Let’s find out how you can grow your business with the help of virtual assistants.
Who is a Virtual Assistant?
Also known as virtual professionals or online personal assistants, virtual assistants are independent contractors who operate outside your office.
While they usually offer assistance with administrative tasks, they can also help you with other business operations. For example, they may provide customer service, perform social media support, manage your database entry, or schedule appointments.
How does a Virtual Assistant Help your Business?
Hiring a virtual assistant provides multiple benefits for your business.
Apart from full-time employees’ salary, there are many additional costs to consider, such as taxes, sick days, worker’s compensation, office space, onboarding processes, etc.
Hiring virtual assistants eliminates these expenses. As their client, you hire them to perform a specific job at the hourly rate they set. Since they are working remotely, you do not need to invest in equipment and expand your offices, either.
Researchers found that real estate savings with full-time telework are $10,000 per worker yearly.
From surfing the web to a casual watercooler talk, the distractions for your in-house employees are multiple. Studies show that 89% of employees waste at least some time on non-work activities.
On the other hand, 91% of virtual assistants are more productive when working remotely. To gain your trust and boost your satisfaction, they will stick to the rules you set, deliver high-quality work, and meet deadlines.
Virtual assistants are not restricted to your 9-5 workday. Even if they are in different locations and time zones, they can work around your schedule. For example, they could manage support tickets when your agents clock off.
Improved Workplace Productivity
By delegating manual and repetitive business operations to an outside professional, you give your full-time staff a chance to focus on more creative and challenging aspects of their jobs.
The same applies to new technologies and tools in your industry. Rather than educating your in-house team on every new software piece that comes along, you can hire a virtual assistant that has already used it.
How to Get the Most out of your Virtual Assistants?
Now that you know who virtual assistants are and how they benefit your organization, it is time to learn how to use their skills and talent to grow your business. Here are a few steps to take.
Choose a Business Area to Outsource
The good news is that virtual assistants are no longer limited to performing administrative and secretarial stuff. Since the need for hiring remote staff has grown over the past few years, virtual assistance has gone through a massive transformation. Virtual professionals now offer a wide array of specialized services, and here are some of them:
- Content management
- Software development
- Translation services
- Audio transcription
- Market research
- Data entry
- Graphic design
- Photo editing
Equip Them with the Right Tools
The good thing is that experienced virtual assistants already have their own set of tools that helps them perform tasks and meet deadlines faster.
However, you need to give them access to the tools and apps your company uses. For example, if you are looking to hire virtual call center agents, make sure you replace your analog phone with a virtual phone provider and give your VAs the right login information. That way, your virtual agents will be able to log in from different locations and devices. Additionally, let them use your CRM software so they can access the customer base and deliver personalized customer experiences.
It is also good to introduce them to the tools and apps they use for the first time.
Determine Who to Hire
While many freelance platforms and virtual assistant services offer access to an international talent pool, the question is – how to choose the right virtual assistant?
Consider their Work Ethics
Talk to a virtual assistant about different kinds of situations and emergencies that appear on the job and ask them how they would work through them.
Apart from their professional skills and vast experience, make sure their values and work ethics align with your company. For example, showing up on time, meeting deadlines, and communicating with the rest of the team are just some of the numerous skills you should consider.
Provide your VAs with Clear Instructions
When hiring remote staff, maintaining brand consistency is essential. That is why you should provide your virtual assistants with clear instructions.
Make sure you share materials and documentation with them during the onboarding process. Highlight your expectations and be clear about the rules they should follow, such as reporting, availability, communication with the rest of the team, etc.
Create a Style Guide
If you are outsourcing your marketing, design, sales, or customer service activities, consider creating a stylebook to guide your virtual assistants. That way, they will be able to inject your company’s mission, values, and tone into every interaction with customers and keep your brand’s presence consistent and recognizable.
The goal is to iron everything out on time. By providing clear instructions, you will avoid confusion and boost your virtual assistants’ performance. Above all, you will maintain a spotless brand image (both internal and external).
Virtual assistants can grow your business in multiple ways. They help you reduce costs, delegate repetitive tasks, boost your in-house team’s performance, and add more flexibility to your organization. Most importantly, you will overcome geographical boundaries. By hiring virtual assistants, you expand access to an international talent pool and have a chance to hire highly experienced industry players.