Category

Administrative Support

Tips for Ensuring Your Virtual Assistants Do Not Slack Off

By | Administrative Support, Backend Support Services, Marketing Virtual Assistant, Medical Virtual Assistant, Multilingual Support, Real Estate Virtual Assistant, Receptionist Service, Technical Support, Virtual Assistant, Virtual Assistant Support | No Comments

Originally posted as an answer on Quora for If you have multiple virtual assistants across multiple businesses, how can you be sure that they are not slacking off?

Answer by Shakira, Operations Manager – Project and Growth, IdeasUnlimited

shakira@osbprovider.com

Hiring a virtual assistant to provide administrative support, marketing support, technical support, or any other kind of support services required by your business requires a strong trust-based relationship, more so than hiring an in-house worker. Hiring multiple virtual assistants across multiple businesses compounds the need for a mechanism for building and maintaining this trust in the remote workforce.

The strategies and tools for ensuring they are not slacking off depend on the type of virtual assistant you have hired:

  1. Dedicated

Is the virtual assistant supposed to set aside designated hours for your project or business? Go for this type of virtual assistant if you need assistance with a high volume of meticulous work in certain hours of the day or if a project is time sensitive.

  1. Flexible

Do you want the virtual assistant to complete the set tasks by a certain deadline but work any hours that suit him/her? Most design and web development projects lend towards this type of virtual assistant as do multilingual transcription services and translation of audio files. For such a virtual assistant, your criterion for judging performance and, hence, whether he/she is slacking off will be the quality of work delivered.

  1. Shared

Does the virtual assistant work for you in set hours shared with other projects? Shared hours would be perfect for you if you need virtual PA services or other support services to cover certain hours.

Tips for ensuring your virtual assistants do not slack off

  • Communicate Objectives, Expectations, and Deadlines Clearly: A good virtual assistant needs clear communication of goals, responsibilities, and timelines to deliver results. Once you communicate all three at the beginning of the project, both of you will know how the work is supposed to be carried out. This ensures the virtual assistants do not slack off since they are aware of what results they need to deliver by a particular date.
  • Use a Time Tracker and Productivity Management Software:This creates a transparent process wherein you can see activity levels, app and URL usage, attendance, etc. It will also motivate the virtual assistant to give their 100% to the task since screenshots and the reports generated ensure productivity levels stay high.
  • Set Up a Project Management Mechanism:Take some time out of your schedule or hire a project manager to keep an eye on the project’s progress. This will keep you in the loop, ensure that objectives are being met, and proactively identify any problem areas that can be corrected before they derail the project. This will be the most important tool for managing flexible virtual assistants.
  • Hire Proficient Virtual Assistants from a Professional Support Services ProviderSince you would be hiring from a firm that professionally recruits and places virtual assistants, you’ll be assured of a wider range of highly qualified and reliable candidates who can assist you in a wide range of tasks and businesses. In addition, to build client loyalty, the firm will handle project management as well as the administrative aspect such as payroll processing, and will also monitor the remote team for you. You can simply focus on growing your business by assigning tasks to them. The firm will even take care of initial and ongoing training of the virtual assistants for you. This also reduces the risk of hiring a stranger to assist you in your business since the support services provider will be responsible for finding and retaining virtual assistants, freeing you from that hassle.
  • Give Incentives to Improve Productivity:Like any other workers, virtual assistants will also perform better when offered the correct incentives. Setting up a reward or bonus scheme for performance par excellence will encourage the virtual assistants to complete their tasks on time and to the best of their abilities. This will be most apt for a dedicated virtual assistant since you need to keep their motivation levels high for regular stretches of time and they provide the greatest range of support services.

Use these simple tips to ensure your virtual assistants do not slack off and you get quality work on time. Please comment down below if you have any questions or suggestions.

The Benefits of a Call Center for Small Business

By | Administrative Support, Backend Support Services, Business Improvement, Call Center for Small Business, Call Center Support, Ecommerce Support Services, Multilingual Support, Virtual Assistant Support | No Comments

“Why should I pay for call center services? How does this benefit me? I struggle as it is!” I’m sure these are all things you are mentioning in a cold sweat. But don’t be alarmed! I have some great news for you: a call center for small business can cut costs for you long term and ease your workload significantly. Do I have your attention now? Call center support experts all agree that “a call center opens up communication within departments by outlining what needs to be collected on their end, establishing a hand-off process, and ensures accountability”. It lets you do what you need to do—lead—while putting control in the very hands you have hired. Call centers can result in optimization in many different aspects.

