When you freelance, you are the CEO of “Me Inc.” This is an exciting prospect, to be sure. As part of running your business, you need to keep customer services issues in mind at all times. Here are some suggestions:
Respond to questions promptly.
No matter what else I have on my plate, I get back to clients asap. Since I work remotely, they can’t stop by my desk to see how things are going. I wouldn’t want them to think that I have suddenly decided to give all this up and move to Tibet to become a yak herder or some such thing…nope, that would never even cross my mind ;).
Acknowledge receipt of your assignment.
E-mail has been known to get lost in cyberspace and I have a policy of sending a quick e-mail back just saying that I received everything.
Keep your client posted.
If it’s a big project, let the client know where you are in the process. Ask if they want you to send in what you have completed to date. By offering to do this without being asked, you score points for being well-organized and committed to your work.
Likewise, if life throws something unexpected at you (like the broken wrist I am currently recovering from), let them know about that as well. You don’t have to go into a lot of detail, just some basic facts about what happened and how it will affect your work. In my case, I told my clients that I could still work but I was a bit slower than usual. It wasn’t a problem, even though I had to adjust one deadline back a few days.
Put yourself in your client’s shoes.
I try to do this…imagine myself as the client and figure out what they want. Well, they want their work done to their specifications and turned in on time. They want to know that their questions or concerns will be dealt with quickly and professionally.
Ask them if they need anything further.
When I turn in an assignment, I ask the client to let me know if they need anything further. My way of thinking is that if the client isn’t satisfied, then I haven’t done my job. It’s only happened a couple of times where what I came up with wasn’t what they were looking for. Both times they offered to pay anyway, and both times I refused to take it.
It wasn’t a question of not needing the money; I did. It was a question of doing what was right. In both cases I was offered more work ; it more than made up for the assignment I wouldn’t accept payment on.
My clients are not a distraction from my work; they are the reason that I work. I do what I can to keep them coming back to me for their needs. So far it seems to be working.
Now I have a question for the readers here: When it comes to the job postings, what do you need? Are there specific types of job postings you want to see? Let me know by posting in the comments and I will do what I can to find them for you.