Monthly Archives

May 2019

Get yourself a secret weapon

How to Get Yourself a Secret Weapon

By | Backend Support Services, Customer Service, Ecommerce Support Services, Receptionist Service, Remote Support Services, Remote Work, Virtual Assistant Support | No Comments

Some Tips to Map Virtual Assistance Requirements and Benefits for Your Business

The owner of a home-based catering service was rude to my friend when contacted for order confirmation and delivery date. As a result, my friend cancelled the order despite an explanatory message from the owner that it happened due to fatigue.

Ecommerce Evolution and Entrepreneurship

How many times have you heard something similar or experienced poor customer service or management while dealing with a small business?

It is becoming quite common as every 1 in 5 small business owners reports burn out. Additionally, one of the major reasons for the closing down of a new start up is that the entrepreneur tries to do everything himself/herself and fails to address customer services and marketing adequately. This results in inefficiencies and setbacks.

The trials of a start-up or growing business

Today, individuals as well as organizations are engaged to and through technology. Remote work is climbing the workspace trends very fast and one of the most popular remote jobs brought in by technology has been Virtual Assistant Support. The nomenclature makes it seem like a high-flying business requirement only as well as costly. But it is very much a technological boon that can aid in several aspects of ecommerce support and backend support for every business.

If you are struggling in your new venture or thinking of a start up, you will find invaluable tips here regarding how to delegate and whom to delegate to achieve long term success and life-work balance while being cost effective.

Scope of Virtual Assistance

In a nutshell, Virtual Assistance covers a broad spectrum of services which provide a business administrative support as well as operational support. These assistants work remotely, providing expertise and specialized skills to your business. You can hire one for:

  • Personal Assistance
  • Planning and Scheduling
  • Social Media and Email Support
  • Accounting and Book Keeping
  • Complete Ecommerce Support
  • Correspondence Management
  • Publishing Services
  • Reports Writing and Presentations
  • Data Analysis and Spreadsheets
  • Research, Marketing, Selling
  • Backend Support
  • Technical Support
  • Reservations and Bookings
  • Administrative Support Services
  • Project Management

The best part is, you can hire a virtual assistant for every imaginable task specific to your industry and language. A well trained and supervised Multilingual Virtual Assistant can give you optimum productivity and broader reach in international markets. Similarly, an experienced and qualified Administrative Virtual Assistant can help you save time and allow you to focus on important matters while taking care of all scheduling, communication with stakeholders, and other administrative tasks.

Benefits of A Virtual Assistant

From Ecommerce Support to Backend Support to Operational Support, a VA can be the secret weapon for a modern business, whether it is a start up or a growing business. The ease of hiring through a dedicated service provider makes it very feasible to hire a separate VA for each project, or conduct seasonal/hourly hiring, whatever suits your business needs. They provide a dedicated service, while you enjoy total control of your time and resources, confidentiality of data, and hassle-free management of a remote team.

  • As 37% of Americans have moved towards telecommuting, and the trend is on rise in the world, the decision to hire a remote worker can introduce you to an amazing and rich talent pool from where you can hire someone for just about any task you wish to be done professionally and in a timely manner.
  • Moreover, these skilled workers cost lesser than an in-house assistant. You are not obliged to pay for transportation costs, trainings, holidays, healthcare, or any other benefits.
  • You get freedom and flexibility with hiring a Virtual Assistant. You can hire them and let them go according to the needs of your business. You can scale their tasks and hours up and down as well.
  • Hiring specialized Virtual Assistants allows to you to get access to a very wide range of skillsets. You can easily get Multilingual Support for your business and even cover different time zones.

Bonus Tip: Remote workers are on average 20% more productive than their counterparts. Contracting a VA through a reliable service provider can ensure trained and supervised staff, which ensures higher productivity.

When to Delegate and What to Delegate

It’s not the 1820s when friends and family would help unconditionally in running your business; you need professional support! Fortunately, it is easier than ever to get it too, but it’s important that you are yourself familiar with your specific needs to select a provider.

