each client has different requirements and getting everything laid out from the beginning will lead to a successful relationship!
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