We can communicate with each other in so many different ways, but as a virtual assistant, with our clients, any break in communication or miss-understanding between the two can spell disaster. Communication is key, from the simple talking and jotting down a few notes about a project to the full on project management support that a VA can offer, this all requires excellent communication and listening skills.
We take for granted the communication we once had between office staff and managers before starting our own businesses, but we knew that this is what kept the office and business running smoothly and effectively. This is why as a VA we must also learn to communicate effectively with our clients.
Right from the beginning of a client/Virtual PAs relationship, the communication between the two must be equal. If there are miss-understandings or one of the parties is not listening fully, then projects can fail. As a VA is not always located in their clients’ office (and they are also not the only client) there are many opportunities for conversations and requests to be forgotten or to be misjudged. It is good practice therefore, after a meeting or discussion about a new or on-going project, to complete a correspondence document detailing what was spoken about and the main points required to fulfil the tasks agreed upon. This is then sent to the client and kept for your own records to look back on if needs be. It can also be a useful document to pass onto other members of your team if they have to work on the same project.
In the virtual world, communication between VA’s and their (remote) clients has been made even simpler with online project management systems. From a simple task to a large, intricate project requiring many peoples’ inputs, an online system enables you to communicate with every person involved just by updating the task log after each task has been worked on. By giving your client their own log-in details, they can be kept up to date at the click of a mouse – simple and effective communication.
There is no replacement for a face to face meeting now and then to fully get to know a client, VA and indeed the projects you will be working on.