Working with a virtual assistant is a little bit different for everyone. Every client is going to have their own unique set of needs, as well as their own unique style of communication.
Similarly, each virtual assistant is going to have a unique skill set and area of expertise. Regardless of these factors, though, there are a few practices that both the client and the VA can keep in mind to keep things running smoothly, make the most out of their combined time, and make sure the finished product is the best it can be!
1. Write Down EVERYTHING
Accurate documentation is the hallmark of a great virtual assistant. This includes taking notes during phone calls, creating top-notch task processes, and keeping track of loads of client data. Clients need to be able to count on their remote staff to keep track of the work once it is out of their hands.
The need for accurate documentation comes before the task is ever assigned. For a smooth workflow, it doesn’t get much better than detailed instructions, both in the form of step-by-step guidance (if necessary) and overall scope of the project. Keeping your assistant informed will help them make educated decisions as they work on projects, and help prevent back and forth communication to address small questions.
2. Capitalize On Recurring Tasks
Delegating recurring tasks is one of the most cost effective ways to utilize the skills of a virtual assistant. Items that require daily or weekly maintenance, such as social media updates, blog posting, or customer service management are beneficial for both clients and the operations of a virtual assistant company.
For the client, recurring tasks require minimal follow up – once the instructions are laid out, it’s easy to just “set it and forget it.” By removing a monotonous task from their workflow, the client is able to free up valuable time for… Whatever they need to do!
Recurring tasks also allow VAs to do consistent for work for their customers, even when they are out of direct contact. This can help make the most of time purchased, with regular work fulfilling a genuine need – even when one-time projects are not on the table.
For the VA, this type of work also helps keep the client (and their business) as part of the daily routine, and never on the back burner.
3. Mine Your VA’s Knowledge
Virtual Assistants can have a lot of clients, and this translates into a great many projects – all using a tremendous range of software, planning, research, problem solving, and so on. To put it simply, VAs gain a lot of experience working with their clients, and there’s no reason not to pick their brains!
Because the client base can be so broad, it’s possible (and even likely) that a virtual assistant can lend some insight to a problem at hand, or offer an elegant solution that the client didn’t even know was available. Clients can let this experience work to their advantage, taking their VA’s opinion into account and exploring the suggestions they pose.
Similarly, the virtual assistant owes it to their client to share this wealth of knowledge, looking for common problems and helping their clients to navigate the seemingly endless list of options available online.
When clients and virtual assistants are on the same page, the results are synergistic to say the least. As they become more and more familiar with each other’s strong suits, and develop the systems that work the best between them, this is when an assistant can truly help a business (or individual) flourish. Forming a professional relationship based on clear communication and expectation, efficient use of time, and shared wisdom lets everyone perform at their very best, and keeps everyone happy with the work they are doing!
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