Taking on a new client can be quite a scary prospect if you’re a new Virtual Assistant. If you want the process to run smoothly, you need to ensure you have the right processes in place. Ignore the processes you need and you’ll run the risk of missing crucial information and coming across as inexperienced or unprofessional. But what client processes do you need to have in place – and what is a process?
Processes are simply the main steps you take, to complete a task. There are certain things you need to do, to take a new lead from prospective client, through to new client. And it’s the same when you finish working with a client – you need certain processes in place, to ensure you’re ending the contract and leaving your client happy. So to help you out, here’s a quick rundown of the different processes you need.
The pre-client process
The pre-client process is the perfect time to find out if you can actually help this potential new client. But it’s also important to establish whether you want to work together as well! Just because someone has shown an interest in working with you, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to take them on as a client. Remember, it’s your business and you can choose who you work with! This is why the pre-client process is so important.
Typical processes you’ll need in place include:
- How to book a discovery session with you and how this call will be run
- Questionnaire to establish more about them and their business
- Establishing what you need to ask, to establish their needs and wants
- What you’re going to do to follow up with them after the call
- Recommending them to another VA, if you aren’t a good fit
Client processes: Onboarding new clients
Once you’ve both agreed you want to work together, it’s time to move onto onboarding them as a client. This includes clarifying how that work will look, as well as gathering together all of the necessary things you need, to fulfil that job spec.
The processes you’ll need in place for this include:
- Sending out a new client consultation
- Ensuring there’s a contract and invoice sent to them
- Sending out a welcome letter and client charter
- Asking for logins for any tools and systems they use
- Setting up files, folders and project management software
Client processes: Post-client offboarding
Once you’ve finished working with a client, there are certain things you need to wrap things up. This is all about ensuring your client is happy with the results you’ve given them and taking the opportunity to get their feedback. Post-client offboarding helps end things on a nice professional basis, rather than just ending all communication, once the job is finished!
If you’re looking to implement post-client offboarding processes, have a think about the following suggestions:
- Email communication confirming end of contract
- Sending out a satisfaction questionnaire
- Asking for a referral and/or testimonial
- Following up at a later date to check in with them and see if they had any questions
- Ensuring your client knows your availability for continued work
Taking on a new client can be a scary prospect, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s simply a case of ensuring you have the right client processes in place, to make both the task and transition, a smooth one. The above information will give you a good starting point. It’s then up to you to tailor it to suit your needs. Just remember, once you’ve established what works for you, make sure to document the process, so you can repeat it next time – Trello is a good tool for this!
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