Why You Should Hire a Virtual Assistant for Customer Support

Why You Should Hire a Virtual Assistant for Customer Support

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

Would you like to learn more about how Smart to Finish can strengthen your customer service plan? If so, feel free to reach out to us for a free 30-minute consultation.

Whether you need a virtual assistant, a virtual team or online manager, our team can help your business reach its fullest potential.

SEO Marketing for Businesses: Optimizing Your Blog Articles

SEO Marketing for Businesses: Optimizing Your Blog Articles

Interested in how to make SEO marketing more intentional in your blog posts? If so, you’re probably already sold on the fact that words by themselves aren’t enough (although they’re certainly important).

You have a valuable service or product that’ll help oodles of people. Now, what you need to make sure of is that they’ll actually find you. One of the best ways to get noticed is through organic search results. It’s not salesy yet screams credibility to potential clients and customers.

If you want your website to show up better in the search results, here are some key ways to do that by tweaking your blog posts.

Focus on Great Writing for Search Engine Marketing

SEO marketing has to start with high-quality writing. The “wild west” days of the internet are long gone—the days you could simply slap some primitive keywords into a semi-legible article and rise to the top.

Google continues to grow more sophisticated and has gotten way better at telling great content from junk. Grammar, semantics and articles without excessive use of keywords all matter.

What this means is that, like all good things, you’ll need to invest consistent time and resources into your strategy to see results. Shoddy sentences and poor grammar just won’t cut it anymore.

Use Ingoing and Outgoing Links

An often-overlooked way to boost your credibility in the eyes of Google is to provide hyperlinks in your articles. There are two hyperlink types: internal and external ones.

Internal links connect to valuable resources on your website such as your “contact” or “about” pages. They also link to relevant blog posts or other content.

When it comes to outgoing links, some business owners worry that adding them will make people go elsewhere and not come back. In reality, it’s riskier not to have them.

Google wants to see that you’re directing visitors to both useful content on your website and the internet at large. This provides credibility and higher rankings.

Consider Going Long Form in Your Posts

What’s long-form content? Posts that typically run in the range of 1,000 to 3,000 words. To give you an idea of the word volume, that comes out to between four and 12 pages in a print book.

Why is long-form content such a powerful SEO tool? Because most articles aren’t that length for starters. Provided these articles are well written, they look more authoritative to Google which means they tend to rank higher.

Primary keyword density should generally run one to three percent of the entire article text. Much more than that and Google could penalize you for being too spammy with your keyword usage.

The beauty of long-form articles is they allow your keywords to appear more frequently, since there’s more text, without them looking questionable to Google. The added keywords long form provides can give you a “bump up”. People tend to prefer longform content these days as well.

Use Longtail Keywords to Improve SEO Marketing

Longtail keywords are keyword phrases as opposed to single-word keywords. For instance, if you want to market sandals to your customers, using the word “sandals” as a keyword won’t help you much since it’s too broad of a topic.

You’ll need something more specific that’s being searched for but that your analytics tell you isn’t too difficult to rank for. That may mean something like “springtime sandals for teens” or any number of other possibilities.

You’ll also want to pay special attention to question longtail keywords phrases. In other words, these are the exact questions people have been searching for online and can be a useful aspect of ranking well.

Like any good thing in life, achieving organic search results that bring in clients and customers takes a lot of time and effort. Thankfully, the end results are well worth it—plenty of credibility and business.

More than ever, web content that works needs to be of high quality with attention to SEO details mentioned here and many more.

Are you sold on the fact that you need consistent quality blog posts for your business? Good!

What is a Virtual Assistant and Can They Help with My Blog Posts?

In short, a virtual assistant can help you with a variety of office tasks regardless of where your business is located. And, yes, we can help with content writing services such as blog posts!

At Smart to Finish, we understand just how busy businesses can be. The tasks that need done can be dizzying and, if not completed, crippling. We specialize in taking that heavy weight off of you and your staff so you can focus on the big picture with minimal stress.

