How to Use a Virtual Assistant: A Business Owner’s Guide

So, you have made the decision that you need some help. You have looked at your diary and realised that any extra pair of hands will boost your business. You have carried out your research and decided it is time you got yourself a Virtual Assistant. After this decision has been made, what do you do next? How do you make the most of your investment? How can you ensure that they will really add value to your business? Well, with all our experience we have pulled together all our advice on how to maximise your investment. Here is our extensive guide on How to Use A Virtual Assistant.

Clarify Your Communication Methods

When considering how to use a Virtual Assistant, communication is an absolutely essential aspect to plan for. Given the nature of the relationship is going to be virtual, you need to make sure you are communicating regularly. The importance of knowing how and when you can get in touch with each other really lays the foundation of the working relationship. Perhaps think about what ways you will keep in touch, how often and what you will talk about? By thinking through these different aspects you will create a shared understanding of how you can best communicate with each other.

Define Your Expectations

When working with anybody in your business it is important to outline your expectations. What goals are you setting them? What outcomes do you expect? What time commitments do you require? This “setting of expectations” will really help create the framework of your working relationship. It allows the Virtual Assistant to know where they stand and what is expected of them.This will give them focus and direction that will allow them to be more productive for you.

Provide an Overview of Your Business

A great way of engaging a Virtual Assistant in what you do is to share some insights about your business. Giving them an overview of what you do, how you do it and, most importantly, why you do it. This induction into your work will allow them to have more of an investment in what you do. In turn, this will help keep them motivated and loyal to your goals.

Share Your Customer with Them

A key consideration when thinking about how to use a Virtual Assistant is sharing your customer with them. By this, I don’t mean let them sell their services to your customer. I am talking about letting them know who they are. Give them some insight into what your customer expects, what they are like and how you like to communicate with them. Much like inducting them into your business, this gives them an investment in your customer and their journey. By increasing their understanding this way, they will feel more personally invested in your customers.

Get to Know Them

Building a rapport with your Virtual Assistant is a great way to generate loyalty. By taking an interest in them and their life, getting to know them, you will strengthen your relationship. Ultimately this stronger bond will motivate them to go that extra mile for you when it is needed. You will also make working together a much more fulfilling experience.

Create Shared Spaces

There are also many technical conundrums to solve when considering how to use a Virtual Assistant. In order to work efficiently it is a major plus to create some shared spaces online. It will be particularly beneficial to create shared document storage online such as Google Drive or Dropbox (fortunately all Virtual Assistants at Virtalent are provided with access to G Suite as standard!) This will allow you both easy access to files and work whether the other person is available or not. You could also consider a chat app like Slack, to keep updated on progress and share ideas.

Document Your Key Processes

Another great way of making your working relationships more efficient is to document your processes. For example, if you have a particular way you like to send out emails or post blogs on your website, write a guiding document to show the Virtual Assistant how it is done. This allows them to not only know how to get a key task done but also how your business likes it to look, feel and be written.  Creating these guiding documents ensures that your business keeps that all important consistency for your customer.

Finally, Say Thank You

This may seem like a small thing but it is a significant thing. One of the greatest ways to get the most of your Virtual Assistant is to simply show gratitude. This not only shows you value their work but also you are grateful for their help. This very simple action will again build a stronger relationship. This bond will only serve you better in the long run, they will go the extra mile for you when you need them to.  

There are many things to think about when you are considering how to use a Virtual Assistant. This guide outlines some of the key aspects that you may want to look at before you hire yours.  By taking the time to plan for how you will use them, you are really maximising your investment.

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