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Dec
16

Communication: An Essential Tool for Growing Your Business

By

Pebbles Jacobo, All Things VA bloggerPerhaps one of the most important tools to help establish and grow your business is communication. Look behind the scenes of a thriving business and you will find a lot of communication. Here are a few things I have found important to communicate as I have built my business.Communication, by Pebbles Jacobo

It is important that we communicate what we understand our clients are requesting. It’s more than just “you say pōtātō, I say pōtătō.” Think of it as “you say potato, I HEARD potato.” Just because a client knows what they want does not mean you hear what they want through their communication. Err on the side of caution and VERIFY. (I do this with my husband and though it ruffles his feathers it saves time and energy in knowing I understood correctly what he wants.)

 

Don’t be afraid to speak up and bring certain things to the attention of our clients. Don’t assume they know about every little issue with their website. Often times it takes a fresh set of eyes to pick up on something overlooked by familiar eyes. This is a great way expanding your services to your client, too.

Just like raising a child, establishing working relationships requires boundaries to be stated outright, rather than merely ‘understood.’ Just think, you don’t know with 100% certainty your client’s point of view. No one can ever know exactly another person’s point of view. Every individual’s viewpoint is shaped not only by their experiences, but mostly by their reactions and innermost thoughts about said experiences.

While most virtual assistants often work non-traditional hours, make sure to ask your clients what their expectations of you are during each holiday. Different religious beliefs and customs may allow for more or fewer holiday time than you expected.

Lastly, when a client gives you a project and a deadline, be sure to ask when the project needs to be completed to be sure your dates match. Also, I have found that some clients don’t realize the work involved with certain requested projects. When you receive the project assignment or request, communicate with the client how much time you expect in completing the project properly. (This may be necessary for the budgeting purposes of your client.)

Remember, a happy customer is a repeat customer. To set your business up to thrive, communication is a must.

Did I miss anything? What do you communicate with your client or wish was communicated with you? Please share by leaving a comment below.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Pebbles Jacobo is the owner of A&P Virtual Enterprises which she, with the guidance of her husband, started when she began  working from home as a VA (Virtual Assistant) several years ago. As Content Manager of the leading Christian work-at-home site online, CWAHM.com, Pebbles found herself thoroughly intrigued and fascinated with the world of social media. Her love of social media has grown over the years.  She now offers Social Media Marketing, as well as Blog Management, Editing, E-Book Formatting and Conversion, VA Training, and a host of other services to her clients, which include speakers, authors and entrepreneurs alike.  Connect with Pebbles on Facebook.

Comments

  1. Debra Westbrook says:

    When I read this, I said to myself “Hello, are you listening.” I am the creative type so I have had to learn over the years to not move in the presumption of what I believe someone thinks or says but to ask and to listen. This is a great post AND I am going to read it again. A word for me today. 🙂

  2. Benita says:

    Pebbles,

    You are spot on here! Good communication should be the first building block to customer service. One tool that I use to ensure a clear understanding of my clients needs is a survey in the forms of Intake and Exit interviews. I also periodically poll clients to see if there are any unmet needs that my company can service. I’ve gotten really good feedback from my clients for doing this.

  3. Pebbles Jacobo says:

    Thank you, Benita. I have found communication to be something I struggle with, yet when I use it effectively, it makes a world of difference!

  4. Anna Jeanine says:

    You’re right, those are all important points to remember when working with clients. But also, they are great communication tips for family relationships.

  5. Pebbles Jacobo says:

    Often times I find my posts are not so much preaching to the choir as they are to myself. Glad you benefited from today’s post.

  6. Pebbles Jacobo says:

    Oh, I hadn’t thought of it like that, Anna, but you are absolutely correct! A HUGE problem we have today in the breakdown of the core of our families is lack of real communication.

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