If you were to revamp the customer support of your business, what kind of difference would that make? Over time, you could drastically improve your company’s reputation while growing your loyal customer base.
But the biggest question for plenty of business owners and managers is how to improve their customer support. When it comes to developing a customer service strategy or customer support game plan, that could involve hiring a customer service virtual assistant.
Yes, some virtual assistants provide good customer care to businesses similar to yours. This comes as a surprise to some companies that are prone to think of VAs only doing ‘generic’ administrative or office tasks.
True, these are valuable jobs to consider hiring a virtual assistant to help with, but there are plenty of other tasks to consider outsourcing too. Customer support is one of those tasks businesses tend to overlook when considering help from a virtual assistant.
Why should you consider hiring a virtual assistant to help with your customer support needs? Here are some reasons to consider.
Some Virtual Assistants Have a Passion and Gift for Customer Support
Virtual assistants gifted in and passionate about customer support can regularly look past its inherent challenges. They ultimately know their work is about offering satisfying solutions to you so your customers will be impressed. They find it fulfilling to bring powerful solutions to your customers. After all, helping customers is what it’s all about.
Some virtual assistants have a wealth of customer support experience they can draw from to help you to regularly ‘wow’ your customers. And their passion to consistently impress your customers will provide you with an expert right out of the gate.
You Can Hire a VA as Your Customer Support Strategy Develops
Your customer support strategy will constantly change to better serve those who need your product or services. But sometimes you may be unsure of where to start an effective strategy or how to bolster an already existing one.
That’s where hiring a virtual assistant can make a big difference. You get on-demand help so that your customers are thoroughly happy and keep coming back for your services or products. No more feeling paralyzed about your customer support or customer service plan. Your virtual assistant will be there to help you continually improve and adapt.
In the future, you may choose to bring on a virtual assistant as an ongoing part of your customer support strategy. You also may only need these services during a specific growth process. Either way, you’ll be ready to provide the kind of support your customers need and value.
A Customer Service Virtual Assistant Provides Versatility
Because virtual assistants are constantly immersed in the business world, the best virtual assistant will be able to provide a variety of customer support tasks.
That could involve responding to social media posts or online reviews. It also may include educating your customers about your products or services either online or over the phone. It could involve providing customer service when things don’t go as planned too.
And these days, more than ever, time is of the essence. With so many product and service options out there, a quick response can be the difference between gaining a new customer or losing one.
In her “Inc.” article entitled Virtual Assistants are the Best-Kept Secret of Modern Productivity, Diane Gottsman shares the following:
“It’s a 24/7 world, and in business, two of the most time-sensitive tasks are responding to customer communications and handling your social media presence. It’s critical to devote the resources necessary to stay on top of both.”
A Virtual Assistant Can Operate as Your Customer Support Manager
Maybe you have a larger business and on-staff customer service or support representatives. If so, what you may need most is someone to oversee your customer support team. In that case, a virtual customer support manager could make the most sense.
That way, you’ll have quick help to organize your team, ensuring everyone works towards their peak performance. This virtual manager or online business manager option is all the more necessary in these days of the pandemic.
Smart to Finish Can Improve Customer Support at Your Company
As the pandemic rolls on, do you wonder if hiring an online manager could help your virtual team reach its fullest potential? If you’re like many companies taking their first shot at managing virtual teams, it hasn’t exactly been a transcendent experience.
You may feel like your grandma trying to use her smartphone for the first time. Or a child taking their first wobbly baby steps. If so, that’s to be expected. Many day-job workers are now working as a remote team for the first time.
The famous saying that ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ holds a similar truth. Necessity is also the mother of the implementation of that invention. People tend to be uncomfortable with change because even good change can take an enormous amount of energy to implement—at least initially.
That’s where many workplaces have been with the idea of integrating remote teams for the past decade or so. We’ve seen a gradual increase in remote workers but not to the extent you’d think given how technology continues to rapidly improve.
