By VAnetworking Member, Dawn Goldberg
You are a highly skilled, multi-talented Virtual Assistant and you have great ideas. As a VA, communication is key to building relationships with your clients. And you’ll probably be communicating with customers of your client. Actually, to the clients’ customers, you are the client. Email is a vital tool in your business as a VA, increasing efficiency if it is used correctly.
As helpful as email is, you want to make sure you are communicating with and representing your client in the best manner. Here are ten rules that will help you do just that:
- Know your client. Does s/he want one email a day with a summary of everything, or does s/he want one subject per email?
- Number the items you want your client to respond to. That way nothing gets lost, either for your client or you.
- If your message asks for feedback, use Outlook/Gmail tasks to set yourself a reminder. It can be awfully easy to send off an email, breathe a sigh of relief that it’s off YOUR plate and then promptly forget about it.
- Send messages to your client in plain text. That way you don’t have to worry about spam filters or funky formatting. If you must send in html, find some way to differentiate your replies. In an email discussion where every reply is blue, it’s too difficult to see whose reply is whose. Use purple (my favorite) or some other color for your replies.
- If you’re sending an attachment, get in the habit of attaching the document first before you enter in the recipient’s name. That way if you accidentally hit send before you attach the document, it won’t go anywhere.
- Use signature lines. Create signature lines for each client. Make your clients look bigger and better by having a company signature. In addition, create a signature for all email you send on your own behalf. Using your name and company name will remind your clients and others of who you are, what you do and what you stand for.
- Email is not confidential. Protect your client by using discretion when sending email.
- Don’t assume that your client got an important message from you just because you sent an email. Email does not always reach its destination. If you don’t hear back, call to make sure he got the message.
- Read your message out loud before you send it. Does it say what you want it to say? Is there anything that could be misinterpreted?
- Sometimes it is better to have a voice to voice conversation with your client than to send an email. This is especially true in awkward or stressful times. When difficult situations arise, pick up the phone instead.
Email is an amazing technology – just be aware that it can be very quick and casual.
Stop by the Virtual Assistant Networking Association today. They are waiting, ready to assist you with all your business needs.
*Source: Virtual Assistant Networking Association
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