Time and Cost Savings

One of the first resources you will find yourself gaining is time. For a lot of small business owners, it can be difficult to just jump right into work and prepare for the day, because there is always a cluster of after shift messages left on the phone and emails to get to. Hiring an expert support services provider will allow you not only to provide after-hours support to your clients and vendors but also offer 24/7/365 service at a fraction of the price of in-house employees.

24 hour call centers are also deal with all the ancillary tasks for your business:

Administrative Support
Sales Support
Marketing Support
Multilingual Support
Order Processing
Ecommerce Support
Technical Support
Community Moderation
Data Entry
Content Moderation

It can be extremely difficult to focus on basic work tasks while juggling customer and vendor requests. Especially on the days when everyone is on autopilot. Those are the days when documents and important information fall to the wayside. Hire a call center for small business to take care of the innumerable small tasks that take up most of your time but do not entail your core business operations. The daily din can be minimized so you can focus on getting it done, and getting it done right. So take that time away from the phones and start working with the best remote workforce that you can get!

Excellent Customer Service

Call center agents can also help your team as a whole get out closer to on time, or even early, by handling overflow calls and extra customers in the system. Those extra ‘hands’ so to speak get every customer through efficiently. This allows you to dedicate more time towards excellent customer service and away from tackling complaints. No one likes being put on hold. Such agents can help customers move onto the next life task without long hold times, and you can move towards solving your next office problem.

Inbound and outbound call center services can save your finite small business resources by maintaining good customer service. In case of most businesses, customers wait in long queues to talk to an impatient and overworked employee. This is not the case with a call center, since call centers maintain a consistent level of service that is easily scalable and flexible, with workers trained to flourish under pressure. So say goodbye to those bad Yelp reviews due to frequent dropped calls and work with a specialized call center for small business!

Hedging Your Bets

Nobody wants to have their business face an emergency, but preparedness can increase chance of continuity and time to go back to serve the public. A natural storm could take out your local business, but a multilingual call center service could still take orders and get products out or reschedule appointments.

Lower Fixed Costs

These call center operators don’t necessarily need to be full time, they can be part time holiday contractors as well. So in this respect, the fixed labor cost of your business becomes a variable cost—hire workers only when you need them and scale back when you don’t. Even in case of such short-term work, you can minimize the tangible cost of training, as skilled resources and training can be easily provided by the center itself. You will be free of the hassle of not only recruiting and training new workers but also monitoring and managing them.

Highly Skilled Resource Base

Using a call center for small business will give you access to a talented pool of multi-skilled individuals who can seamlessly switch between a range of different tasks and handle omnichannel support. Call center agents can switch between inbound and outbound calls so you do not need two separate teams for each—saving time and money. That kind of money can be put towards increasing current staffing wages or invested in the marketing of your business to continue its growth.

Conclusion

Talk to IdeasUnlimited today for a customized solution to your business requirements. Even small changes can catapult your small business into the global business arena.

How IU’s US Remote Workers Are Making a Difference in the Workplace

By | Administrative Support, Business Improvement, Call Center Support, IdeasUnlimited US Remote Workers, Remote Support Services, Virtual Assistant Support | No Comments
Hannah - IdeasUnlimited US Worker

Helpful. Valuable. Friendly. By the time you finish this article, when you see these adjectives, you will think of IU’s very own Hannah Sartin. She is a fantastic representation of the premier quality found in our US remote team. As the Account Manager/Head Admin (Finance), Hannah ‘adds up’ to what makes IdeasUnlimited such a wonderful place to work for and she really is what defines IU’s differences from the competition.

I was grateful to be able to interview Hannah, and get a refreshing take on just what makes IU’s US remote team such a transformative force: both for our clients and in our workers’ lives.

Just from our initial interaction, it was easy to see why there was a rush to hire her. In her words: “I found IU through Indeed.com and was almost immediately contacted for an interview!” Her friendly demeanor drew me in. I could tell that she was someone you would want on your team. I asked her what she believed truly makes her stand out, what she thinks makes her a continual asset in both the company, and as an example for why clients should reach for our US workers. She says: “I am very dependable and thorough. I make sure my work is top-quality.” Her resume must have delivered on her promise since every management and employee testimonial agreed with that assessment.

