Policies and Procedures

Discuss the importance of policies and procedures in your virtual assistance business.

Forum Sponsor (Advertise with us)
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
    #1 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2012
Contributing Member
Company name: KG Business Solutions
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Bakersfield, CA
Posts: 79
Follow this virtual assistant on Twitter Find this virtual assistant on Facebook
Default Client Termination Procedures
Well the Dr I signed for 24/7 work now wants to move to another live answering service. At the time we signed he stated if I had to run the kids to school, or had an appt that it was okay if I returned calls when I could. Now he is saying he wants someone to answer his calls 24/7 no matter what. Even if I am on the phone that is not possible as I can't put patients on hold to answer other calls.

Anyways he stated he is dropping my fee (which I charged him a monthly fee instead of an hourly fee) taking out the fee for the live answering service. They will email me with anything and I still have to work 24/7 on call to input patient information, or to book appointments. I feel this is not fair and I feel like it is not my business since he has so much say so.

In my contract it does not state a non refund policy per say. He signed the contract until June 3rd, 2012 so he should be held to this contract. He stated he wanted a new contract saying I will do the same work, for less pay starting April 15th. I am so lost as to what to do! This is my first client so of course I can't afford to refund him the half a month of fees if I terminate him after 5 days notice. In my contract he was supposed to give me 5 days to correct any errors, but I feel there are none since he said he was fine with me running errands and coming back to answer calls.

I am so lost and I dont know what to do now. I will be adding a "no refund" policy to my contracts from this moment on. I have an email typed up to him but I have yet to hit send. I would be back to square one if I lose this client, I can't afford that hit to my pocketbook at this time.
__________________
Kristy Garland
www.kgbusinesssolutions.com
Reply With Quote
    #2 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2012
burneyvoa's Avatar
Junior Member
Company name: An Office Extension, LLC
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Midwest, Ohio
Posts: 398
Blog Entries: 1
Send a message via Skype™ to burneyvoa
Follow this virtual assistant on Twitter Find this virtual assistant on Facebook Contact this virtual assistant on LinkedIn
Default Re: Client Termination Procedures
Kristy, he should not be dictating anything to you. I think he should still held to the contract until the expiration date (June 3). This is your business and he should not be asking you for a new contract. Does your contract specify a minimum time payable (such as 1 month)? You may have to take a loss on this one. I can't wait to see what some of the seasoned and experienced VAs have to say. Does your contract specify a minimum time payable (such as 1 month)?
Wendy Burney
__________________
http://www.anofcextension.com
EHR implementation/support, Computer software training, Medical Billing and Coding
Reply With Quote
    #3 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2012
Contributing Member
Company name: KG Business Solutions
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Bakersfield, CA
Posts: 79
Follow this virtual assistant on Twitter Find this virtual assistant on Facebook
Default Re: Client Termination Procedures
In regards to the contract it states that the contract shall continue for a period of three (3) months or until the completion of the service project. So the contract is due to expire June 3rd, 2012. It does also state client needs to give me (5) days notice if they are unhappy with my services, so I have time to fix any issues. Or I can cancel with (5) days notice as well.

At this time the Dr. called to say he was moving to another answering service, deducting the new answering service fees from my fees, and going to drop my monthly fee by $200. He will be kind enough to give me $100 for the half of April, but May payment will be -$100.00 for the other half of the April payment.

At this time he is defaulting on the contract because he did not give me the required (5) days to fix any issues he had. Also when we first met he stated I could answer calls once I became available, if I needed to step away. All of sudden it is now a big issue. He informed me that he asks all patients (He sees patients one day a week in his office) how easy it was to book an appt and he told me they all told him they got the voicemail. That is a lie! I make myself available Monday-Friday 8am-6pm unless I have a very important appt. This past week I had appts Tuesday and Wednesday, and just so happened to be sitting at an appt when one of the dr's he has me working for texted me to change an appt for her. I informed her I was away from the office and would as soon as I got home, which I did with no problems.

