What is a Virtual Assistant?

July 2, 2020 | Outsourcing

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Business today has advanced by leaps and bounds, due to the advent of innovative technologies. This has resulted in a change from normal business models which had a physical premises and then employed full-time staff.

To save on costs, many businesses opt to have virtual assistants. These are assistants that are not necessarily full-time employees. Rather, they are self-employed freelancers who offer a range of services for a fee from remote, usually online locations.

Virtual assistants are normally highly professional, qualified experts in their fields. Almost any business can benefit from a virtual assistant.

Why use a Virtual Assistant?

There are various reasons that businesses could opt for the services of a virtual assistant.

Convenience: The first of these is convenience, as it could be easier to pass on time consuming, repetitive tasks to someone who can get them done effectively, without interrupting the daily flow of business operations.

Stress Reduction: In addition, a virtual assistant can help to reduce stress in the workplace, as they take on tasks which may not require a full time employee with a specific skill set. Rather than the existing employees attempting to multi-task and cover work that is not within their field, a virtual assistance can process technical work with ease and precision.

Flexible Employment: Virtual employees can work for the organization on a full time basis, or they could be employed for specific periods of time, or until the completion of a project or contract.

No Strings Attached: The biggest advantage you will find from working with a virtual assistant is the ease with which you are able to establish and discontinue the relationship. Unlike a full time employee, there is no need to give notice or offer severance pay. One can simply let the virtual assistant know that their services are no longer necessary, without fear that they could take legal action against the organization.

Also Read: Phone Answering Services

Interacting with a Virtual Assistant

Just because a virtual assistant is not physically in your office does not mean that they are difficult to interact with. Virtual assistants are able to communicate using email messaging, text messages and instant messenger chats, as well as direct conversations on the phone.

They are able to provide a whole host of services, including management of administration, technical assistance and marketing services.

In today’s business environment, client expectations are high. Disappointing those expectations can lead to a loss of opportunity. Running a business with a cell phone has become popular, as capability and low cost makes this form of communication very efficient. The use of email and messaging using that same smartphone has made it possible to complete a range of tasks that used to be handled by multiple people. But what happens if you receive a call that requires your immediate attention, and you are in the middle of a meeting, or in a location that is noisy? The one opportunity to make a first and lasting impression is lost.

What Can a Virtual Assistant Do?

This is the greatest advantage of having a virtual assistant. Your calls are answered with a consistent professional voice, which enhances your business image by engaging your clientele and ensuring that whatever their needs are at that moment, are taken care of – instantly. In many cases, the virtual assistant can provide foundational marketing information so that the prospective client’s interests are satisfied. Site visits and meetings can be scheduled, rather than left as a callback, or voice mail. The virtual assistant’s actions set the client experience apart from a competitor that may rely on cell phones and voice mail to manage business opportunities.

Who Does a Virtual Assistant Benefit?

This is particularly beneficial for professionals. Consider a lawyer as an example. When a client is searching for a lawyer’s services, they may be doing a Google search for the specific specialty. As it is probably a stressful situation, they are more likely to place a phone call then submit a form. If that call is forwarded to a voice mail, which is often the case just by virtue of the fact that lawyers are very busy, it is very likely that the prospective client will hang up and call the next lawyer in the search field. Contrast that experience with the prospective client speaking with an engaging virtual assistant that is trained to ask the right questions and manages the expectations of the caller to get them the information they need quickly.

That same experience could be true of a contractor that is busy providing services and can’t attend to every phone call. The act of answering phone calls takes away from the efficiency of the work. Handing off some of these tasks provides the opportunity to spend precious time dealing with very high-value opportunities.

How Can a Virtual Assistant Help Your Business?

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Virtual assistants can play a large role in the business by scheduling meetings and service fulfillment, data entry, creating & sending proposals, and following up on opportunities. Almost any task that is clerical in nature can be completed professionally by a virtual assistant.

Small and large businesses alike can benefit from a virtual assistant. Rather than hire someone to work as a full-time assistant when they may not be fully utilized and thereby impossible to justify, subscribing to a service that provides a virtual assistant and sharing the resource with other companies makes it very affordable and removes human resource challenges that often accompany hiring full-time staff.

Contact Officescape To Learn More About A Virtual Assistant

If you are interested in hiring or learning more about a virtual assistant, contact Officescape today. We can help you get your company running efficiently with the help of our services

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