If you’d like help, you can find out more about our blog writing services, marketing management and other virtual assistance options by scheduling a free consultation.

Work-life Balance

Work-life Balance

“You will never feel truly satisfied by work until you are satisfied by life.” – Heather Schuck

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is a crucial element to both business success and personal happiness. For entrepreneurs, this is often easier said than done. Work time tends to spill over into personal time, and the line of separation between the two becomes blurred. Surprisingly, the key to managing both can often be boiled down into two simple words of advice

Schedule it

As a successful business owner, you likely already plan out much of your work day in advance. Whether you maintain your own schedule or delegate projects to a virtual assistant (VA), the simple act of carving out time for necessary tasks sets you up for effective time management.

Although this seems so basic to essential business functioning, it is often lost when it comes to planning our personal lives. Grocery store trips, exercise, relaxation, or time away is not treated with the same level of priority (or may feel silly to schedule on a calendar).

We make the mistake of assuming we will find the time to handle these functions as they arise. For an already stretched-thin business owner, that time can be few and far between!

 “You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.”

Charles Buxton

Creating time

For personal health, family, fun and relaxation is essential for a healthy work/life balance. Regardless of its appeal, this notion can feel intimidating (or impossible) to an entrepreneur who is already bogged down with more than they feel they have time to manage. They may wonder “how can I commit to scheduling personal time, when I am short on work time the way it is? What about the spontaneous challenges that are bound to arise?”

If you find there are simply not enough hours in the day, perhaps it’s time to consider hiring an assistant.  

“You can do anything, but not everything” – David Allen

As a business owner, giving up (some) control of the reigns can be the most difficult – and most profitable – decision you make. By allowing yourself to focus on your strengths, you can increase growth and profitability while delegating everything else to your VA. A quality virtual assistant or team of virtual assistants can handle anything from marketing and growing your business, social media, SEO, administrative tasks, customer service, accounting, website design, and more. While you maintain control over all executive decisions, your VA acts as your right hand: keeping everything running smoothly.

By freeing up space on your calendar and scheduling times to focus on personal health, relaxation and family commitments, you are able to keep a properly balanced life – offering your best self to your clients, business, colleagues.

Exciting Announcement: We’re Simplero Certified!

Exciting Announcement: We’re Simplero Certified!

We have been utilizing Simplero for some time now, and can attest to its ability to bring ease
and profitability to our clients. By packaging multiple systems into one source, Simplero
provides a software program that delivers all the Sales and Marketing functions an information-
based business needs. At Smart To Finish, we’ve assisted several of our clients to integrate this
service into their business – and we are delighted to announce that we are now officially
Simplero Certified!

What exactly is Simplero?
We think Simplero sums themselves up best when they say “Simplero gives you everything you
need and nothing you don’t”.

Some key features include:

  • Comprehensive email marketing
  • Tools for creating and selling infoproducts (PDF e-books, webinars, audio, video)
  • Built-in member sites
  • Fully customizable website (includes shop, blog, etc.)
  • Create landing pages, invoicing, affiliate programs, and more

Trying to decide if Simplero is right for you? Let’s talk! As certified Simplero consultants, we can
help you determine the best options for your business!

Technical Virtual Assistant Services that You Should Outsource

Technical Virtual Assistant Services that You Should Outsource

When you’re a small business owner or solopreneur, time is of the essence. It’s easy to get yourself bogged down in technical (and other) tasks you could be delegating to others. There are so many technical virtual assistant services that you can outsource rather than do yourself.

WordPress Website Development and Maintenance

Don’t have a website, or you need yours redesigned? Dread the maintenance involved with making backups and updating plugins? Then outsource these technical virtual assistant services. Smart to Finish has designed countless websites in WordPress in our preferred theme, Divi. Here are a few examples:

If you don’t use Divi, don’t worry. Our team is well versed in manually coding websites as well as other WordPress themes and page builders.

