It’s true. I had a big ‘Oops’ moment last week (I still cringe to think about it) and if you are a Virtual Assistant – you are bound to experience one too. Mistakes and Blunders are going to happen. I have a V.A. friend who mistakenly picked up her client’s coffee during a consultation and *gasp* drank out of it! Luckily that is something everyone can laugh about later. But at some point in your career, you will mess up a client project and have to face the music of a dreadfully unhappy client.
So how should you handle it when it happens? What you do after you screw up will make a huge difference in keeping or losing your client. Here are some tips:
1. ‘Fess Up. Always admit that you made a mistake as soon as you are aware it has happened. Let your client know immediately (this will hurt – no one likes to call up a client to tell them you made a huge flub) but you have to do it anyway.
2. No lame excuses. There might be a million reasons for your error and your instincts will tell you to blame it on someone else (ie – YOUR instructions weren’t clear…YOU didn’t give me enough time…YOU approved the copy) but clients definitely don’t want to hear that. They want to hear a solution. Suck it up and avoid making excuses.
3. Apologize Profusely. Apologize again. ‘Nuff said.
4. Offer to make it right. Come up with a solution as soon as possible and do whatever it takes to make it right. It will be much easier to tell your client you’ve made a mistake if you can offer some sort of solution at the same time.
There are bound to be glitches at some point in your career as a VA – but knowing how to handle them will ensure you have a long and happy career in this business. Learn from your mistakes and be sure they never happen twice!