Positive and Professional behaviour for the challenging client

Member feature by: Annie Francis of VA Connect


Working as a Virtual Assistant you get work on many different assignments and with many different personalities.  Some of your clients are wonderful and easy to work with, while other clients can be a bit more difficult.  Working with a difficult client can be frustrating and can affect your self-confidence.  As hard as it is, you need to remember your client is experiencing many frustrations of their own, and you are there to help them.

Improve your listening skills

As a Virtual Assistant, one of the most important skills you have to master is to listen and listen carefully to everything that your client says and to ensure you follow through on instructions.  This will go a long way to building your level of trust by listening and then acting in a professional manner to the task at hand.

Difficult clients can affect your work ethic and your self-confidence.  One needs to learn to not take things personally.  Most clients are complaining about a problem, not you.  In some situations it helps to remove yourself and find out what the actual cause of the problem is.  It might feel like they are really angry and frustrated with you, however, there is almost always another deeper issue they are upset about.


Learn from the experience

As a Virtual Assistant you are not in the same office as your client, it really helps when you are dealing with a challenging client to learn as much as you can about them and their business.  Be aware that to figure out what is going on, you have to be willing to ask questions. This will show your client that you are willing to learn about them and what is happening by taking the time to ask. Many times a client simply needs to know that you care the work that you are doing.

It has been my experience that being understanding can go a long way to working with a testing client. By responding positively and being empathetic a level of trust can be built. If issues arise, make sure to apologise for any negative experiences and be sure to clarify issues at hand.  Difficult clients want to see and know that you care, and it’s the most effective way of saving relationships with clients.


Communication is key

A Virtual Assistant should always follow up and track the progress of projects that she is given. Write down all of your client’s concerns and follow up. Ask if things have improved or not.  Be sure to note how they improve or worsen and make adjustments where necessary.  It goes a long way to proving to a client that you are staying on top of all the tasks at hand.

As you encounter difficult situations with your clients, you have an opportunity to change and improve the circumstances of your working relationship. By putting in the effort to show you care, you will not only improve your relationship, but may also make a big difference in your client’s business.


For more about Annie and how VA Connect can assist you, please do visit our members page.