Social Media Implementation and Management

With social media marketing literally changing every day, it would be impossible for almost any business owner to stay on top of it all. Facebook is constantly making changes to its news feed, Twitter now allows 280 characters, and that’s just to name a few. And did you know that Pinterest can drive more traffic to your website than Google? Yep.

And let’s not forget all of the scheduling and listening tools. There’s Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social, and Sendible that come to mind, but there are many more. A technical virtual assistant who is trained in one or more of these platforms can help you choose which one is best suited for your needs.

CRM and Shopping Cart Automation Management (Infusionsoft, 1ShoppingCart, Ontraport, etc.)

While automation usually means set it and forget it, if you don’t know how to “set it”, you’ll just create more work for yourself. That’s why you should hire a technical virtual assistant who’s trained in any one of these applications. Our team at Smart to Finish has years of experience with Infusionsoft and can help you set up any and all of your campaigns.

Email Marketing Management (Mailchimp, AWeber)

It’s all about “the list” these days. If you don’t have an email list, you’re missing out on an extremely powerful marketing tool for your business. A technical virtual assistant can help you set up and manage your email campaigns and lists in programs such as MailChimp and AWeber so that you don’t have to worry if your email list is working or not.

Whether you need help with one or all of these technical virtual assistant services, the Smart to Finish team is ready to take these tasks off of your plate. Why not give us a shout out today?

Our Favorite Tools and Apps for Running an Online Business

Our Favorite Tools and Apps for Running an Online Business

As a virtual assistant service (emphasis on virtual here!), we know our way around tools and apps for running an online business that allow us to work with clients near and far. You might even wonder what tools we use. Well, we’ve put together a list of the back-end systems we use and have used in the past to help our clients run their businesses successfully.

GSuite

We use this amazing suite of services powered by Google to power our email, our internal file storage and management, and team calendar. For a reasonable price, we have a secure network where we can have multiple people working on the same document, get a decent amount of storage space, and easily share documents.

Glip by RingCentral

We used to use Skype to communicate with our internal team in real time, but since we found Glip, we haven’t looked back! ! It allows us to have different chat rooms for different aspects of our business and have video calls. Plus it runs in your web browser, so it doesn’t bog down your system with yet another app running in the background. There’s even an app for your smartphone to be able to communicate on the go.

Teamwork

Teamwork is our main task management tool. Tasks are assigned to our various team members, and they track their progress through comments. Tasks appear in each team member’s task dashboard, showing them tasks due today, upcoming tasks, and late tasks (we hate late tasks, but they do happen!).

Hootsuite

Tired of manually scheduling your social media messages? Then we suggest using Hootsuite. They have a “freemium” plan that allows you to schedule up to 3 social profiles, get basic analytics, and schedule up to 30 messages. Paid plans start at $19 per month.

Canva

If you are in need of an amazing service to design logos, banners, flyers, and social media images, but you aren’t a designer, then we recommend Canva. It has a highly intuitive interface and a ton of ready-made templates to help you get your creative juices Create your own logos, banners, flyers and much more with their intuitive interface.

Graphicstock

Now that you know about Canva, you’re probably in need of some amazing stock photos. We use GraphicStock for most of our photo needs and recommend it because it is has high-quality photos at an affordable price.

Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft is a one-stop CRM, marketing automation, lead capture, and e-commerce software that is used by a number of online businesses to streamline the customer life-cycle. We use it for our own business needs, and we also offer expert Infusionsoft management services.

Honorable Mentions

These are also services we recommend if you need some additional resources to compare:

  • Buffer: Another social media scheduling service with a free option.
  • 1ShoppingCart: This is a good option if you are just starting out in ecommerce and email marketing.
  • Easy Webinar: Create and automate evergreen webinars with this application.
  • Mailchimp and AWeber: Need email marketing software? Check these two out.

Need additional resources? We found an excellent list of 30 App Ideas for Your Small Business here.

If you have any questions about how we can help you set up our favorite tools and apps and work behind the scenes running them for you, just check out what we do and give us a holler.