For years now, the idea of having virtual teams has been an attractive consideration. More life flexibility/increased productivity for employees while cutting down on the overhead costs of housing physical employees has been regularly discussed.
So, what are some challenges businesses are facing when trying to oversee virtual teams during the coronavirus pandemic? Here are some biggies.
Experienced Virtual Managers Are in Short Supply
They’re scarcer than meat, hand sanitizer, toilet paper and computer devices used for remote work. We’ve delved into a world that seems more like something out of a sci-fi novel instead of real life. And we had little to no warning beforehand.
You may have been immediately forced to go online with your project management. It’s been a bit like learning to fly a plane once you’re already in the air. And that’s a lot of added stress on everyone involved.
On top of that, finding an experienced virtual manager to help you walk through the challenges of getting started hasn’t been an easy task. There are way more businesses still trying to figure everything out compared to those who are used to leading virtual teams.
Overseeing Employee Success Without Being Intrusive
Another major challenge is overseeing projects without being intrusive, obnoxious or downright creepy. At its worst, stories have emerged where supervisors want to see their now virtual employees on video all day. On the other side, the newly dubbed online business manager isn’t getting the results that are needed.
It’s been a painfully delicate balance, to say the least. Because when you compare an in-person work experience with a virtual one, you’re nowhere close to comparing apples with apples.
How do you oversee projects and achieve the needed productivity without becoming a micromanaging nightmare to your employees? The best answer is that delicate balance comes with a lot of learning, experience, and trial and error.
But the manager online who just days earlier was overseeing physical employees will naturally struggle with this balance. It’s not their fault. There just wasn’t the available time to acquire those skills before all of this happened.
Knowing How Much to Expect of Your Virtual Team
Those who expected to simply go remote and experience productivity similar to before the pandemic began have been sorely disappointed in nearly all cases. The trouble is, there are so many variables at play that it’s hard to know what to expect.
Demand too much and your employees will burn out and become resentful. Expect too little and your profit margins could jeopardize your bottom line or even the existence of your company.
Yes, there’s the major challenge of everyone learning to work remotely with kids, dogs, and a thousand other interruptions (not to mention sickness-related concerns). But on top of that, everyone’s feeling general stress simply because of the weightiness of the pandemic.
These have been uncertain and scary times for most and that’s made it all the harder to focus and accomplish the normal amount of work.
Could Your Business Benefit from Hiring an Experienced Online Manager?
In her “Forbes” article entitled The Sensitive Leader’s Guide to Managing a Remote Team During the Coronavirus Pandemic, Melody Wilding shares the following:
“Now more than ever, your team needs you to step up and provide much-needed structure, direction, and support. You can be the manager they need, all without sacrificing your well-being or stressing yourself out in the process.”
If you’re able to manage the stressors of leading a remote team during the coronavirus pandemic, good for you! However, if you increasingly find this task too overwhelming, Smart to Finish can assist you. Having a seasoned manager online (especially now) can make all the difference for your company.
Why hire a virtual assistant when art is your business? Mainly because you’ll protect against burnout while seriously increasing your productivity. Your VA can help you regardless of where you live and can relieve the expense of hiring a full-time employee too.
In her Inc.com article entitled Why Hiring a Virtual Assistant is the Best Move Entrepreneurs Can Make, Amy Vetter shares the following advice:
“When we are stressed or not at optimum energy, our executive and critical thinking skills suffer. It is more important to work smarter and devote your workday to the areas of your business that require your full attention and energy.”
Creating is your superpower but administrative tasks may be crowding out or even killing your passion, productivity and output. Maybe you’re a novelist, a videographer, musician or work in another creative medium.
Even though it’s hard to believe, your ‘kryptonite’ is someone else’s superpower. You don’t have to let those necessary but draining tasks steal your creative energy or silence the muse. The world is waiting for you to create after all.
Imagine if you could find someone who’s passionate about all those things you aren’t? How could that change your life, business, work-life balance and art?
Creatives Are Pulled Between Two Worlds
You feel the constant tug-of-war between administrative tasks and creating. It’s exhausting because you’re using two very different parts of your brain.
