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frances.palaschuk@rogers.com

When a Client or VA has a Bad experience...

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I have been in contact with both a client and a VA recently who have had "bad experiences" with a VA.

 

As we all know as with everything in life there may be bad experiences. I feel that a number of factors can come into play here - barrier in communication, expectations not being set, expectations not being fully understood be either party involved, etc...

 

... whatever the case I don't think it's fair to blame these bad VA experiences on the VA.

 

 

If a client comes to you for assistance and says, "I had a bad experience with a VA in the past" how would you approach the situation?

 

If a VA that you are thinking about working with comes to you and says, "I have had or know the client has had a bad experience in the past with a VA" how would you respond?

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Guest

I have done my share of outsourcing to other VAs and I have had both good and bad experiences -- I wouldn't be quite so quick to say "I wouldn't blame it on the VA." There are good and bad dentists. There are good and bad customer sales people. There are good and bad dogwalkers. And, frankly, there are good and bad VAs.

 

That said, I think the important thing is to focus not only on what made the relationship bad, but more importantly, how you can make the relationship good. What were the expectations in terms of timeliness of work product, and how can you alleviate concerns in this area? Ditto for available hours, communication, revisions to work product, etc.

 

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Hey Frances,

 

I agree that the blanket statement is the issue "bad experience with a VA" is not specific enough.

 

In terms of a potential client, I would ask them to be specific about what they expected and where the breakdown occurred.

 

In terms of your VA question, I'm not clear - the VA says they know a client who had a bad experience? or the VA has had a bad experience with another VA?

 

I'd also like to add that there are good and bad clients.

 

Tracey

 

 

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Frances,

 

In any relationship, it's important to affirm what works and address what doesn't work.

 

With those who have had bad experiences, ask them to briefly explain what they would do differently in the future. This gives you a peek at their priorities, anger management, and willingness to accept/place blame. It also highlights areas that need to be addressed before you begin a working relationship. For me, people who look for the good first and then voice their frustrations are much easier to work with than those who start with accusing, criticizing, and making demands.

 

Unfortunately, a person's perception of any one of us (as virtual assistants and as human beings) can be adversely affected by the unprofessional or irresponsible behavior of others.

 

Debbie Lynn

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Guest Pat Z.

Frances,

 

It could also be that the client and VA were just NOT a good fit. Not everyone communicates effectively, and not everyone listens effectively. If the lines of communication don't work, the relationship will probably not work - and both will walk away thinking the other was "a bad....." IMHO.

 

With that being said, there are other things that can affect opinions - really poor execution of tasks or non-payment of invoices can definitely influence whether or not you are considered a poor client or a poor VA.

 

I guess what I'm trying to say is that not every VA, even if they are the greatest VA in the world, is going to work well with EVERY client. Unless the client and VA realize this, it will probably result in bad feelings.

 

Just my :penny:

 

Pat Z

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I think you need to look at the fact that personality comes into the equation. By saying the VA was bad, or that the client was bad, does not mean they don't know what they are doing. We all come across people that we just don't get along with--does that mean that we are bad at what we do? No. It just means that these two people could not get along. When a client tells me the story of a bad VA experience he has had in the past I do not boost his ego by making such statements as, "Oh I can't beleive she/he did that. They should have known how to do that." Because probably the VA does know how to do what he was asking but it was how he was asking. When you don't see eye to eye with someone, it only takes one time for you to see them as not being able to do anything correctly. And it's just human nature that you can't get past that first screw up. Think about how many of us have fired a client because we couldn't stand working with them. I'm sure those clients have gone on to work with other VAs and are very happy with them. And I'm sure our name is mud to them and their new VA. But we know how good of a VA we are or otherwise we wouldn't still be in business.

 

Sue Rogers

www.easmyworkload.com

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Echoing Sue's point...note the comment seemed to be about bad experiences. I've had clients do that..griping about the VA before me. I tried to get them past it by not responding much at all (don't encourage the pity party) and pressing for more work information.

 

After working for the guy for awhile, I suspected the other VA just gave up and also did somethings to watch him squeal.

 

This is a new field with plenty of newbies trying to learn the business. They are going to screw up and with the client base growing in understanding and numbers, the screw-up odds change. The biggest screw up is not getting the situation cleared before ending the relationship so that the other person still has issues. Some will always have issues, remember, but a professional tries to close out the deal and move on.

 

When people are willing to say they have had a bad experience, I also watch for them to be hoping that I will make them whole by working for free to show the wickedness of VAs can be overcome by this hero. There are two parties in every experience.

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Guest TerryGreen

Personalities, work styles, miscommunication, you name it ... causes for clients having a bad experience with VAs and VAs having a bad experience with clients. That's why it's never, ever good to "tell tales" about either, or judge a VA or client based on a bad experience. It was the same with school and work ... I loved the teacher everyone else hated and the boss everyone else hated. Sometimes is a lack of skill or a crappy client, but it can be based on so many other variables as well.

 

A good fit for one person is not necessarily a good fit for another.

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A good fit for one person is not necessarily a good fit for another.

 

And sometimes - there's NO fit at all (like with my ex client who has been through 2 more VA's since I fired her at the first of July).

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I usually sympathize with them - "I'm so sorry you didn't have a good experience the first time out of the gate" and then just try to steer the conversation past that to find out if they are someone I want to work with (and vice versa). There are good clients. There are bad clients. There are good VAs. There are bad VAs. And others have already said - your personalities have to at least not be at complete odds to make it work :)

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Hi

 

I agree. Some excellent points have been made too. Sometimes I will address it with the client and say, "Do you have any ideas what might have been the problem?" It just opens the door for them, and then I can either address how we can work and try and keep on top of those particular issues or it also gives me a chance to check out the client. If he/she is upset because the VA didn't respond back on Sunday within 20 minutes, (or you know something off the wall), I can tell that this is going to be a high maintenance client and I'll proceed accordingly. There still are some clients who just are like this and you can work with, however, you need to know and you need to prepare yourself for these and get it in writing (contract) what is acceptable. It's that boundry issue.

 

I try and never take sides. And I'll never say, "No way she did that." Just not my place and as everyone mentioned, I don't know the whole story. There has been one time that I've been able to inform a client more on what they should expect. The client realized "OOPS, I didn't know that." I just happened to mention that I do the same.

 

I don't get real involved with the conflict. Don't mean to make it sound as if I do. I don't. I'd rather go into what we can do together.

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

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