As Client Advocates, we regularly “check in” with our clients either by phone or email. We do this not only to assess the working relationship with their VA, but also to gain insight into what’s new and happening with the client and their business.
During a recent phone call with a client, she mentioned my previous “check in” emails. She said “I want you to know that I did receive all those “check in” emails from you. I didn’t reply because I didn’t know what to say or what to ask. What type of questions should I be asking?”
As it turns out, that scenario is common with many of our clients. It’s not that they don’t want to reply, it’s that they don’t know what to say or what to ask. The simple answer to that is….there is no “right” or “wrong” question.
Client Advocates field a variety of questions on a daily basis, and although many questions are unique to each client, there are some questions that arise quite often. For the benefit of our clients, the ardent readers of the CVA blog and inquiring minds, the answers to those questions will be revealed.
Q: What happens if I go over my retainer hours?
A: When a VA works more hours than is stated in your agreement, that results in overage hours. Although the agreement states that a VA can go over the retainer hours in any given month by 10%, we will always reach out to a client for approval before doing so. Overage hours are billed to the client at the end of the month at a rate of $30 per hour and we never want to see a client receive an unexpected bill.
Q: Can I increase my retainer hours for this month?
A: Yes, clients are able to increase retainer hours during a particular month. We realize that there may be an exceptionally busy month during the year, so clients do have the option to purchase additional retainer hours for that month.
Q: What happens if I don’t use all my retainer hours?
A: As stated in the retainer agreement, unused retainer hours are not refundable. However, under certain circumstances, special consideration may be given. As Client Advocates, we are always reviewing client accounts to make sure retainer hours are being used effectively. When we see that retainer hours are not being used effectively, we will strategize with the client and VA to create a project plan for continued business growth.
Q: How many hours have I used this month?
A: Client Advocates can advise you of the approximate number of hours that have been used at any given time. Clients can also view the same information at their convenience by logging into their Client Center.
Q: I need to increase my retainer hours. How many hours do I need?
A: When an increase in retainer hours is needed, the “needed” hours are based on the average usage over the prior six months. So for example, if a client has a 20-hour retainer plan, but their average monthly usage is 37.5 hours, an increase to at least a 40-hour retainer plan would be the best course of action. As with other account changes though, a 30-day notice is needed to process the increase.
These are just a few examples of the questions the Client Advocate Team receives. Did your question make the list? If not, and you are a client, please feel free to email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are not a client, and have questions for the team, you can submit your request here.
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