You've heard it before: service: It's not one BIG thing, it's a thousand little things. And part of a VA's role is to give great service to her clients; to really anyone she interacts with, if we want to get into it.
Providing awesome service doesn't mean the client is always right. Clients are very often horribly wrong because they're perfectly human. But to take great care of someone, there literally are many things you need to be doing. Today, I'm going to discuss one of them: consideration.
Sure, it's easier to only communicate with a client when you have to and about what's necessary. You might even think that's it's gracious and generous to do it that way--on top of it's being efficient. But things are so much nicer when you communicate the whole story, or, in some cases, just a bit more than you have to, or do it before you have to. Context trumps content, every time.
- Going to be just a couple of minutes late to a call/meeting you're expected for? Shoot of an email, IM, or call to say so.
- Know today that you're going to miss a deadline next week? Say so now—not next week when it's too late to get you the extra help so you can get it done as promised.
- Having a problem at home that needs your attention and is making you slightly less present? Tell on yourself—it's really ok to be human.
"Consider" what you would want for yourself, and then offer at least that much to your clients. Better--learn what makes your clients feel considered and offer them that. People can handle just about anything, as long as they're kept in the loop and made to feel important.
It's true that consideration is just a good old-fashioned value. Unfortunately, in a world that moves at the speed of the microchip, it's often pushed off for the sake of getting more things done ("I'm only going to be a few minutes late—he won't care"). Have the moxie to bring it back in fashion, and see how different your relationships are. Feel that you already practice consideration? Bump it up a few degrees and see if that changes things for you, too!