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5 Tips to Serving Clients with Excellence in the “new normal”

Updated: Feb 6

When COVID-19 hit and the world sheltered in-place, we all became more familiar, sometimes more than we wanted, with the digital world. All aspects of our lives were affected and many transferred to online: grocery shopping, doctor appointments, connecting with family, friends and clients, and getting trained in new ways to conduct business virtually. 

As a business owner, I constantly travel the digital highway with its bumps and curves that test my skill at multi-tasking to serve clients, learn new technology, find new clients, all while trying to balance personal wellbeing and relationships in this crazy ‘new normal’. To avoid driving off the highway in the wrong direction, we need to work together to build the know, like, trust factor of fellow business owners and the loyalty of our clients.

This can be tricky in a digital world, where we aren’t physically working together. 

However, with the right focus in FIVE KEY AREAS, we can build wonderful relationships that make the road a little smoother to navigate for ourselves and our clients.


Do it often and regularly, regardless of the medium used to connect. Determine a digital program that works for both you and the client; some use email, while others use communication tools such as Teams, Slack, Voxer, or project management platforms like Basecamp or Asana

  • Let your clients know when to expect replies e.g. within 24 hours.

  • Set timeframes to manage email and messages so you can give them your full attention and reply with thoughtful answers.

  • Don’t communicate excessively. Your clients have a life too and don’t want to be bombarded with information that isn’t helpful or necessary.

  • Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone or do a video call, especially if an issue needs resolving. Personal communication and listening increase tenfold once you introduce the visual factor - remember the 7% rule: people listen to 7% of the words, 38% to tone, and 53% to body language. A video call brings back the in-person feeling minus the hugs and handshakes.


Set boundaries with clients right from the beginning. As Oprah Winfrey said, “You teach people how to treat you.” Set clear expectations, and if you use a contract or agreement, include a clause for this. You have the freedom to determine how and when you work, while clients set the scope of work and deadlines. Boundaries serve your client by creating a balanced structure, knowing what to expect and builds the trust that you will deliver on your contract. Three key areas to be considered in setting boundaries are: 

  • Communication Style – email, phone or video or a combination of all, frequency – 24/7, daily, weekly, monthly.

  • Work schedule – 24/7, Monday to Friday 8 to 4. Be particularly careful on setting this expectation as it will directly affect your productivity and life balance. 

  • Rates or Product Price – no matter how you charge your clients, hourly, monthly or set product price, you should be upfront whenever possible.. No one likes surprises when it comes to money. Sometimes a time-limited offer or quote is helpful. Discounts or referral fees, if offered, should be clearly outlined.


Consistency creates a routine, for you and your client. It builds client’s confidence in you and consistency in your service.

  • If you ease off on the boundaries you set it confuses the client, e.g. you say you’re not available after 5 pm, but you send an email at 10 pm. The client sees this and then starts sending emails at 10 pm expecting you to take action. Your work schedule is no longer consistent and the boundary you set is gone. 

  • Don’t promise what you can’t deliver. Being consistent means you will keep your promise and follow through rather than raising your client’s hopes and then dashing them.


The key to quality and efficiency is professionalism. It embraces personal qualities and behaviours that set you apart: respectfulness, confidence, responsibility, dependability, honesty, ethical, good manners, communicative, and professional appearance. 

  • Receiving feedback, whether positive or negative, is a professional trait that will help you grow and builds trust with clients. Learn from past mistakes and be willing to ask for feedback so you can understand what worked or what needs improving.

  • Your professionalism will shine if you provide feedback to your client in a respectful, purposeful way that provides value.

  • Don’t mix personal with professional. With increasing work-from-home businesses, its even more important to try and set aside a professional looking business space, particularly if you’re doing video calls. And make sure your family understands this space is for business. This will also help you to get into or stay in business working mode. Keep personal drama away from business.

Remember the nature of the client relationship and take cues from the client about how much information should be shared.


It's not just the monetary value of your service, although that is important so your client feels they are receiving their money’s worth. Your core values are the heart and soul of your business - integrity, honesty, generosity, and wisdom are what makes you and your business unique. Stand behind your values and don’t compromise them. 

  • Take initiative, but again, don’t over-promise. Suggestions for improvements on a task or process are often appreciated, particularly if they will save the client time or money, but stay within the scope of what the client needs and consider improvements for future projects.


With a proper balance between your entrepreneurial spirit and meeting your client’s needs in these five key areas, you won’t need to worry about driving off in the wrong direction or missing a curve. You might even start to enjoy the ride!. And your clients will thank you for bringing them along.


Trish Kimble

Founder & CEO of Blank Slate Enterprises

Virtual Assistant Coach & Mentor


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