How to Manage Client Emergency Requests
I’ve received many client emergency requests asking me to complete urgent work over the years. There are number of ways to deal with client emergency requests for work, so I’ve put together a scenario and a number of ways you can deal with them.
You have a regular client who you have worked with on many occasions. Because they like the way you work and you have a good rapport with them, you are the first virtual assistant they contact. They usually give you plenty of notice and flexible deadlines, however on this occasion they want you to drop everything to take care of their emergency project. Unfortunately, you have other work that needs to be completed for other clients and have tight deadlines to meet for all of them.
You now have five options on how to deal with the urgent client emergency request:
Option 1. Advise the client that you have deadlines to meet for other clients, but that you will do the work for them, and arrange your schedule to fit them in. You tell the client that because of this rearranging; you must charge them more than usual for the job. Mark the job up 10 to 20 percent and get the work done in the evenings. Meet all deadlines, including their emergency deadline.
Option 2. Tell the client that you have other deadlines, and that you must refuse the work. Gain their sympathy, and recommend another virtual assistant to them. This, of course, puts your relationship with that client at risk. The other VA may steal them away.
Option 3. You tell the client that you have other deadlines, but that you will fit them in. Although that it will cost them more. You then outsource to another virtual assistant to get the work done, and pay that VA the full amount that the job is worth — and you keep the extra amount that the client paid for the rush job.
Option 4. This client job pays really well, and this is an important client. You contact other clients and change deadlines to get this emergency work done.
Option 5. Inform the client that you can’t help them, because you have other deadlines, and you leave them to get the work done on their own.
How I cope with Client Emergency Requests
Of these options, option 4 and option 5 should never be considered.
Options 1 and 3 are the best, with option 2 being the third-best choice.
Above all, you must always keep your clients happy and this includes allowing wriggle room to deal with client emergency requests at all costs, even if it means working out of your normal office hours.