Hello, and welcome back again to my third article in a series all about the Onboarding process!
If you haven’t been able to read my previous articles, I’m Kate and I am the managing director of Olivier Consultancy and I am here to help you as a Virtual Assistant to showcase your skills from the very start.
Onboarding procedures are key to your services and is the process of taking your client from being just a lead, through to actually choosing to work with you and as a virtual assistant and it is absolutely crucial that you nail this process! You’re selling your service as somebody who’s great at administration, business operations, all the ‘behind the scenes’ work that your clients probably aren’t so good at…
In this part, I am going to tell you five mistakes that are commonly made by virtual assistants and ways that you can easily improve and avoid making them.
The first common mistake, which is seen quite a lot, is making it difficult for the potential client to book a discovery call most virtual assistants websites will include an option to book a call, that the client will hope will take them to a calendar to book in instantly, but usually, it will lead to an email or contact form. You might be thinking, ‘what’s wrong with that?’ This is a mistake because you’re essentially making the client do the work to book in with you, and as I mentioned in part 2, your job as a VA is to make their life easier so if you try to see it from your clients perspective, they might like the look of you, your website and services but if the discovery call booking service takes too long, it’s likely they’ll go ahead and look for someone else, so I recommend setting up a system where they can book in instantly with you.
Failure to prepare for a discovery call
It’s really important that you have an idea of what your potential clients do and how you can help them before you jump on to the discovery call. You’re much more likely to convert a call into an actual sale if you have done your preparation in advance. You don’t have to do hours and hours of work to prepare, but I am talking about the obvious research, such as going on their website, writing down the services that they offer, brainstorming some ideas of how you can help and how you’ve maybe helped other clients similar to them in the past, just to give them a starting point of what you can do to help them. This is a great way to get a great first impression across, and it will also help you feel more confident and at ease when going into that call.
Lack of communication
It’s also really important that when onboarding a client, that you communicate with them and talk them through the process, as this is a small insight for them to see how you work, so they feel like they’re moving through the process, but you’re not leaving them unsure of what is going to happen next, it may push them to go and find another VA who is on top of their communication.
You have to find the balance of when to communicate and when not to. You can schedule and write standardised emails that will take the client through the process so they have an understanding of what to expect. What you don’t want to happen is a client to have to get in contact with you asking when something is going to happen, or what happens next. You want them to know that they are in safe, organised and communicating hands!
Dropping the branding
This might not be something that you’ve thought about too much, because a lot of virtual assistants feel like once the client’s committed, it doesn’t matter anymore… This is true, it kind of doesn’t matter anymore, but, if you’re a savvy business owner you’ll know that ultimately it does matter. Branding is an investment, big or small, it doesn’t matter, it’s an investment in your business and it’s something that should be used throughout your whole client process from getting the lead to off-boarding.
Things to consider:
- Your brand
- Your voice
- Your fonts
Some business owners and virtual assistants spend a lot of time, and hours on their Instagram and website making it look beautiful, but when the client starts working with you, and you hand out various documents such as contracts, forms, questionnaires, invoices, etc. There’s no real branding anywhere, maybe just your logo spotted about, but there’s no real branding that builds into your brand loyalty, your brand advocacy at the end of it all. You want people to recommend you and your business, and branding is a massive part of that. So don’t drop it. There’s no need to!
Making them feel like just another client…
I’m not into the fluffy stuff, I’m very practical and I don’t like to ponder to my clients, I like to keep it as a business relationship. However, I do like to make them feel like a VIP. I do use that white-glove service with them because that’s what they expect from me. I’m professional, and I want them to feel when they’re working with me like they’re working with a professional and that it is one-on-one at that time. You want them to feel like your attention is 100% on them, and that you’re not busy with other clients or projects, check that you’re not sending them any incorrect information, that nothing is just copied and pasted, and sent out without a thought. You want to make them feel during that onboarding process like they’ve chosen the right VA to work with, that’s going to lead to word of mouth referrals at the end, which decreases your marketing time and budget as well.
All of these things might sound intangible and small on them on their own, but altogether they create a bad onboarding experience for the client, whereas you want a great one because you want to be able to reflect your skills and service.
A thought for today
- Why don’t you sit down and map out your onboarding procedure at the minute?
- What do you do?
- What software do you use, and how does that work for you and your clients?
- How does it look for the client, as well as yourself?
- What could you improve on?