It is undeniable that the industry of virtual assistants (VA) is booming nowadays. It has been a trend among businesses and startups for quite some time now. VAs are being utilized by business owners for various reasons, some for additional workforce and manpower and others as a cost-cutting tool. Whatever reason it is, the benefits that a company accumulates from a VA is very significant.
Considering that VAs can do a wide variety of office tasks that you can expect from a traditional employee such as administrative assistant tasks, customer service, data entry, content writing, and many more, a lot of business owners are already experiencing the benefits they can get from hiring virtual assistants.
But being a virtual assistant is not as easy as 1,2,3. They are expected to have substantial knowledge and expertise in the job. They must be able to demonstrate that they are capable and especially skilled, not only in marketing skills but also able to satisfy clients and improve their loyalty to the company.
Here are some of the vital qualities that a virtual assistant should possess to produce quality outputs:
1. Computer literate
Virtual assistants will always work remotely and virtually, thus, everything is done online. Considering such a situation, an aspiring VA must at least be knowledgeable of the features of the internet.
Being tech-savvy is an important factor of being a virtual assistant. Knowledge and experience with the internet and online world will be beneficial for both the VA and the client as completing tasks will, therefore, be faster and less complicated.
Tip: Utilise the internet to stay on top of all your tasks. Familiarise yourself with different virtual tools, like task management and communication platforms, ensuring that you are able to organize and complete multiple tasks at once.
2. Communication skills
It is important for everybody to have at least some communication skills to be able to interact well with other people. But for virtual assistants, it is a must to have exceptional communication skills.
If a VA has impeccable communication skills, they can use this as an advantage, especially those working in customer service. They must be an effective speaker to communicate well not only with customers but also to their clients or employers.
Being an effective speaker is not defined as being able to use technical and hifalutin words, but rather, being able to maintain a conversation where both parties are able to say what they want and be understood well. Using simple language is a much better choice as it engages the customers and makes them more comfortable with the conversation.
Mastery of various languages, especially languages that are highly used by customers, can also be a key to success. Communicating is not merely speaking but also listening and understanding what the customer is trying to say. If VAs are able to understand the jargon and slang of the people they are catering to, communication will be less complicated.
Working virtually is another challenge, and whatever the circumstance is, good rapport must be maintained at all times. VAs must stay positive no matter how customers act. Being friendly, polite and engaging is a must. A virtual assistant’s confidence and how they present themselves can also gain them respect from clients and customers.
3. Being observant and maintaining accuracy
Even the smallest details are extremely important as one small mistake can have a huge impact on the company. Every move must be carefully done to avoid unanticipated circumstances.
For virtual assistants, they must set their minds to focus on their tasks while at work. Since they are expected to handle several tasks or accounts at the same time, once in a while, errors could occur unintentionally that results in a longer and more complicated process.
To avoid such errors, it is important not to neglect the smallest details such as numbers or dates and, of course, also remember the important factors such as formats and specific instructions given by the clients.
Being familiar with the tasks also helps in problem-solving particularly if virtual assistants know where to begin or what to do without supervision. Mistakes should be avoided at all costs. Though mistakes are human, common sense should prevail and VAs should aim to complete tasks accurately and successfully. This would save a lot of time for both the VA and their client.
4. Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
A virtual assistant’s job can be highly stressful at times, therefore the capability to work gracefully and efficiently under pressure is of the utmost importance. They must have an effective stress management system and a hard-working mindset every time they take a job.
Meeting deadlines can be one of the most common stressors for virtual assistants. But deadlines are set for a reason and are important for clients who work on particular projects where time is highly crucial.
Time frames and deadlines are important so that if something unexpected occurs, VAs are still able to adjust and complete their tasks on time. Additionally, having open communication with clients at a time of stress and tight deadlines is extremely beneficial for both the VA and client to ensure all work is completed to the highest standards.
At the end of the day, such work habits can create a good personal reputation for a virtual assistant. It reflects the personality, working habits and discipline, and reliability of a particular VA.
If you are a VA, remember that you are not perfect, no one is. But it is also an extremely positive characteristic to possess if a person always seeks room for improvement for themself. They must be open to criticism, suggestions, and feedback about their work. At the end of the day, constructive criticism can lead to the actual improvement of an individual.
Weakness is normal and should not be considered as a negative thing. When a client gives feedback to their VA, the VA should accept it with an open-minded manner, allowing their work to improve and therefore reaching the common goal for the client and the VA.
Always being accepting of feedback and cultivating new ideas, techniques, and strategies towards a specific task or in business, in general, can be very helpful towards achieving success.
6. Reliability and integrity
Virtual assistants must be reliable at all times. If they are given a particular task, they must make their clients certain that they will finish the task without the need for their employer to constantly check on their progress.
They must keep in mind that virtual assistants are hired to lessen office stress and tasks, therefore, they should not be the reason for additional stress to the business owner. Considering the situation of a virtual assistant working remotely, honesty and integrity are very important. Perhaps the employer does not personally oversee how their VA does their job, it does not mean that the VA can slack off not complete their tasks with integrity. Virtual assistants still need to be honest about their job and maintain their personal principles even when no one is watching.
Also, it is vital in a virtual assistant’s career, especially those who provide content writing services, to not commit plagiarism at any cost. It will not only destroy their reputation but also their client’s, and their future career.
Since everything is built by trust, though there is a non-disclosure agreement, VAs must be disciplined enough to know that their client’s personal details such as logins, passwords, and other important information should be kept private.
7. Resourcefulness and multitasking skills
Virtual assistants are going to be asked a wide range of questions and queries and they may not know the answer to everything, but they must know where to find the answer or whom to contact about it.
For virtual assistants working in customer service, or any field that requires thorough knowledge of certain information, it can help to list down or take notes of the question that is being asked to them frequently. In doing so, they will not have to search for answers over and over again. Being an agent that is able to answer questions quickly and efficiently makes them an important asset to any company.
Another crucial aspect of being a virtual assistant is handling multiple tasks and clients at the same time. It is normal among VAs to be taking up different tasks simultaneously. With such, being organized and efficient is the key to success. Having their own planned schedules and following it swiftly will surely produce impressive outcomes.
Being a virtual assistant is not as easy as it seems. The chance of having to work at your own pace and preferred setting has its own consequences. The success of the outsourcing industry should be credited to the working attitude of the people behind it. Not everyone is able to do what they do and only skilled and dedicated people are to be successful in the field.