  • As mentioned before, new business owners either do not feel they have enough work to hire someone else or they believe they can do everything themselves.
  • Be proactive and hire yourself a virtual assistant for Administrative Support Services when you find yourself doing low value, repetitive tasks, which keep you away from important planning.
  • Similarly, do not over expect from yourself and try to master everything. Instead, hire a specialist for Ecommerce Support and Backend Support for your new business. This will not only save your time and efforts but also keep you relaxed and focused on your key areas.

Bonus Tip: VAs are an expert on the niche they serve. However, no VA comes out of the box for you. A little patience and training about your business can go a long way in establishing the VA as your secret weapon. Or simply contact a support services provider who has a compelling history of successful projects in dealing with global businesses, explain your requirements and then relax!

IdeasUnlimited Review – Virtual Assistant Services

By | Call Center Support, The IU Way, Virtual Assistant Support | No Comments

IdeasUnlimited is a unique virtual assistant company headquartered in Texas (USA), with multiple call center locations in the Philippines and remote workers all around the world.

The business was founded in 2010 and has grown to more than 350 active workers.

About IdeasUnlimited

The IdeasUnlimited call centers are mostly used for larger projects, where focus is to provide trained workers managed through their proven process, resulting in high productivity and success rate on the projects.

The IdeasUnlimited remote workforce teams are experienced in taking care of multilingual as well as more complex projects like research, product management, ecommerce management, operations management and so on.

The company prides itself on delivering customized support solutions, 24/7 connectivity through all time zones, professional/trained staff, a proven management process and integrity in their commitment.

In the US, the business is run by founder Shahzad Yaqoob (aka Nick), who I had a chance to catch up with some time ago. He explained that they target primarily North American and European clients and are currently serving a lot of customers in all the major industries including telecommunications, medical and healthcare, real estate, technology, retail and construction, among others.

His team uses various digital technologies to provide the promised services in a productive and efficient manner. Nick cited integrity, productivity, security and confidentiality as strong selling points of the IdeasUnlimited service.

Services

IdeasUnlimited is successfully proving its mettle in the following service areas:

    1. Call Center Support
    2. Virtual Assistant Support
    3. Multilingual Support
    4. Healthcare Call Center Support
    5. Ecommerce Support
    6. Backend Support
    7. Operational Support

 

Their call center staff can handle inbound as well as outbound customer interactions on your behalf; and work round the clock (even during holidays) as necessary.

IdeasUnlimited provides omnichannel support, covering all avenues of communication with your stakeholders.

Their virtual assistants can provide varied support services such as administrative support, omnichannel customer support, receptionist service, ecommerce support, backend support, and multilingual support and/or take care of your ongoing business process tasks through technical support and operational support services.

Contact IdeasUnlimited with your business requirements and they will find you virtual assistants that suit your needs.

Plans and Pricing

If you’ve been digging around the IdeasUnlimited site looking for pricing information, don’t worry; it’s just not there. However, I was able to chat with Nick to get the inside scoop.

IdeasUnlimited’s rates are around 41% less than those charged by larger call centers. Philippines-based workers are available at a flat hourly rate and they ask that you hire for a minimum of 20 hours per week.

He explained that most customers start with one dedicated VA at 20-40 hours per week.

They have a variety of different pricing packages available for clients looking for 24/7 services, fixed rates, pay per inquiry-based services and discounts on large/multiple hire projects.

IdeasUnlimited also helps clients source and manage VAs in the US and Europe, with reasonable rates depending on the skills required.

Client Feedback

IdeasUnlimited has created a reputation for reliable, high-quality and very responsive virtual assistant services with minimal downtime. Their three-tier management and stringent recruitment procedure has clients sticking with them for many years and referring IdeasUnlimited to their friends and family members.

IdeasUnlimited works actively on Upwork, where they have generated quite a bit of business and largely positive feedback ratings.

Your Turn

Have you worked with IdeasUnlimited? If so, please share a quick review of your experience and help others with their search.

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Nick Loper – View the original post here. 

To find out more about Nick Loper, visit his website.

The Changing Field of the Real Estate Industry

By | Backend Support Services, Technical Support | No Comments

Real Estate includes land, residential, commercial and industrial physical properties. It is an enormous revenue generating industry; however, it is reactive and responds to every macro and microeconomic change in the society. Resultantly, the field of real estate has gone through some tremendous changes as the business world has evolved all around.

