Five skills you need to have as a virtual assistant
Being a virtual assistant is an increasingly attractive job as more people are learning to work remotely. Discover five skills you need.
Becoming a virtual assistant is becoming increasingly popular for those looking for a route back to work but without the time to commit to a full-time office role.
But as a virtual assistant, you’ll have to do more than just answer phone calls from the comfort of your own home. Here are five things you need to stay on top of to be a successful virtual assistant.
1) Communication skills
As a front of house service, your day-to-day job is representing other businesses to a highly professional standard.
You’ll need impeccable communication skills to adapt to each company’s preferred answering style and provide customer care to each person with confidence.
It’s much more personal than just providing pre-set answers or redirecting people to a website. It requires being well-spoken and quick-thinking to respond to different enquiry styles with effective decision-making.
2) Understanding file sharing and cloud technology
Virtual assistants are often hired to do basic admin as well as provide an answering service. If you’re expected to organise diaries or type up documents, you’ll need to know how to share files with cloud-based services.
You might even have to use several different cloud storage systems according to client preference. It’s best to get as familiar with file sharing and cloud technology as possible to make your job easier.
3) Attention to detail
As a virtual assistant, you’re not just a human answering machine. You’re there to provide a professional, pleasant, and personalised service – whether that’s simply taking a message or answering an enquiry directly.
You’ll need a deep understanding of how each client wants you to handle their calls, and be able to follow their scripts while adding a human touch. Can you provide answers backed by expert industry knowledge to empower customers?
4) Time management
Working remotely and working for multiple clients means it’s extra important to manage your time properly. You won’t have a supervisor to create your schedules and account for your hours – you’ll have to do it yourself.
That means you’ll need to be able to motivate yourself throughout the day and stay disciplined to avoid distractions. If this is difficult, you can use time tracking software to manage your productive hours and keep on top of tasks.
Your line of work as a VA means you’ll have access to sensitive data about each business and its customers.
From a private internet connection to password-management software, make sure you have the necessary security in place to work safely. You’ll also need a quiet private place to be answering calls and collecting customer information with discretion.
You must be discreet outside of work as well – never risk exposing private information to unauthorised people.
Do you have what it takes to be a virtual assistant?
Being a productive and professional virtual assistant is a big responsibility. Work on improving these five major skills and you’ll soon get a reputation for providing a reliable and efficient virtual assistant service.