A Virtual Assistant is not only an automated bot that can answer your questions it’s also someone like me a HUMAN! Virtual Assistants are independent contractors or in other terms just business owners or freelancers. So you are probably wondering well how does that work? Well I’m going to give you a run down.
Virtual Assistants are here to make your life easier and not only the professional side of your life but they can help manage parts of your home or personal life. We can pretty much work from anywhere as long as their is internet coverage and we have our laptop. This also works for your benefit too because you don’t have to pay overheads and have a dedicated premises if you don’t need to and you don’t have someone working in your home.
Because a Virtual Assistant (VA) is an independent contractor they take care of the following themselves as a part of their obligations, which means you also don’t have to pay holiday pay, sick leave etc. like you would to an employee.
Virtual Assistants aren’t all the same you may get some that only perform general admin tasks and then you have others that may specialise in a certain field, for instance real estate, web design, law, the medical field and so on.
It’s about finding the right VA for you and your business. It also comes down to personality, you may have chosen a VA that on paper looks like they will fit in your business nicely however you may clash in personalities and that’s ok because it can sometimes take a bit of trial and error to find the right fit for you.
If you are a VA or you are looking for a VA to integrate into your business then you also need to make sure that you are hiring them in the right circumstances (should they be an employee?). A great way to check this is by using the “Employee or Contractor Decision Tool” on the ATO website. This will work out if the person you are hiring should be classified as an employee rather than a contractor. Because in the end you need to make sure that you have your tax obligations right.
How do your customers contact you? Is it just by contact form on your website or do they message you through Facebook?
I found that alot of my clients prefer to message me through Facebook rather than emailing. Sometimes it’s easier to chat online as opposed to emails back and forth. These are two of the best chat plugins that I found from experience.
Tawk.to is a free chat plugin for WordPress where you can chat to your customers in real time. You also have the ability to;
create support tickets
keep a transcript of your conversations
see your live website statistics
enable live,away and invisible mode
create a series of questions for your customers to answer before you initiate a chat
download the app on your phone and you can chat to your customers on the go
Tawk.to is definitely a great plugin but I feel it is more suited to businesses that really need to watch their analytics and they have a large online customer base.
Last year Facebook released the chat plugin that can be added to your website by enabling a couple of settings on your Facebook page and copying some code to implement on your website.
These days nine out of ten people are on Facebook and it’s just an easier way to keep in contact with your customers on Facebook via your website. With Facebook adding more and more features for businesses to utilize it makes it easier to keep notes on your customer conversations and also booking appointments directly from their platform.
I am currently using this feature and it works well for my business, but it is all about finding what works for you and what is simple.
The two main email management programs you hear of often are Microsoft Outlook and Gmail or Gsuite, but have you heard of Mailbird? Mailbird is a great tool to use to manage multiple email accounts no matter what platform your account is created on. They do offer a free version (lite) for up to 3 accounts otherwise the pro version is just as affordable and has so many extras.
So what is the difference between the two?
I have been using Mailbird for years now and I love that I can have all my email accounts in the one platform plus I can check Feedly for daily articles, check Facebook, view my calendar and sync to Dropbox all within Mailbird.
They have a few different theme options
Different views depending on what layout you prefer working with
You can even have some of the popular apps like Asana, Trello, Hangouts, Google Keep, Wunderlist, Twitter, Slack and Evernote integrated in there.
So if you are looking for a simple solution to manage multiple email accounts without flicking between windows then take a look at Mailbird and see if it is for you.
P.S – I am not affiliated with them I just love their product.
Hi I’m Tammy the owner of TLB Admin Support and Online Biz Connect. With years of experience in administration I help business owners grow and build their business by focusing on what’s important.