I don't know I am going off in a whole different direction. I am not happy with the way this is working out, but being my first client I can't afford to lose them or pay them back and refund. I want to cry!
__________________
Kristy Garland
www.kgbusinesssolutions.com
Reply With Quote
    #4 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2012
Your Faithful Assistant's Avatar
New Member
Company name: Your Faithful Assistant, LLC
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 33
Blog Entries: 1
Follow this virtual assistant on Twitter Find this virtual assistant on Facebook Contact this virtual assistant on LinkedIn
Default Re: Client Termination Procedures
Kristy, I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. I know that this is your first client and it seems like you cannot seem to lose them but I think you should cut this client loose. You are a business person not an employee therefore he should not be dictating what he is and is not going to do or pay. You have entered into a contractual partnership that needs to be honored. I also fear that it you begin with letting your first client treat you this way, then you will end up doing that with every client. I also question whether or not you should make yourself available from 8-6 daily for clients unless they are paying you an enormous amount of money each month in which you would not need any other clients. For this kind of commitment, you could be earning a full time salary out in the workforce. Don't sell yourself short Kristy. The clients will come and they will be willing to pay what you are worth. I would also love to connect with you outside of the forum so please be sure to connect with me on facebook or email me.
__________________
Shelley R. Drasal
Your Faithful Assistant
Reply With Quote
    #5 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2012
Balancing Act's Avatar
Junior Member
Company name: Virtual Assistant Chick
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Posts: 337
Blog Entries: 1
Send a message via Yahoo to Balancing Act Send a message via Skype™ to Balancing Act
Follow this virtual assistant on Twitter Find this virtual assistant on Facebook Contact this virtual assistant on LinkedIn
Default Re: Client Termination Procedures
As hard as it is, you have to let him go. Let him out of the contract, but do not allow him to lower the rate that he agreed upon because HE decided to change the rules. People like this pray on inexperienced VA's in the hopes of getting free/very cheap work, and probably found that in the other VA that he has hired.

Did you start this business to be available to one client 24/7? Most of us allowed our first clients to call the shots a little bit, but this is out of hand and you will end up resenting him and any work that you do for him after this.

Don't allow his behavior to make you feel as if you failed at anything; you haven't. Drop him like a bad habit and get out there with a tighter contract and some experience under your belt. Most of us have developed thick skin over the years and can spot jerks like that a mile away. If money is too tight right now, there are a lot of busy VA's that need help that you can offer your services to.

Good luck and look at this as a learning experience!
__________________
April Sullivan
The REVA Academy
Reply With Quote
    #6 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2012
ASmithVAdmin's Avatar
Contributing Member
Company name: April M. Smith | AdminSuperwoman
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Puyallup, WA
Posts: 89
Send a message via Skype™ to ASmithVAdmin
Follow this virtual assistant on Twitter Find this virtual assistant on Facebook Contact this virtual assistant on LinkedIn Find this virtual assistant on Google+
Default Re: Client Termination Procedures
Technically what you have is not a cancellation policy. IMO he signed the contract until June, then he should be paying out the contract. Worse case is pro-rate the days he used service, invoice him and cut your loss. It is your first client after all.. there will be others. Use this as a learning experience. Make sure you implement a cancellation policy on the next contract

Best of luck!
__________________
April Smith Visit My Website
Website Design | Social Media Marketing & Design | Admin Support
Reply With Quote
    #7 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2012
AugustaVirtualAssistants's Avatar
New Member
Company name: Augusta Virtual Assistants
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Augusta, GA
Posts: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to AugustaVirtualAssistants
Follow this virtual assistant on Twitter Find this virtual assistant on Facebook Contact this virtual assistant on LinkedIn Find this virtual assistant on Google+ Find this virtual assistant on YouTube
Default Re: Client Termination Procedures
Kristy, I had a similar situation in the last three weeks. I had a Realtor working with one of my subcontractors. She had a 3 month contract as well, stating 10 hours per week for a bi monthly fee. No consequence for early termination (at that time). She tells my sub on a Friday that she will be out of town for the next 3 weeks (no notice) and will not need her services. The sub calls me in a panic. I contact the client who says that she will resume work when she returns so I explain that the 30 hours the sub will not be working must be recouped when the client returns on top of the hours for the rest of the contract period. I agree to rewrite the contract with a larger amount of payments for the remainder of the contract. One week before client is to return, I call to touch base and let her know that revised contract is in her email and that she needs to sign and return it. She then informs me that a closing fell through and now she doesn't have the money to continue to use my sub. Outside of suing her, there was nothing I could do. I now have a hefty early termination fee PLUS required and agreed upon two week written notice for any changes. You can't anticipate every scenario and as hard as it will be to let this money go, you have to set boundaries so that they understand you are a business person, NOT an employee. You set the standards, not them. They can't treat their car mechanic, tax preparer or insurance agent like this; you are no different.
__________________
Lisa Kolb, Owner/Virtual Business Professional
Augusta Virtual Assistants
Reply With Quote
    #8 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2012
Your Virtual Wizard's Avatar
Community Leader
Company name: Your Virtual Wizard
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Florida-Gulf Coast
Posts: 2,626
Blog Entries: 7
Send a message via AIM to Your Virtual Wizard Send a message via Yahoo to Your Virtual Wizard Send a message via Skype™ to Your Virtual Wizard
Follow this virtual assistant on Twitter Find this virtual assistant on Facebook Contact this virtual assistant on LinkedIn Find this virtual assistant on Google+
Default Re: Client Termination Procedures
Dear Kristy,

