You’ve heard the saying, “The customer is always right.” But what about when they’re not? When virtual assistants who are introverts deal with challenging clients, it can be hard to keep your cool. Luckily there are four things that you can do to help yourself stay calm and collected.
1) Step Away
The first thing you need to do and the best piece of advice I can give is to step away. Don’t send an immediate emotional response to a difficult client’s email or communication, it always makes things worse! Take the time to clear your mind and allow yourself the space to feel what you are feeling about the situation before responding.
2) Be Professional and State the Facts
Don’t take the time to argue with a client. If they are being unreasonable or asking for something that is beyond your virtual assistant’s scope of services, say so directly and professionally without any sort of emotional reaction.
To make this easier, virtual assistants often have an FAQ section on their website where you can list all of the questions clients might answer that you can easily refer them back to in your email.
3) Stay Firm in Your Boundaries
It’s your virtual assistant business, and you get to make the rules. If a client is asking for something that falls outside of your virtual assistant’s scope of services (i.e., they want changes made without paying), be firm about what you can do and your policies. If a client is trying to pressure you, micro-manage you, or undermine your abilities – they aren’t worth the stress.
4) When to ‘Fire’ a Client
When you start to feel that a client is taking advantage of your virtual assistant services, it’s time for them to go. No amount of money is worth the stress of working with a client that doesn’t respect you, your boundaries, or your work. You will feel like a weight has been lifted, and it will feel like a door has opened up to allow space for another, more aligned client that needs you.
The most important things when it comes to difficult clients and challenging situations is to remain professional, be firm, stick to your boundaries, and the biggest one – don’t take it personally. It can be hard sometimes, but it’s all a part of building a successful service-based business. We all have challenging clients but they are always a good learning lesson for moving our businesses forward.