How to Manage Difficult Clients (And Win Them Over!)

It’s normal to have negative experiences while working in the virtual assistance industry. Generally, it’s because of difficult tasks or projects. However, it’s not uncommon for a virtual employee to have a bad experience because of a difficult client.

Some clients could easily drain your energy and leave you unmotivated. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything about it. There are numerous ways to deal with situations like this. Here are some tips on how to manage difficult clients (and win them over).

Don’t take it personally
Even if your client does nothing but criticize you and your work, never take it personally. Treat it as a challenge to do better and prove to your client that you’re a hardworking VA capable of delivering exceptional results. If you take criticisms and negative feedback personally, you’ll end up feeling bad, and you might eventually lose interest and become unproductive. Once this happens, you might end up losing your job.

Be mindful of the words you use
Sometimes, conflicts arise due to the wrong choice of words. Bad communication may bring a negative impression about you and your attitude. To prevent this from happening, mirror the words the client uses. By using the same terms and words your client use, you send a strong signal that you’re both on the same page and you understand what they need.

Document everything as much as possible
Have you ever encountered a client that has flip-flopped on their statements or instructions? This is a common occurrence that leads to a tarnished relationship between a client and a virtual employee. Flip-flopping can be done deliberately and unknowingly. To prevent yourself and your client from being victims of this situation, it’s wise to document details you discuss including deadlines, tasks, and project specifics. This prevents both parties from forgetting what was discussed. This can also serve as a guide and tracker if these agreements and targets are met.

Know when to disagree
If your client is undoubtedly incorrect and their decision may negatively affect the business in a huge way, it’s understandable to disagree. The trick here is not to sound confrontational. Instead, acknowledge what your client has said and then offer your differing opinion. This sends a strong message that you listen and take into consideration your client’s opinion. Most clients don’t mind when their VAs disagree as long as you listen to them first and you provide an alternative that you present in a courteous manner.

The key element in all of the tips provided above is professionalism. Always treat every interaction professionally and courteously. By being professional, you’ll get your message across and earn your client’s trust and respect.

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