Agility has become the key to success for real estate firms. As the buyer and seller expectations have changed, technology has become extensive and the market has seen a lot of new competition. Many new business models have emerged to correspond to these new challenges.

As a very basic formula, the new and refined business model requires the customer services to be the primary focus with staff using technology innovatively to bring maximum customer satisfaction. For real estate, the customer experience refers to all the interactions and processes regarding the property they show interest in (and ideally end up buying through you).

As the real estate firms are now focused more on complementary services than commissions for revenue, customer experience is the uncontested focus for the agents. It is the management of the real estate journey of a buyer which is carried out through websites, social media platforms, and one-on-ones interactions.

Website, Social Media — a User-Friendly Interface.

For a customer-driven website to cater to contemporary clients, a real estate firm needs to focus on a few key areas.

Having a professional website is a must. Make sure your website offers an easy-on-eyes and easy-to-navigate layout for a visitor. To avoid frustrated and confused visitors, it is important to ensure the website has no broken links, disorganized menu, and misleading titles. A simple, neat, and clean layout is required that flows intuitively throughout the website. Most visitors use their cell phones or tablets to search properties online. Your website must also be mobile-friendly. It should not be distorted or dysfunctional when opened on a mobile device.

Your website is the primary source of information for the potential buyer. Some market information and information about the neighborhood can prove very engaging. Similarly, a blogs section where the agents can share their knowledge and expertise about property matters and interact with the buyers can be an attractive feature of the website and help conversion rates. The quality of advice and suggestions can proclaim the credibility and the reliability of your firm and expertise of your agents.

An advanced search option on your website keeps buyers on your website for a longer period and gives you a better chance of converting them to leads. It also encourages them to reach out to you for more information about the listing they see. Moreover, it also provides them a more specific, customized listing. On the other hand, it helps the agents in understanding and meeting their expectations.

Clear, large pictures attract everyone. A property buyer prefers clear, high resolution pictures of the property to get a sense of what the property actually looks like. Another feature could be a professional video tour to attract and engage a buyer further. Virtual tours are also gaining popularity for the same purpose. These add-ons show the professional approach of your firm. This can build a buyer’s trust as well as interest in your listings and may result in a lead.

Likewise, social media platforms also need to be taken care of. All pictures, videos and written content should be professionally transcripted and managed. The inbox and comments need to be regularly monitored and any queries posted need to be addressed professionally to achieve maximum conversion.

This requires a professional technical support and social media management team. Either train your agents or simply contract all your backend support and technical support services to IdeasUnlimited and focus on your passion of helping people find the right place to call home!

Technology, Work Culture, and Outlook

Technology knits the vendors, buyers, and agents together in a revised real estate business model. A firm’s agents need to use technology in such a way that it maximizes the customer experience for the buyer and conversion rates for the vendors.

Using the data analytics from internet sources, agents can do a lot of groundwork for a prospective client. As a buyer navigates through the firm’s website, they become an agent’s center of attention. The agent not only makes a viable list of property options but also guides the buyer in moving further with purchase and payment options.

On the other hand, the real estate firms keep the vendors satisfied by making sure a financially sound client makes an offer. The service levels to sellers and buyers both are enhanced in this model as the sellers now get a higher rate of conversion from viewers to purchasers.

However, technology is not the only key to success for agencies. Leadership and teamwork are also very much vital in the new business framework. There has been a gradual shift from street-smart, self-taught realtors to qualified, tech savvy agents who can work as a team and perform under a nurturing leadership. In a successful agency, the agents are collaborative and passionate about helping their clients find the right property, while the leadership is concerned and works on learning and skills improvement of the staff. Moreover, the leadership is also required to be well connected with the staff to disseminate core values, vision and a culture of learning and openness.

Therefore, it is time to think about better employee engagement and client management simultaneously. IdeasUnlimited can help you at every step. You can get trained and qualified virtual assistants for technical support and backend support of your team. We also got you covered with everything else you might need such as automated listings, omnichannel support, portfolio optimization, lead generation, marketing support, SEO tools with our real estate virtual assistants. You name it and IdeasUnlimited has got it for you!