Questions to Ask a Prospective Virtual Assistant #7: How do you communicate with your clients?
Question #7. How do you communicate with your clients? is actually two questions in one. You’re not only looking for information on a virtual assistant’s preferred methods of communication with their clients (email, IM, VoIP, phone, etc.) but also clues to their communication style.
Answers to the first question are generally pretty easy to arrive at. Email is easily the preferred method of communication for nearly all virtual assistants because it helps create a ‘paper trail’ of project planning, requested deliverables, proposed and agreed deadlines, invoices and more but some virtual assistants also provide a company telephone number that clients can ring during business hours and expect to be greeted at the other end. Other virtual assistants retrieve voice mail messages and return calls at specific times of the day. Some VAs only accept calls that have been arranged in advance, and still others do not accept calls as a general rule. Some VAs may also set up an IM (Instant Messenger) account for use during business hours, usually with specific parameters in mind for how and when they will interact with clients. After all, being immediately available to every client at all times would allow too many interruptions in what should be a focused working day.
Your prospective virtual assistants should be able to articulate their own client communication policies, and in doing so will also give you some insight into their communication style. In actuality, just about any question you ask of those listed in the Questions to Ask a Prospective Virtual Assistant series should give some insight into a virtual assistant’s communication style.
If your questions are met with brief, vague, shallow or otherwise lacking responses and you (as most clients will) prefer working with someone who is communicative, forthcoming and transparent, make note of this issue and move on to another prospective virtual assistant.
A professional virtual assistant should be not only available to you via methods and during periods of time that will work well for you and your business, but should also communicate with you in a way that leaves you satisfied, informed and ready to move forward – not lingering with yet more questions or uncertainty.