You've only gone and started a business.
You've spruced up your site.
You've polished up your products.
And you've flipped the sign on your storefront to open'.
Whether you're in your first few weeks of being the boss, or you've been the Big Cheese for a while now, you should know this basic business rule:
The customer is always right.
No exceptions. No ifs', no buts'. No nothing.
Your customers are the ones keeping your business afloat, so catering to their every need matters.
That means that your customer service should be right at the top of your to-do list.
Yep, right there, next to be super successful'!
What if my customer service isn't too good?
Then it'll be the same for your business.
Good customer service could score you a returning customer - it might even get you a few likes on Facebook or a good review!
But bad customer service?
They're the ones that'll tell their friends about that terrible business they bought that product from.
Or how that customer service representative was so rude on the phone, and didn't answer any of their questions.
Don't forget that really bad review they'll leave, as well.
No, it doesn't look good, does it?
You need virtual assistant customer service - a virtual assistant who specialises in customer service.
Wait - what's a virtual assistant?
And do I seriously need one for my business?
One of my clients from last year said exactly the same thing.
They had just opened up their vegan grocery store, and were selling vegan cheese over the internet.
(Not as smelly as it sounds!)
They'd had a growing stream of sales for two months, until the sales suddenly decreased.
They were confused, and they were frustrated.
Eventually, their IT team for the website found the route of the problem:
A bad review.
A 1 star, don't ever buy from here review.
The review claimed the person who they called to ask about their camembert was rude, unhelpful, and even hung up!
They traced back the trail to the boss (yes, the person who contacted me in the first place)!
It was officially time to outsource to a virtual assistant.
A virtual assistant that wouldn't be unhelpful, and wouldn't be rude.
And boy, did they have a lot of questions.
(So many questions, so little time.)
Only I've answered those questions in this article.
That's right - this article is going to take you through:
- What virtual assistants are
- What virtual assistant customer service can do for your business
- The benefits of having virtual assistant customer service
- And how to find one of these VAs
Isn't it obvious?
Well, here's the definition:
A virtual assistant is a personal assistant who does everything online.
You send them tasks online.
They do the tasks, and send you back the finished tasks online.
You communicate with them online.
And you hire them online .
Let's stick to simple, then:
There are two types of virtual assistant (or VA):
General Virtual Assistant
These VAs stick to basic tasks such as admin, fulfilling the role of a personal assistant but online.
Their responsibilities do not help grow the business, but keep it running.
Typical tasks include email management, scheduling appointments, and organising calendars.
Specialist Virtual Assistant
The name gives away the game: they specialise in certain fields.
They use their specialist skills to basically run or help run a department in a business. They often are outsourced results rather than tasks, such as 200 Instagram followers.
Examples of their tasks include writing blogposts, updating and running a business' Twitter, or customer service.
So, when my client came to me with their really-bad-review, I immediately knew what to do:
It was time to outsource to a specialist virtual assistant who was versed in everything-customer-service.
Within the first 5 months of hiring Violet - their virtual assistant - they witnessed an increase in profit of 27%.
And their reviews?
They had 3 reviews that gave them 5 stars within the first 19 days of hiring Violet!
Fancy seeing the same for your business?
So: we know that virtual assistants are, like, awesome.
And we know that Violet was, like, really really awesome.
Question is: what did she do that got my client these a-maz-ing results?
Well, that's why I've written this article.
I've compiled every single task that a customer service virtual assistant can do for your business.
All you'll have to do is pick what you want done, and let them know!
Respond to customer emails
Returning customer phone calls
Creating, editing and sending out emails
Engaging with customers on social media
Responding to customers on social media
Answering customers' queries on live chat
Responding to reviews
Dealing with lost shipments
Reaching out to prospects and leads
Troubleshooting customer accounts
Recording customer complaints
Managing CRM systems
Automating customer care systems
Liaising with suppliers
Following up with customers after a purchase
Wow - that's a lot!
These customer-service virtual assistants must be seriously talented
(They seriously are.)
To show you how you can outsource these tasks and what it means for your business, here's what Violet did for my client:
Firstly, she scoured the internet for that review, and penned a perfectly polite response.
Once she'd fixed that, she logged the complaint with my client, and from there she developed a customer service plan.
Violet pinpointed all the things she shouldn't do, and redirected their customer service towards this.
Secondly, she focused her attention on emails.
If there was a query on the website, she would send them a polite and helpful email within 30 minutes.
But doesn't that take ages to stop what you're doing and write a whole new email? Oh, no. Violet was smarter than that.
Within the first few minutes of her first hour, she'd conjured up an email template.
All she had to do was type a couple of sentences into an email, and press send.
It took her 4 minutes to write and send one of these emails.
Her last major task was supercharging their social media.
I don't know about you, but when I receive poor customer service, I start with Twitter.
I pen 280 very angry characters, and tell the world that they should not go to this restaurant.
Typically, within the first 5 minutes, someone's retweeted me and they agree.
They follow up with a similarly angry 280 characters reiterating their rage.
Oh, and then someone else chimes in.
Then someone else.
By that point, this isn't just a lone angry tweet.
This is a Twitter crisis.
Enter Violet - customer service pro who's got a mug of calming chamomile tea in one hand, and her iPhone in the other.
Within moments of the first tweet hitting the web, she's not just responded to the tweet with an apology.
She's messaged them, too:
She's offered them a free bar of vegan chocolate, delivered to their door by the very next day.
(It's lucky they luurve chocolate!)
By working out the platforms they get the most of their reviews on, and calculating how best to contact customers, she could save the day once again.
What could your VA do for you?
So, we know what Violet could do for my client.
(And given their spike in profits, the value of what she could do.)
But how could virtual assistant customer service benefit your business?
