As businesses across the globe continue to reel in from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s understandable that they resort to crisis management measures that will help mitigate business costs. However, this may mean that most businesses will resort to retrenchment efforts and implement a skeletal workforce.
Such move and measure of the administrative or managing department of businesses may require a lesser workforce and a resulting greater workload which results in looking into alternative efforts such as outsourcing. These outsourcing efforts include hiring a virtual assistant and other similar or related jobs to unload some of the workload burdens.
Yet, no matter how popular it is these days to hire a virtual assistant and other similar outsourced jobs commonly useful for a customer service center, most administrative heads still hesitate in doing so.
To clear the air and to know more about outsourcing a virtual assistant, read through the whole article and figure out whether you need one or not.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant or commonly known as a ‘VA’ is an innovative and reliable human or intelligence-based system that provides help with multiple office tasks.
It can be a person or a tool that will assist you in carrying out some of your day-to-day tasks and responsibilities allowing you to allot more time on the more important corporate things. As such, hiring or outsourcing virtual assistants is an efficient way of keeping tabs on your office tasks without getting the brunt of its workload.
In fact, they can also act as your very own appointment manager or your personalized customer service center if your business involves dealing with a lot of clients and you have to monitor and schedule appointment dates.
What are the Advantages of Outsourcing a Virtual Assitant?
With the risks and threats brought about by COVID-19, it is necessary for business owners to remain vigilant and continue pursuing corporate resilience plans.
Seeing the reluctance of business owners to hire additional staff in this pandemic due to health risks and costs, they may end up overwhelming themselves and their current staff with the bulk of tasks if they don’t hire additional hands. It is for this reason why hiring a virtual assistant proves to be advantageous these days.
If you are still on the fence about whether to pursue outsourcing plans involving VAs and other related customer service center jobs, let these reasons convince you instead:
Reduction of Costs
As uncertainty continues to loom in this pandemic, it is important for companies to discontinue hiring employees the traditional way. Instead, outsourcing for a virtual assistant and other related jobs to do the trivial yet time-consuming office work is considered to be a wiser option these days and definitely a cost-saving procedure.
By outsourcing virtual assistants, it is assumed that they already have their own workstations as well as necessary tools and equipment to perform the tasks expected. It is in such a setup that business owners get to cut on business costs and earmark the money saved from it for other business ventures.
Allows Schedule Flexibility and Avoid Stress
With a virtual assistant at your beck and call, you get to free up your heavy workload from trivial office work and focus more on those tasks that require your immediate attention.
Moreover, most virtual assistants are skilled in multiple areas and will definitely help you with the simple yet time-consuming tasks such as email and call management, the typical tasks commonly assigned to a customer service center, up to the critical ones such as research and content writing.
With even just a talented individual by your side, you get to free up your schedule and instead will help you work smarter.
Access To Talent
Another great reason why one should hire virtual assistants is the limitless possibility of hiring the most talented individuals.
If you have a website and you need to drive traffic into it, all you need to do is hire a virtual assistant capable of creating the best content and will therefore help in boosting your website’s search engine optimization. Of course, one should always observe caution in accepting applicants, and should be done in such a way that the hired individual knows how to deliver the expected quality.
However, creating content is not the only thing that virtual assistants can do as you can also assign them to handle customers and assign them for technical support to handle customer interaction and satisfaction. In such a way, you also get to have your own customer service center!
Availability Towards Customers
In these uncertain times and with the economic downturn, it is understandable for every company to incur delays when entertaining customers and their queries. Therefore, it will surely be an edge for any company that is capable of entertaining customer queries and concerns during this pandemic.
If you want to maintain your customer availability even in this pandemic, outsourcing a couple of virtual assistants or VAs will surely be of great advantage. In fact, it will even be more helpful if you get to hire those from different time zones to deal with your customers and clients 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
Instead of hiring a whole team for your customer service center, you get to have a couple of personal assistants that will see to the queries and concerns of your clients and customers. Plus, you will also get to widen your market reach!
Challenges That Comes With Hiring a Virtual Assistant
No matter how advantageous every corporate resilience plan is presented, there will always be challenges that will stand in the way of creating the desired outcome for the company.
Nevertheless, there’s no challenge that cannot be solved as long as it is anticipated well. To be well-prepared take a look at the following possible challenges in case your company decides to outsource a virtual assistant:
Positive Communication Channels
With most of the interaction conducted online, it is quite difficult to maintain open communication channels as it can be met with various issues and its resolution may be a difficult thing to achieve.
Therefore, to facilitate smooth and positive communication between you and your virtual assistant, it is best that you invest in a reliable communication platform allowing both ends to freely interact seamlessly like how an efficient customer service center communicates with its customers and clients.
Furthermore, it is also recommended that when communicating with your personal VA, you should convey specific instructions, those that can be easily understood to lessen instances of miscommunications.
It is natural to want to make sure that your personal VA is working what is expected out of him or her. Yet with the nature of the job being a remote one, it is quite difficult to be assured of your outsourced employee’s productivity.
As such, there are a number of tools you can use to help you keep track of the productivity of your hired VA. In fact, there are tools that allow you to take a screenshot of your VA’s device while he or she is working.
However, it is prudent to be mindful of your virtual assistant as they tend to work intensely to the point that their work time overlaps with their personal time. Make sure that you allow a healthy work environment for your VA and not like an overworked personnel in a badly managed customer service center.
Outsourcing a VA is definitely a challenging experience especially if the one you were able to hire is from the other side of the globe. Depending on your working schedule agreement, keeping up with the assigned tasks on your VA’s end is absolutely challenging as one needs to adjust one’s body clock to work on the same hours as you are working.
In a dilemma like this, you can always state clearly before hiring the work schedule you are comfortable with to avoid problems in the long run. However, if the tasks you want to be performed are not of the urgent type and can be completed by just setting a deadline, you can work with your VA to schedule a meeting every now and then as an alternative.
In doing so, you will appear as a responsive and flexible employer and not someone who drives their employees towards exhaustion like the usual setting for call center agents in a customer service center.
Conclusion: To Hire or Not To Hire?
Outsourcing a virtual assistant has its highs and lows but after careful deliberation, it seems the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Yet, no matter how good hiring VAs may be, the decision ultimately ends up to you.
If you think outsourcing VAs work for you then you should try reaching out to [cn], a premier company that provides the best talents you need. Whether for simple tasks or for providing efficient VAs for your customer service center, we got it for you! Request a quote today!