The creative side can feel like a lush forest with sunshine breaking through. The administrative side feels like an inhospitable alien landscape. It’s like you’re being constantly pulled between two worlds.
How do you create meaningful art with all the chaos and when things are so off-balanced? You may curse the fact that you despise taking care of the details. But what if all those frustrations are simply telling you something bigger about yourself and a satisfying solution?
That it could be time to find someone who excels at handling the details that distract and bug you so much. We’re all different and have unique gifts to offer to others.
You’re most at home when you’re creating. Why not have someone help you with the details so you can create even more? That’s where a VA or remote administrative assistant can transform your business.
What Tasks Can a Virtual Assistant Help Creatives With?
Why hire a virtual assistant as a creative? Because the types of available virtual administrative services are diverse.
There are many tasks a virtual assistant for creatives can assist you with, freeing up the time you need. Nearly all tasks that ‘drain your batteries’ can be delegated. Here are some possibilities:
The most effective way to find out is to get in touch with us so we can give you all the details and answer any questions you may have. We can provide you with a free 30-minute consultation.
What you may need most is a remote office assistant. It’s also possible you need a virtual team or online business manager (virtual manager). Either way, Smart to Finish can help as your creative purpose grows.
Did you know that hiring a virtual team could transform your creative business? You’re brilliant at something whether that’s photography, the culinary arts, putting words on a page or producing music that makes people come alive.
But, more than ever, you’re feeling stretched thin. Sometimes the stress of all your urgent tasks that don’t involve creating can weigh you down.
Maybe you’ve finally realized on a deeper level that you can’t do it all. And so, the next logical step is to hire a virtual assistant to help you get some of those many nagging tasks done.
You increasingly realize that outsourcing some of those tasks isn’t a luxury but a vital need. The next question to ask yourself is whether one person is enough for what you plan to accomplish.
In her medium.com article entitled 7 Tips to Build the Best Virtual Assistant Team, Melissa Smith shared the following about the value of hiring a remote team for your business:
“Having a VA team can be the best thing you’ve ever done for your business. While you continue to grow, your crew is there waiting for you to come in for a pit stop. They’ll get you all fixed up and back on the track again without you ever having to leave the driver’s seat.”
It may be that you need a VA team to reach your greatest potential. That way, you can draw from the multiplied expertise of a group rather than just one person. How can a virtual team help to grow your business? Here are ten key ways.
LinkedIn Marketing: These days, LinkedIn is a big deal for creatives looking to get discovered or to find work. You need to build up your contacts, keep in touch with connections, create a convincing profile, and share regular engaging content—all things a VA team can assist you with.
Web Design: Although web design involves plenty of creativity, it may not be your strength. Having someone on your team who’s strong in that area will help you to wow potential clients in a hurry.
Email Marketing: No, despite what some say, email marketing isn’t dead. Done right, it’s still effective at reaching your potential clients. Your VA can get in touch with your dream contacts while you continue to build your creative potential.
Facebook Marketing: Maybe you want to set up a Facebook group to do video chats, share content or place ads to reach your audience. If you don’t have the time, your virtual team will be there for you.
Project Oversight: Need to make sure all the pieces of your projects are fitting together? If so, an online business manager could be your solution. A virtual manager can make sure projects and tasks are working together efficiently, effectively and in a timely manner.
Product Launch: If there ever was something you can’t do all by yourself, a product launch would be high on the list. A remote team can give you the firepower when you most need it to ensure success.
Scheduling: Most creatives are more event than time oriented. Setting up appointments and keeping track of deadlines can be a challenge for many creatives. For that reason, scheduling is a valuable task to delegate to a team.
Email Management: Aside from email marketing, you may be struggling to keep up with the daily demands of responding to potential leads. Falling behind can add a lot of unnecessary stress. Your VA team can help you come up with templates to streamline and speed up your response time.
