Policies and Procedures

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

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Old 07-06-2012
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Default Contact Form - Calls - Or Both?
Back in 2008 a thread was started asking what everyone's Top 3 Policies were.

At that time several people said that they did not take calls or list their phone number. All contact was made through email.

In response to that several people asked questions about that policy...especially where it concerned not listing your phone number for a PC to call you. In reviewing that post - because it was resurrected a bit over the last couple of days - I noticed that question never really was answered by anyone. The question being - why would we not list our phone number so PC's could call us. If they have to wait for an email, or complete a contact form and wait for a response, they might just move on.

Now - four years later - I am wondering what everyone's thoughts are on this specific policy today.
  • Has anything changed?
  • Are we going more and more toward using contact forms?
  • Is everyone just getting used to the fact that they are not going to actually pick up a phone and have someone answer?

Just polling for everyone's thoughts and reasons why they do or do not list a phone number - and what you have experienced with PC's in the process - if you don't list a number.
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Old 07-06-2012
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Default Re: Contact Form - Calls - Or Both?
Pam,

I list my phone on my site and will keep it there. I believe that you need to make things easy for people and I actually get more phone calls than emails from potential clients. I believe that they prefer to speak with someone knowing that they will be available if needed.

I know some clients and business people who will not take the time to fill out a form, no matter how short. So with that in mind I have always kept my phone there because it could mean loosing a lead.

On another note, I have had some clients contact me both through Facebook and LinkedIn. So I try to keep my profiles on both of those networks up-to-date too.
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Old 07-06-2012
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Default Re: Contact Form - Calls - Or Both?
I have a variety of contact methods listed, including my phone #. I actually use a google voice number, and have the app installed on my mobile phone so I can receive and make calls from it. This works really well for me, as I have no employees.

I also include a variety of other contact methods, such as email, FB, IM, etc, because I find that some potential clients are shy and don't necessarily like their first contact to be by phone.
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Old 07-06-2012
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Default Re: Contact Form - Calls - Or Both?
I use a contact form as well as my phone number. Even though we live in a very automated and sometimes virtual world, there are still some people are just more comfortable being able pick up the phone and speak to an individual.
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Old 07-06-2012
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Default Re: Contact Form - Calls - Or Both?
I use every possible way of contact LOL. I want the client to feel confortable knowing that I can be reached anytime in different ways. It's very important I believe. Not sure what you guys think of that....
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Old 07-06-2012
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Default Re: Contact Form - Calls - Or Both?
Hi Pam,

Although I do understand why a VA won't initially pick up the phone to avoid getting caught off guard, I never really understood the concept behind not providing a phone number for a client or PC to call even though I've read all the reasons in that last thread as well.

Since the economic crisis, exceptional customer service and trust are the only things we have now in this world and people want to hear you over the phone, if they can't meet you in person. This gives them an idea of your personality, style, patience level, literacy, etc., in addition to getting a sense of whether or not they feel comfortable working with you and if the relationship would be a match. For these same reasons, I want the phone contact with PCs as well. Its makes for a great business model.

After all, we will have their company and private information at our fingertips and in a cyberspace, identity theft and character defamating world, its vital to make a PC feel at ease with you. I don't think it really has anything to do with bieng desperate for work, or anthing of that nature....but just plain old quality customer service that would put you above the others.

Just my 1.5 cents )
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Old 07-06-2012
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Default Re: Contact Form - Calls - Or Both?
My number is listed on my site as well as other contact methods. I think making it easy for them is essential and making it comfortable for them.

Sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zone to allow our clients to be comfortable. I don't like talking on the phone, and my children are always it seems making noise when the phone rings. Never mind you when the phone is not ringing. However, I still do have the number listed. If they hear my children I tell them honestly that I work from home and my children are here. For this reason I myself do not do a lot of phone work and if I do need to do phone work it is and will be done when the children are not in the house.

Anyway, that was off topic a bit. I personally think it's a good idea to provide many ways for a client to contact you.
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Old 07-07-2012
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Default Re: Contact Form - Calls - Or Both?
I list my phone numbers and email address. It should be relatively easy for someone to get in contact with you.
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