Find & book your dream VA clients with ease
Want to become the Epic VA with all the best clients, juicy word-of-mouth referrals, and the month-long waitlist? The secret to finding the right clients starts with you!
Finding high paying clients are great, but even better is when a client finds them for you and brings them to your door. Clients like these are your unofficial advocates, who are actively promoting you in private meetings and casual conversations whenever the subject of your services comes up. They also spend time thinking of other people you might want to call and pass you their information with the promise that they’ll vouch for you if asked.
Advocates like these can transform your business and will give you that highly sought-after “word of mouth” promotion that few companies can ever lay claim to. Generating these types of customers might seem like magic, but there are actually some fairly reliable things you can do to transform clients to advocates. Here are the three easy steps to help your clients make the leap into a regular promoter of your brand.
Customer service is a massive subject, but let’s assume that you have the basics covered. When most people are looking at taking customer service to the next level, they’ll focus on a few of the areas that tend to slip over time, like making it easy for your clients to interact with you by making sure your correct contact information is easily accessible. You’d be surprised how often a website update accidentally deletes the information people need to get in touch!
The other area of concern is decreasing your response time to customer queries. Bad habits can sometimes creep in when it comes to attending to your customers, so make sure to answer the phone whenever you can and always reply to emails and messages within 24 hours. If you can’t hit that deadline, the customer should receive a note letting them know you’ll get back to them, along with a specific estimate as to how long you’ll be.
One common practice is to over-deliver on your commitments whenever possible. You can do this by delivering ahead of schedule or giving them more than you had originally promised. You can work on anticipating their needs and be proactive in responding to any issues that may arise ahead of time as well.
Fostering a better relationship with your client is an important part of great customer service as well. You can deepen your relationship with them by demonstrating emotional investment in their trials and successes and using active listening techniques at all times.
While all of these suggestions are great ways of making sure your Customer Service is top notch, the real key to providing Stellar Customer Service is all about mindset. Not your customers’…. Yours!
All too often Customer Service suffers because the person providing the service is in the wrong mindset. We get preoccupied with determining who is right when something goes wrong. We get confused or upset when a customer seems to be acting irrationally or not as expected. We become obsessed with analyzing the motives behind every interaction. What we should be doing is reminding ourselves that everyone wants to be happy and that we are all trying our best at all times.
Most people don’t make a conscious effort to be difficult or unreasonable; they are simply doing what they can, with the tools they have, to resolve whatever situation is facing them in a way that will benefit them the most.
When you keep this in mind it makes it much easier to see things from your clients’ point of view and helps to focus things in a more positive light when dealing with difficult situations. People will always remember difficulties they’ve had with you, so being in the right frame of mind to give that story a happy ending is where the real transformations from clients to advocates take place.
Search for barriers to your customer’s happiness throughout every part of your process, and do everything you can to eliminate them. This is done by seeing your entire brand experience through the eyes of a client, from first encountering your sales material, to the design of your website, to what it’s like to be on a discovery call with you, to filling out the contracts and communicating with you what the job requires. Go through every step of the process in careful detail, and think about how you can make it incredibly simple and obvious the whole time.
For instance, if you sell clothes online, inevitably people will need to exchange items. In this case, you would make sure the returns procedure is easy to find, is easy to read and understand, has generous terms, and offers free shipping.
As a Virtual Assistant, your customers will face difficulties communicating online and will worry that you’ll disappear on them. Make sure they have all your contact info so that they can choose their favorite way to get in touch. This makes it easier for them to express their ideas and takes the stress out of having to reach out to you.
Make sure to include an emergency number, and clearly state your hours of work so that they don’t panic if you’re not on Skype after a certain time. Also, make sure you have regular meetings with them and stay in touch so that they have a sense of you being available if needed.
Try to tailor things to your client as well. For instance, if you have a client who only answers one or two of the questions you send via email and seems to ignore the rest, remind yourself that they are just trying their best and think about how you might be able to resolve the issue. Email just isn’t a proper medium for a lot of people, and it might be that you should call them instead and ask the questions over the phone. Then simply recap the conversation in an email so that you both have a record of what you discussed.
Often all a customer needs to become an advocate for your business is for you to simply ask them. If you’ve built a good rapport with your customer, don’t be afraid to ask them for whatever you need. This can be a testimonial, a referral, or for them to share one of your recent posts on Facebook or, facilitating an introduction on LinkedIn. Happy customers want to help you succeed, and they love telling people about you. They’re looking forward to your providing a great experience to their friends, and being able to brag that they were the ones who found you.
Don’t forget to thank them for helping you out; especially when they provide a referral. Sending a note or making a quick call to say thank you can make a world of difference and can actually act as a big motivator for people to want to help you out again in the future. You can even send them a small surprise gift, like a $10.00 gift card to their favorite coffee house. The gift doesn’t have to be large but the more personalized it is, the better.
The key thing to remember about all of this is that clients do not become advocates by accident. They get that way because someone went through the effort to make them feel cared for. If you go through these steps, you’ll be able to brag about all of the “word of mouth” business you get in no time.