Content Creation: Even if you’re a writer, that doesn’t mean web writing comes naturally to you. Or, it could be that you’re just too busy. Whether you need writing for your web pages, blog posts or thought pieces to post on social media, your VA team can make it happen.
Graphic Design: Do you need a logo, social media graphics or other digital creation that has you stumped? If so, there’s no need to worry. A remote team can assist with graphic design as well.
Want to Find Out How a Virtual Team Can Help Your Creative Business?
If so, feel free to get in touch with us for a free consultation. Smart to Finish can set up a winning remote team so you can focus more on creating without all the competing noise. We look forward to meeting you!
Hiring an online business manager (OBM) or virtual assistant is a big decision, but could you be overthinking the financial side of it? This is a question only you can ultimately answer.
Having said that, if you keep getting stuck on the question of, “How much is a virtual assistant,” maybe you should look into the answer. You may have thought about hiring an online manager, virtual assistant or VA team for a while now. Even so, you’re having trouble taking the final step of following through.
Perhaps you’re struggling with several hidden fears or doubts that could be holding you back from a positive decision. Here are a few thoughts if you’re experiencing some worries over the virtual assistant price tag.
It Could Be Time to Scale Your Company
If it’s time to grow, that old saying, “You have to spend money to make money” is applicable here. Having fears about overspending certainly is a healthy trait to have as a business leader or owner. At the same time, playing it too safe may hurt your profits down the road.
“Ask most entrepreneurs and they’ll say they waited too long to get help — and that while waiting too long might have saved money, it also slowed the growth of their companies,” says Craig Bloem in his Inc. article entitled 4 Things You Must Spend Money on as a New Business.
You need the resources to grow your business to the next level. And sometimes that means spending money on talent now so your results can improve later. If your intuition tells you it’s time to grow, now could be the right time to get the virtual support you need.
Your Discomfort Could Be a Clue
Weigh this one carefully. You generally don’t want to go against your ‘gut feeling’. Still, business growth is rarely comfortable. If you feel discomfort at the idea of hiring a VA or OBM, that could be because courage is needed at the moment. You have to make the right decision in your discomfort.
Much like a middle school boy who goes through a major growth spurt may need new shoes and clothes, you may need to make adjustments for business growth. Sure getting ‘clothes and shoes’ is costly, uncomfortable and inconvenient now. However, ‘staying in those old clothes’ will eventually be even more so.
Sometimes, it just comes down to which discomfort you’d rather have. The ever-increasing discomfort of staying where you’re at or the discomfort of accommodating growth.
Perhaps You Can’t Afford to Pass on a Virtual Support
Have you lost too much time mired in the details when you could’ve been at the helm of your business? Deep down, you know you need to be looking at the big picture and casting the vision for your company.
Your reality may look much different though. You find your day taken up with managing people and projects. You also get bogged down with pushing papers, paying bills, social media and sending yet another email. And your greatest potential is taking a hit as a result.
You’re Thinking in the Framework of Your Current Finances
You may be looking at how much you have to work with monetarily and figure it’s a ‘no go’. Part of that could be because you’re thinking of your finances where they’re at now instead of imagining how they could improve with virtual support. That added productivity may easily pay for the virtual assistant help you decide on.
You Could Be Thinking Too All-Or-Nothing
In other words, a major barrier you may be facing is you think you have to ‘go all out’ or go home when it comes to virtual support. You have to either do the VA or online manager thing super big or not at all. We all can be prone to all-or-nothing thinking at times, but it’s not always helpful.
For instance, you can always start small with virtual help and build up more support over time. This is a great strategy to try initially in some situations. As your company continues to grow, you can add additional VA help as you need it.
How Can an Online Business Manager, VA or Virtual Team Help?
At Smart to Finish, that’s a question we love to answer. And since every company is a little different, so is the solution. The virtual assistant skills and services we offer are many as well.
The best way to find out the specifics is to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with us. We can accommodate most budgets and work hard to be the best virtual assistant company money can buy. We look forward to meeting you and sharing about the benefits of a virtual assistant, VA team or manager online!
