When you’ve decided to add a virtual assistant to your company, you should make sure that anyone you’re considering meets a few qualifications. A virtual assistant acts as a work-from-home receptionist that can handle a wide range of tasks for you depending on your needs.
Virtual assistants can vary in skill sets and levels of expertise which allows a variety of fields to find virtual assistants useful and informed enough to handle the work. They are a great way to take some of the workload off of your shoulders while not costing you an arm and a leg to hire them. From office and technical skills to personal skills, here is a look at the checklist you should really follow before choosing your new virtual assistant.
Do they have these basic office skills?
A virtual assistant is typically chosen to answer phone calls, transfer calls to the right person in the office and to take messages. They should be able to handle office administration and basic bookkeeping as well. Most virtual assistants will come with these skill sets to use at your disposable. Make sure your virtual receptionist can handle tasks such as:
- Setting up Excel sheets
- Using Excel sheets for formulas to calculate hours or payments
- Being fluent in Microsoft Word
Your virtual assistant may need to track their hours worked, take detailed messages or help you track daily office operations.
Are they technically trained?
Your virtual assistant should really have some technical training to make sure they know how to use a computer, the internet, your company’s software, a phone system, a fax machine and more. They should be able to do all of the basic office tasks from their home that you would have an in-house receptionist handle.
Make sure they have access to a computer, phone system, scanner, fax machine, headset, and training in Word and Excel. They should be able to handle their office equipment when it comes to fixing a virus or solving an error message because without being in your office, there is no IT department to handle these issues right away.
How are their people skills?
Your virtual assistant needs to have people skills, great communication skills and customer service abilities. Problems are going to come up in which you should be able to rely on your virtual assistant to handle the problem. Whether it’s a product that was shipped damaged or an appointment rescheduling need, your virtual assistant should be able to handle basic situations.
Whether you’d like them to handle the problem directly or have them understand which of your staff members should handle the call, your virtual assistant needs to be able to handle a customer service crisis.
Make sure your virtual assistant is extremely organized since the job requires multi-tasking. They may need to answer calls right in a row, put someone on a brief hold to answer the next call, schedule appointments while taking down customer information and more. They should be able to use your company’s programs efficiently while handling incoming calls.
Find out if your virtual assistant is a go-getter and works diligently. Sometimes a virtual assistant that works from home may find distractions common because no one is watching over them as they work. See if your virtual assistant handles jobs immediately or puts them off and look to see if they show enthusiasm in their work and on their resume by having many certifications or courses completed.
Use these tips to make sure you’re hiring a good quality virtual assistant who is willing to do whatever it takes to meet your company’s individual needs.