How to Attract Big Customer Support Clients on Upwork - read the full article about Call center services, Call Center Services and Calling and answering from Upwork on Qualified.One
(gentle upbeat music) - Hi, my name is Sasheen Murray and Im a customer experience and success consultant with over 20 years of experience, working in customer support related roles in various industries.
I help e-commerce businesses and startup companies streamline, implement, or transform their customer service operations systems and customer journey experiences.
There are a few reasons why I started my business.
I wanted to break away from the daily commute to and from work.
I wanted to try something new and I also wanted to work from home remotely as I could maintain a flexible schedule as a parent and be available for my son.
Starting out, it was a bit nerve wracking trying to establish my work, but eventually I found my footing and had been able to grow a successful freelance business in my specialty.
Id like to share five major lessons Ive learned along the way that helped me shape my service and business.
I found these themes were critical to implement in working with big and enterprise clients.
The first big lesson I learned was to get clear about your service and what you offer clients.
What makes your service stand out to the client from the rest of the proposals? We cannot be all things to all businesses.
Refine what you do best and highlight those skills in your profile, description, work history and skill options.
If you are in design administrative support or a copywriter, think about what you do best and how you can present that in your profile.
Once that becomes clear, opportunities will become easier to identify and clients including enterprises will know what you do.
This was a challenge when I first started my customer success consulting work.
There were many jobs that had elements of what I wanted to do, but also included other tasks or responsibilities that were not a good fit, or I just simply didnt wanna do.
It took some time and patience before I narrowed down exactly the type of work within customer service that I wanted to do.
I recall the experiences and skills I had in previous jobs and incorporated those skills in my profile.
Once I had a clear idea, the jobs presented themselves a lot easier for me and I began to receive offers including from enterprise clients.
These clients had a clear idea of what I did, and one of the reasons why they chose me for the project and to speak further was due to the skills and details I clearly stated in my profile.
A great example of this was when I was hired for a project with a big client and had the opportunity to learn a new help desk software system.
From that experience, I was able to hone my skills with this particular software.
I also made sure that I detailed it in my profile.
Eventually, I began to attract big and enterprise clients as a result of the knowledge I gained working with the initial clients on this particular software.
Another example of standing out with the client is I have experience in training customer service staff on workflows, information and procedures from previous positions I held prior to starting my freelance service.
I mentioned this in my profile, and detailed how this would benefit the client in my proposals.
I would get requests for interviews and during interview conversation, clients mentioned this experience that I have as a reason why they wanted to speak further as they had aspects of their project that required training staff for customer support service.
The second lesson I learned was being consistent about bidding for projects and monitoring for opportunities.
Also, choose when you are available and stick to that schedule.
Check your Upwork regularly and consistently bid for projects you are interested in.
Also, monitor for opportunities that can become potential projects as you can bring clients to Upwork for job.
Narrow down what your work style is and when youd like to work.
Once you have a good idea, youre able to bid for projects and organize your time so that you are working within a rhythm with your clients and your schedule.
It is kind of cliche to say, but it is true.
Being consistent with your time and availability does pay off.
Its not always easy to do because life happens, but do your best to stay consistent.
Developing a consistent schedule, even if its a bit flexible shows that you are available and potential clients can see that.
After some time working on my projects and staying consistent, more offers started to come through.
And I believe that was due to my consistency and showing that I was available for work.
A time when scheduling worked out perfectly, it was actually the first project I worked on.
I made sure to discuss the schedule and expectations with the client on whether they would be fixed or flexible with time worked.
They actually were very accommodating with me working a certain time of day, which was perfect as my son was a toddler at the time and I needed flexibility.
These terms were discussed during the interview process and as a result of being on the same page, the client became a much longer term client than I initially expected.
A time where this did not work out so well was when I over committed with time and software and the project did not work out.
I interviewed and agreed to take on a project that was a little more rigid with time and thought my schedule at the time would work to be available for the client when I was onboarded for the project.
I discovered it cut close to another important time commitment I had over a few weeks time and I realized the set time was too rigid.
There was also a software requirement that I thought I could obtain with my computer settings and ultimately nothing worked.