I feel very terrible for you. Let me tell you now that while this situation looks as bad as it is, you will find a way out of it and you will never let this happen to you again. I know this is not much in the way of consolation but I can't tell you how many times situations happened to me through the early years that I am grateful now for having endured these lessons.

It has made me stronger in the business policies I uphold now.

With that said, I feel that your client is taking advantage of you. He is breaching your contract. It does not seem that you have a termination clause in your contract or a no-refund policy in place for your own protection so the best you can do at this point is to tell him he is in breach of contract and that you are terminating your services.

Ordinarily, I would advise any VA in this situation to hold the client to the contract, however, I can tell you this is not a client you would want to stay with. His belittling and demeaning behavior tells me he does not respect your position. I would not want to waste my time trying to turn that behavior around.

I am not quite sure what date you have been paid. Is it April 15? If so, I would just work until that date and not bill him for any additional services. I would simply cut the client loose.

You will be miserable if you continue working with him especially since it will not be on the terms and pay originally agreed upon in the contract.

I would send him a letter of termination explaining that due to breach of contract you are terminating your services. If you have taken a deposit, you can keep the deposit because he is in breach of contract. (I am not sure if you took a deposit.)

Cut your losses and move on.

Now I know you may be thinking that you will lose the income and that will be the case. However, I suggest this highly...that you now use the time to dive really deep into your marketing and use the energy to secure clients that are professional. Use the situation to your benefit. When I had a bad client, it burned me up so badly, that I wrote the best blogs, tweeted, volunteered, took classes, sat in on webinars, tweaked my website, wrote the best RFP responses and before I knew it, clients came to me.

Also, use the time to redo your contracts.

Include:
  • a termination clause (I use 30 days)
  • a deposit for one month in advance to be held for the life of the contract
  • a no refund policy
  • a clause that states after 4 months, you will review the account to see that all services are being performed as originally stated
  • a clause which states that you reserve the right to raise rates with a 30-day notice if applicable

I wish I had a better answer for you. This man has treated you terribly. You don't deserve this treatment.

Janine
Reply With Quote
    #9 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2012
Contributing Member
Company name: KG Business Solutions
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Bakersfield, CA
Posts: 79
Follow this virtual assistant on Twitter Find this virtual assistant on Facebook
Default Re: Client Termination Procedures
Thank you to everyone for all the great responses.

I have felt so bad over this, but now I will move on. I am the sole bread-winner so losing this client is going to be hard. I will survive though! For those of you that asked me to reach out to you I will be doing that shortly. Again thank you all! I love this forum and am so glad I could come here and get help from other VA's who have the experience I lack.
__________________
Kristy Garland
www.kgbusinesssolutions.com
Reply With Quote
    #10 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2012
Contributing Member
Company name: KG Business Solutions
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Bakersfield, CA
Posts: 79
Follow this virtual assistant on Twitter Find this virtual assistant on Facebook
Default Re: Client Termination Procedures
Client termination email sent...now I feel a sigh of relief as I hit send. Thanks again to all of you!
__________________
Kristy Garland
www.kgbusinesssolutions.com
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
What would be the top 3-5 policies and procedures? alcbiz Policies and Procedures 12 04-25-2013 09:38 AM
Procedures Katrina Policies and Procedures 13 08-19-2011 09:23 AM
Follow-up procedures for interested PCs eXPERT Business Support Policies and Procedures 8 03-26-2011 11:23 PM
Standard operating procedures - Virtual Assistance and You Blog VAF Newsbot Policies and Procedures 4 09-13-2010 06:32 PM
Have Your Policies and Procedures in Place! D_Victoria_Virtual_Assistance Policies and Procedures 7 04-02-2009 03:42 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:28 AM.

Virtual Assistant Forums Advertising
Virtual Assistant Directory
Work from Home | Become A Virtual Assistant
Virtual Assistant Contracts
Virtual Assistant Forums Advertising

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