Client Relations

Discuss creating and maintaining exceptional client relationships, identifying ideal clients, and more.

Forum Sponsor (Advertise with us)
Create a Professional New Client Welcome Packet
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
    #11 (permalink)  
Old 08-03-2012
My Virtual Me's Avatar
Contributing Member
Company name: My Virtual Me
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Aust
Posts: 113
Send a message via Skype™ to My Virtual Me
Follow this virtual assistant on Twitter Find this virtual assistant on Facebook Contact this virtual assistant on LinkedIn
Default Re: How to handle request for references
It does take a while for you to get into a different headspace (from employee to business owner) LOL.

I don't offer any kind of guarantee (but that's just me). You should include a clause in your 'terms and conditions' regarding refunds and any financial matters.
For e.g. My retainer packages are not refundable. What is your minimum charge for certain services (minimum payable is 1 hours work).

YOU make the rules, not them, so make sure they understand things right from the start.

And remember the KISS rule (Keep It Simple Stupid). Try to keep things as simple as possible - then everything will just flow smoothly
__________________
Alice - My Virtual Me
info@myvirtualme.net | www.myvirtualme.net
Reply With Quote
    #12 (permalink)  
Old 08-03-2012
The Perfect Word's Avatar
Community Leader
Company name: The Perfect Word
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 1,011
Blog Entries: 1
Find this virtual assistant on Facebook Contact this virtual assistant on LinkedIn Find this virtual assistant on Google+
Default Re: How to handle request for references
I don't offer a guarantee because I think that has the huge possibility of getting someone into deep trouble...anyone can say they don't like your work, even if they do, just so they don't have to pay. Most clients wouldn't do that, but people here have seen the unfortunately bad sides of some clients...refusing to pay, taking forever to pay, being horrible to work with, etc. I do, however, offer to fix anything they find wrong with my work for free within seven days of completion of the project (that's in my agreement).

I have never been asked for a reference in 16 years of my business. And even when I started my transcription business, I had done home day care for about five years prior so I really didn't have any current office references to provide if someone had asked. I now have a few recommendations listed on my website, so if anyone asks I will give them the link to that page.

I don't have this in my agreement, but I will offer to transcribe ten to fifteen minutes of their recording for free. That allows me to give them a better sense of how long it will take to do their project. I can hear the quality of the recordings, etc., which helps narrow down the estimate. It also lets them see the quality of the transcripts. I've never had anyone take me up on it, though. I also give a 10% discount if the total project is estimated over $1,000. This obviously would be for one-time projects, not ongoing work.
__________________
Pam Deyerle - Transcriptionist in Richmond, Virginia (17 years)
The Perfect Word Transcription Service
Reply With Quote
    #13 (permalink)  
Old 08-04-2012
Contributing Member
Company name: TinaTheVA
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Metro Atlanta, GA
Posts: 169
Follow this virtual assistant on Twitter
Default Re: How to handle request for references
Hi lkw05,

First, Welcome to the industry

I worked for a multi-VA firm where we offered a "Satisfaction Guaranteed" clause and what it meant was (and we added this in writing) "We will get it right no matter what it takes".

This did not mean we would give a refund or anything like that; it simply meant we will work with the client (of course within reason) to get a job done to their satisfaction.

If we 'thought' a job was good enough, we'd take the financial hit in getting the work done another way (again, that satisfied the client). If we thought the assigned VA did not do the best, that VA took the hit and someone else that 'fixed' it got paid, but we never gave refunds until and if we had gone back & forth and it was apparent the client was just not a happy camper

If you are the only person in your business now, this means taking time out of your schedule to re-do something if needed.

Regarding the reference vs. testimonial issue; we can call them what we want, but they are essentially the same. I've found that the more a client is paying the more they want to speak with a past client and I am perfectly OK with that because most of my business comes via word of mouth which only means they got the reference/testimonial before they contacted me

Taking a small (I mean small too) 'free' trial project when you are just starting out is common (I think...I know we did it at the company anyway), but once you're established it won't be necessary.

Even better (and also better than the guarantee), offer to do a small (again I mean small) project 'for payment'. The WIIFM (What's In It For Me) for the client is that they did not invest too much to ascertain your skills, etc.

Having not worked in 7 years is a hurdle to get over, but once you do you'll be well on your way.

At any rate I wish you the best in your business!
__________________
Tina Caldwell B.K.A TinaTheVA
Reply With Quote
    #14 (permalink)  
Old 08-04-2012
Contributing Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 120
Follow this virtual assistant on Twitter Find this virtual assistant on Facebook Contact this virtual assistant on LinkedIn
Default Re: How to handle request for references
Thankfully, we have only had 1 client that we worked for- only 2 hours- that was not satisfied with our work- Personally we were VERY unhappy working with them as well. In 2 years of business and 30 clients- not a bad record.

We do not work on a deposit or retainer basis- we only bill after the work and do not require min. hours- so we are a little different that most of the VA structures are here.
__________________
Your Virtual Assistants
The Bilingual Technical VAs Firm specializing in Social Media and Online Business Management.
Reply With Quote
    #15 (permalink)  
Old 08-04-2012
Contributing Member
Company name: Virtual Admin Connection
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 230
Contact this virtual assistant on LinkedIn
Default Re: How to handle request for references
I agree with Alice's comment about being a business owner and not an employee. We need to get into that mindset. With that said, I think it is difficult for potential clients to hire a VA without some sort of testimonial, example of our work, etc...

If you are new and do not have testimonials and do not have references, the suggestions posted previously about doing a small sample of the task/project being requested, is a great idea. I think it is important to provide a potential client SOMETHING that gives them confidence in your ability to perform the task/project.
Reply With Quote
    #16 (permalink)  
Old 08-04-2012
Contributing Member
Company name: TinaTheVA
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Metro Atlanta, GA
Posts: 169
Follow this virtual assistant on Twitter
Default Re: How to handle request for references
Originally Posted by Your Virutal Assistants View Post
Thankfully, we have only had 1 client that we worked for- only 2 hours- that was not satisfied with our work- Personally we were VERY unhappy working with them as well. In 2 years of business and 30 clients- not a bad record.

We do not work on a deposit or retainer basis- we only bill after the work and do not require min. hours- so we are a little different that most of the VA structures are here.

Funny how that works out every time!! If I have a difficult time in the process of getting the client or shortly after getting them (I don't know, their a little antagonistic, just not happy with life in general, etc.) it has ALWAYS without fail, turned out to be not a good fit. It's like Murphy's law....we should create a name for it
__________________
Tina Caldwell B.K.A TinaTheVA
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
References Etiquette CustomVA Client Relations 11 02-07-2012 11:55 AM
Have you ever been asked for references? Malaika Client Relations 8 10-23-2011 10:20 AM
References vainparadise Client Relations 6 07-09-2009 04:41 PM
Asking for References misssjean Client Relations 4 11-19-2008 07:52 PM
No References/Testimonials Yet On My Wings General Marketing and Networking 7 11-18-2008 03:35 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:48 AM.

Work from Home | Become A Virtual Assistant
Start a Virtual Answering Service
Virtual Assistant Directory
Virtual Assistant Contracts
Virtual Assistant Forums Advertising
Social Media Marketing eBook

© Virtual Assistant Forums 2014 Content and images protected under copyright law.
Google+ - Facebook - Twitter