Many businesses search high and low for the best virtual assistant at basement rates. You know, the genie-in-the-bottle type who’ll offer ‘dollar menu’ prices while magically transforming your fledgling or thriving business into an empire. Although that sounds like a match made in heaven, you’ll pay more in the long run.
Think this is just a gimmick to get you to pay more for virtual assistant services? With all the ads out there for nearly ‘free’ virtual assistants, it’s not surprising if you’re tempted to believe that. The myth is that ‘you get what you pay for’ applies to other areas of life. The virtual assistant industry, however, is somehow magically exempt.
Just Google ‘cheap virtual assistant’ and see what turns up. And while the shoestring budget route may seem alluring, you’d better have some migraine medicine handy (and deep pockets readily available). Here’s why you’ll pay more for cheap VA services.
Mass Job Platforms Make Client/Virtual Assistant Communication Clunky
Communication is key when it comes to getting the most out of your virtual assistant experience. The most qualified virtual assistant or virtual team in the world will disappoint if the tasks needed aren’t properly understood and carried out.
Many businesses rush to mass job platforms notorious for offering VA help at cheap rates. But because mass job platforms often thrive on keeping your VA’s identity a secret, inferior communication can result. Also, the interfaces can be poorly suited for optimal mutual understanding. The process can also feel less personal. In the end, the quality of your work can suffer.
Finding a ‘Deal’ Takes A lot of Time
The reality is there are a few good VAs out there at cheap prices. The problem is, you may have to work with a dozen (or more) VAs before you find one who can deliver what you desire.
You’ll also lose a lot of time you could’ve spent with your family, keeping healthy or pursuing your greater life purpose. And time will always be more valuable than money.
While it’s easy to think going cheap is a good idea, it really isn’t. Think about all of those hours you’ll spend looking for a ‘cheap’ virtual assistant. Then, think of all the money you’ll likely spend on VAs who don’t work out. And once you finally find the ‘perfect’ virtual assistant, they could be gone. Here’s why.
The Good VAs Don’t Charge Pennies for Long
Why might your ‘perfect’ and ‘cheap’ virtual assistant be gone once you’ve finally hit ‘pay dirt’? Because quality VAs don’t get into the profession to pay half of their bills while helping businesses pay all of theirs.
Sure, a talented VA may take a few low-paying gigs at first to sharpen their skills. But they’ll quickly move on to greener pastures as soon as the right opportunity comes along. Good VAs know the value they provide and look for clients who recognize what they have to offer.
If Your VA Isn’t Paid Fairly, Their Work Will Suffer
Sometimes businesses forget something. Virtual assistants, like everyone else, need stability to function well. They do their best work when they’re treated fairly. Paying a virtual assistant way below fair pay will mean they’ll be more focused on their finances (or lack thereof) than your business needs.
It also means they won’t be able to spend as much time on your project. At the lowest rates, cutting corners or even pirating work to turn some semblance of a profit is a concern too. Virtual assistant scams abound at the lowest paying levels.
The Best Virtual Assistant Company Has High-Quality Standards
In summary, cheap virtual support coupled with high-quality virtual assistance skills is largely a farce. You almost certainly won’t get the best work your company needs and deserves if you look for ‘bargains’.
In his “Entrepreneur” article entitled Don’t Be the Cheapest, Be the Best, Mike Templeman shares that, “People are willing to pay for quality.”
At Smart to Finish, we agree with Templeman. Our goal is to be the best at what we do. We aren’t competing with our competitors on price (someone will always be cheaper).
Instead, our virtual support team strives for excellence and to be the best VA service money can buy. We possess strong communication skills and are experts at a wide variety of tasks to ensure your business achieves its fullest potential.
Whether you need a single virtual assistant, a virtual team or an online business manager, we can deliver the best for you. If you’d like to learn more, you can reach out to us for a free 30-minute consultation.
The benefits of a virtual assistant are many. Whether you’ve been asking yourself, “How much is a virtual assistant,” or, “What is a virtual assistant and what do they do,” we can provide solid answers.