Unfortunately, this project ended earlier than expected due to these challenges.
I learned here the importance of scheduling and being realistic about whether you are truly able to commit to a project or will it impede on other opportunities that are ongoing, whether it be a personal or a business opportunity.
The third lesson that I learned was, once you receive a request for an interview, assess the client and their information to see if its a good fit for you before accepting.
Review the project or job to see if you are truly interested before accepting the interview to speak further.
If you accept the interview, make sure you ask questions about the company and details of the project once you speak with the client and show your abilities and how your skills are the best fit for their needs.
Its okay to say no if its not a good fit, as you want to enjoy the work you are doing.
That ultimately attracts more clients over time if you are doing work that you enjoy and your clients see that, and in turn give fantastic reviews once the project ends.
Its always tempting to take on work that youre not 100% on.
It took a while for me to learn this and understand its better to turn down a project that is not aligned with what you want to do versus taking on a project or working with a client that youre not gonna be happy with.
I regularly monitor for potential projects or opportunities and do get requests for reviews fairly often.
One of the things I look for is company description with details on the project.
Job descriptions that are minimal or where a company does not give enough information on what product or service is offered can be confusing.
If there is information where I can look up a company and see what service or product they offer, it gives me a good idea of whether I can be of service or not.
Its much easier when a company details who they are and what product or service they offer.
With these details and a clear description of the position, its clear what the goals are in the project.
It gives me a good understanding of how I can be of most value to the project and what details I need to include in my proposals.
Having information on the company, as well as the position also helps to prepare for the interview so that I can ask additional questions to the potential client instead of having to learn everything upfront which can be overwhelming.
The fourth lesson I learned is, once you land a project and begin work, provide great communication to your clients and be adaptable to change within the project and your boundaries, especially with long-term clients, the key being adaptable within reason.
Once you begin a project, be sure to communicate regularly with your client on schedule, on workflow and any challenges that need to be worked out.
Remote and virtual projects require more communication and it is appreciated to be more proactive than reactive regarding work.
Also, the nature of the project may change, especially with long term projects.
Being open and adaptable within your work boundaries may result in continuing consistent work with enterprise clients over time.
This has occurred in a few of my long-term projects, where I conduct my main services and then over time was asked to help in other aspects of their business, where I had applicable skills and couldnt complete those tasks.
Depending on the industry you work in, there can be high and low seasons where your main role is not as critical, but it is still needed.
The client may need help in other areas of their business where you have applicable skills and can assist.
This actually allows for further relationship building and trust with your working relationship with the client as they see you can add more value to the business beyond your initial role.
Unfortunately, this can also work to a disadvantage, so once work boundaries are really important to be clear on.
I worked with a long-term client that had last minute tasks and scheduling that was not well discussed, but became an important task that needed to be completed by a specific time.
The challenge here was the client was located in a different time zone than myself as they were located outside the US.
It became a challenge to complete the task due to the time difference.
Ultimately, the project could not continue as their needs change due to scheduling.
It was disappointing at first, but then I started to realize remaining adaptable in the right condition can be a great way to maintain a long-term client relationship.
The final big lesson I learned was to refresh your profile and update your skills regularly.
Im sure this is said often, but its true.
Once youve finished a project, reflect on what new skills or information youve learned that you can add to your profile.
If you are not someone that does regular checks with your profiles, set time in your calendar quarterly to review your profile for improvements or changes.
I know for myself, I tend to forget to add new software learned in the skill section and that makes a huge difference when clients are searching for a specific skill.
Also, do not undervalue your knowledge on what software you know.
The software you know and assume that most people can operate is an assumption and you should still consider adding it to your profile.
Your knowledge in that software could attract the next big client.
If youve taken classes, gained a new certification or even attended a webinar where you learned a new skill, these experiences will provide additional knowledge and information you can apply to your services or projects.
I hope these tips and information help you attract the perfect clients and the bigger fish opportunities youre looking for.
Heres how to learn more about the work that I do and to keep in touch.
Thanks so much for listening.
Upwork: How to Attract Big Customer Support Clients on Upwork - Call Center Services