How to Choose Your VA: Why Communication Will Make or Break Your Business
Running a small business is always a balancing act; you’ve got to liaise with current clients, do the work or make the products, market your products or services, and answer new customer queries as quickly as possible. If you have a full team all this is manageable, but if it's just you or you and a small team, you’ll find it difficult to pause and take a breath.
Of course, while staying up to date on all new enquiries is a non-negotiable in your business (unless you want to see your business die a quick death), you don’t have to manage customer and in-house communication alone. A great Virtual Assistant (online personal assistant) can take over many of these tasks for you seamlessly.
However, it’s crucial you choose your VA carefully because it takes a great one – not just any VA – to take on your communication tasks with the level of prowess you need. So, if you want a VA to communicate with your clients for you, what should you be looking for?
VA Basics: Country and Experience
Let’s cover the basics quickly – if you want your clients to have a great experience with your business, you can’t hire someone that doesn’t have a good grasp of English, or hasn’t had experience doing some kind of customer service before - it really won’t be worth your time or money.
The reason business owners choose to use VA's is because they are able to pick up the reins quickly. If you’re constantly troubleshooting and babysitting them, you’re actually taking time away from more important tasks.
Another consideration is where they are in the world; I work with UK businesses so my clients and I have similar working hours. You may want someone to be on the opposite schedule as you, but it’s something to be aware of before you hire someone.
Choose Your VA: Are They Adaptable?
There are experienced and professional online personal assistants who are great at what they do, but less willing or able to adapt to your way of doing business. Whether you have strong branding or not, your business has its own voice and values that need to be conveyed in communication to your customers.
Do you want your communication to be formal or informal? Do you want your VA to communicate via messenger, email, or the phone? If you’re looking for the latter you need to ensure you choose a VA that has real-world experience doing this and speak to them yourself on the phone.
Choose Your VA: What Do Their Reviews Say?
A VA should have at least a few testimonials recommending their services, so make sure you check out the reviews and testimonials before you reach out to anyone. Often, other clients will mention specifics about what they asked the VA to do and what they liked best about working for them.
For example, I have a testimonial from Understood Ltd that says, “… she quickly got up to speed with everything. Jane was so helpful coordinating filming, liaising with actors and the client, and did everything efficiently and to a very high standard. … I love the tone of voice she uses. It’s very much aligned to our organization. … Her communication skills are superb and so I had complete faith in her liaising with clients on my behalf.” This kind of testimonial tells you exactly where my strengths lie, and it will do so for other VAs too.
Your main goal in finding someone who can handle your business’s communication and not risk the relationships you’ve built with your customers is to take your time, do your due diligence, and hire someone who values your business as much as you do. If you’d like to find out more about working with me, click here.