The Perfect Opportunity to Boost a VAs Reputation
By Janice Byer, CCVA, MVA
Docu-Type Administrative & Web Design Services
The holiday season is just around the corner……AHHHHHH!
Are you like me and wondering how busy this season is going to be? And, how we can make this season special for both ourselves and also for our clients and contacts?
As VAs, we help others stay organized throughout the year, but this time of year may bring a break in the client workload. So why not keep the weeks leading up to the holidays busy by helping your valued clients make this holiday season special for their customers?
If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to let your clients know that you can help them reduce the stress they may experience during this festive and hectic time of year.
First, let them know that you can mail out their Christmas cards for them. Sending out these yearly sentiments can be very time consuming for your already overworked clients. Organizing everything for them can allow them to save an amazing amount of time…. time they may want to spend keeping the rest of their business running smoothly, or time they want to spend enjoying the festive season
They will not have to worry about shopping for cards; addressing, stuffing and sealing the envelopes; applying the postage; or even getting out to mail them. You can handle all of that for them.
If you happen to make the labels for the envelopes by compiling the contact information in a database, all the better. This is another benefit your client will appreciate and it will assure them that they are receiving a great service. You see, by keeping all their contact information in a database, they can use it over and over throughout the year to keep in contact with their customers. All they will have to do, or you can do for them, is keep the database up to date.
If your client wants to send a more special gift to their contacts, but are not sure what to send, why not provide them with a list of websites or local stores that provide wonderful holiday gifts? Most VAs are members of a variety of email list groups and those lists contain many businesses that would be perfect. This will save your clients time, as they won’t have to worry about searching for a good supplier and that perfect gift. It will also make you look more professional in their eyes because you took the initiative to provide them with complete customer service. Not to mention, you will be helping fellow small business owners by referring their websites.
Why not make gift certificates available to your clients to send to their customers? Everyone has someone on their gift list that is hard to buy for and, as they already know that your services are worth every penny, why not offer some of your much-needed assistance to their own customers?
Now that you have helped your clients spread the joy of the season to their customers, what are you going to do to show your appreciation to them at this special time of year?
I know the budget of a new VA is not all that big, so we need to show our clients that we truly appreciate them but we don’t want to break our budgets. So, what can we do?
Well, first and foremost, a Christmas card is a must. By sending them out early, you are showing your clients that you care and that you are organized. But remember, a Christmas card is representative of the season and should not be used as an advertising medium. However, it is the perfect opportunity to be creative without spending a lot of money.
A Christmas card is sent in a plain envelope…. lets spice it up a bit. Don’t forget to have your return address on the front of the envelope. That just leaves the back….what can you do there? Here’s an idea…. make up coupon on your word processor (or other software) and print it on the back of the envelope. Or, you could print a holiday poem on here. This will not only get the attention of your client but everyone else who comes in contact with it between your office and your client’s.
You may also consider putting a coupon inside the card offering your valued clients 2 hours free on their next assignment (or some other form of appreciation). Be sure to put a deadline on the offer.
If your budget will not allow you to mail cards to all of your clients and contacts, then consider sending some of them virtually. There are many wonderful greeting card sites to choose from and the thought is what counts here, right?
Some of my personal favorites include http://www.bluemountain.com, http://www.cardcentral.net, http://www.card4you.com, and of course, Kathy Ritchie’s site at http://www.thebestva.com.
Whichever way you want to show your appreciation to your clients, make sure that you have each individual client in mind when you choose your gift and be creative. Your client will be impressed with your forethought and with your ingenuity.