Well, that's why I'm here.
To convince you to hire virtual assistant customer service, I've compiled all the reasons you totally should:
You can save money
VAs are a popular solution for businesses for a few reasons.
But this one always surprises my clients:
They can save you a lot of money!
No salary, no office costs, no benefits, and no little extras.
In fact, if you're struggling to stick to the budget that month, just don't hire them for that month!
As VAs are often hired on an hourly basis, you can easily plan and track your spending.
That's what convinced my client to make the switch:
They hired Violet for 7 hours a week, ||$||12||$|| an hour.
It'll have the personal touch
Let's say you're considering buying something from your fave online clothing store.
Thing is, you aren't sure about the sizing, so you ask their chatbot on the website.
Instead of crystal clear answers you get automated, clunky responses. They don't make sense at all.
Enter a VA!
As, you know, a human, they can produce clear advice that answer your questions in real-time.
Now that that problem is solved, let's go buy that jumper!
Violet wasn't behind the chatbot - instead, she did it all over Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
You can have constant support
My UK-based client was shocked when I told them where Violet lived.
Down the road, surely? In London?
Most VAs aren't local to their clients as they can do their work from anywhere!
But what's great about this is this:
When you're tucked away in bed, having an anxiety dream about missing that meeting, they're just switching on their laptop.
That's 24/7 support!
It'll bring about better branding
However you choose to handle your customer service, there is no doubt about it:
It will affect your brand.
Do it poorly? Say hello' to a bad reputation.
Do it well? That seal of approval will stay with your business for life.
And that's why my client hired Violet.
They could finally achieve consistent customer service, supporting their brand.
And with Violet's 17 years of training (she needed at least 15 years to be able to get onto the agency website), she was guaranteed to be amazing at what she did.
You can easily scan through a VAs experience and past projects when you hire one through an agency, leaving you rest assured that you've picked the right candidate.
Your sales will increase
Lastly, a top-notch customer service VA can achieve the one thing you need for a successful business:
They can make your customers happy.
And when your customers are satisfied, you know that they'll come back for more, guaranteeing those all-important sales.
In fact, those customers might end up leaving some positive reviews on your products, raking in those future customers, too.
That's what happened to my client:
Within the first 2 months of Violet waving her magic wand, they had 12 really-good reviews!
I've convinced you, haven't I?
You know that virtual assistant customer service will transform your business, don't you?
That's cause it totally will.
The thing is, how do you actually find virtual assistant customer service ?
Well, that's what I'm going to guide you through.
There are 3 ways to find virtual assistant customer service:
Through a jobsite
Detail the responsibilities you need them to be good at - i.e. customer service. Wait for responses, and compare the candidates. Fire a few interview questions their way, and pick the one that will suit your business best.
Find one through social media
Most virtual assistants want to showcase their skills from the get-go. Websites, blogs, and social media are all utilised to draw in potential clients. So, send out a tweet to the world saying you're on the lookout for a customer service VA, and wait for responses. Compare the candidates, and then interview! (You should know the rest by now.)
Read More: Here's How to Know When You Should Outsource
Use an agency
If only there was a place where you could have all VAs at your fingertips, and compare their prices, experience and expertise. There is? Virtual assistant agencies are crammed full of awesome VAs that you can vet based on their past projects and their experience. In fact, a lot of agencies specialise in the VAs they have: Whether it's based on the amount of experience they have, or the type of services they provide - such as customer service - you can easily find a VA. This is actually how I found Violet for my client. It was an easy, swift process that guaranteed a great freelancer. And if they weren't a great freelancer? Firing them and reporting the problems was as easy as clicking the mouse.
Finding a virtual assistant can be stressful.
Indeed, finding a solution to a problem at hand is even more stressful!
Will it work?
Will it all just be a waste of money?
What about a waste of time?
So, to make things that much easier, I've compared the top agencies for customer service virtual assistant.
Yes, you really don't have to lift a finger!
(Well, you might have to lift a few to fill out a form and grab a quote, but apart from that...)
|Column1 title||Servcorp||Timeetc||Virtual Assistant Talent|
Reviewers are torn on Servcorp - they either love it, or they hate it. The positive reviews rave about the meeting locations on offer and the hard-working support from the VAs (this is a virtual office with virtual assistants), whereas the negative reviews warn of the hidden fees.
Reviewers loved the quick response time, and the experience on offer: all VAs have to have at least 5 years commercial experience. In fact, this was deemed one of the premium VA options on offer. And the glowing reviews describing their hardworking VAs confirms this!
Reviewers loved the intensive selection process, including the interviewing they carry out themselves. And the variety of packages on offer also was a popular feature, allowing users to select the best match for their business. The long-term savings were another favourite feature of this agency.
Their packages start from ||$||64.30||$|| a month, and can be as high as ||$||418.58||$|| a month
Their pricing starts from ||$||341.20||$|| a month - this comes to ||$||34.12||$|| an hour.
Pricing starts at ||$||82||$|| for 10 hours a week which comes to ||$||8.20||$|| an hour.
Servcorp provides both a virtual receptionist and virtual secretary, focusing on answering customer calls, and administrative support. They also have multi-lingual VAs and access to your voicemail from wherever you are in the world.
Timeetc can provide VAs who specialise in selling, offering services like researching leads and prospects, dealing with sales administration, and VA who specialise in social media. Through this they can respond to customers online.
This agency centres their services on customer service calls. Order processing calls, phone support calls, helpdesk calls, and live chat support is just some of the virtual assistant customer service on offer with sales support.
So, you know that you need a customer service assistant, like, right now.
And you even know how to get one (and where to find one)!
But now it's over to you:
Which task are you looking forward to outsourcing the most?
And how many hours a week do you need support for?