I asked Hannah to take the readers through her day. No two days are the exact same, but there is a thread of consistency with what her job description details, and how that manifests:

“Every day is a bit different for me, and several projects pass through my hands. On a typical day, I will check my emails first and create a checklist of tasks that need to be completed either throughout the day or during the week. I follow the list as closely as possible, but of course, several other tasks and mini projects will arise throughout the day. I will get as many tasks done as possible before logging out for the day. On occasion a task/project may be ongoing for several weeks or even months.”

Hannah is able meet our goals of providing business support services globally by keeping the machine oiled, so to speak. Her awareness of finance and project funding serves as a gatekeeper for how much progress can be forged ahead. Projects can be on the micro or macro level, but they all shape a client/company’s vision for the near future. Her strategic action for tackling her day as efficiently as possible is a prominent quality that I’ve seen through multiple IU workers, as it is an organizational priority and theme we hold in great esteem. Being a self-starter and an ability to gauge value are clearly a personal purpose for her, as she “focuses all her energy throughout the day on the tasks placed before me and prioritize urgent requests. I go out of my way daily by pushing personal events to the side to focus on only working. Many times, I work into the evening on pressing projects”. Hannah Sartin get things done: fast and right the first time!

Her quality contributions have certainly not gone unnoticed by our clients. At IU, we all work hard as a team to help each other get the most out of our respective positions and to minimize obstacles that could create stress. One of the ways we do this (that I love) is by practicing great communication. Our US financial maven agrees by sharing that: “I love that, no matter what, I am always able to get in contact with Nick or the company admin. Communication is important in any job and with IU communication is very easy and open!”

It can be very easy for remote programs to let communication fall to the wayside, and to have their workers become lonely islands unto themselves. But at IdeasUnlimited, our clients have a continual point of contact to get their needs met—our project management department. Our remote workforce optimization strategy entails three-tier management so not only will you be covered in terms of project management and administration, we take care of monitoring too.

We also want to highlight and commend our remote workers for their exceptional jobs. So again, thank you Hannah for your wonderful work as part of our team!

And to potential clients: what are you waiting for? Go ahead and hire your Hannah today!

Great Resources Served! How IU Services Can Be Used by Restaurants

By | Administrative Support, Backend Support Services, Call Center Support, Customer Service, Ecommerce Support, Multilingual Support, Receptionist Service, Remote Support Services, Technical Support, Virtual Assistant Support | No Comments

Eggs? Over easy. Bread? Rye and toasted. Ready? Order up! We allow customers to curate their dining experience, so why shouldn’t you, the restaurant employer? If you want to look for candidates outside of your little pond, expand your outreach, or have someone deal with the paperwork while you are in the chaos of a busy restaurant, IdeasUnlimited is here to help you.

So how can IU assist you?

We specialize in empowering the “little guys”. IdeasUnlimited does this through ecommerce support, administrative support, and providing call center support for small business. Now, you might be asking yourself, “Aren’t those jobs done far away? How will they help plate the food?” While you are correct that they can’t put the food together, a remote team can have a tremendous beneficial effect on the day to day operations of the restaurant. Culinary work aside, most businesses function under the same skeleton: they all handle admin, manage payroll, handle customer complaints, train their employees, all the while promoting their businesses.

This is where we come in.

Brand Management

Get ready to have the branding and sales assistance you need to take those profit margins to the next level and to stay competitive. It’s not just enough to serve good food: you have to draw the customers in so they can try it in the first place. This means getting the word out and building a reputable local and online presence. Our team can create and post memorable social media posts after doing the research necessary to determine the demographic you want to reach or the niche you are looking to fill. Whether your target base is modernist hipster or upper class fine French diners, IdeasUnlimited is filled with qualified individuals who can conduct the customer survey for your target base and manage your brand by seamlessly blending with your brand image.

Sales Support

We can handle your digital marketing whether you want more in-house diners or a flourishing takeaway and delivery business. We excel at

  • Web and graphic design
  • Organic brand growth
  • Mass email marketing
  • Paid search engine advertising
  • Paid social media advertising

Confused about how a remote team will help you make sales? Find out more here. Our agents are experienced in converting leads to sales, retaining current customers, and designing marketing strategies to expand your customer base. Give us a chance and witness the improvement in your conversion rate.

Customer Support

Your customers can make or break your business, so you need to focus on enhancing customer relationships. The first step is figuring out whether you need an inbound call center solution. Our agents will field all your incoming calls, take orders, make reservations, delicately handle irate customers—improving customer satisfaction and increasing customer lifetime value. Word of mouth is incredibly powerful in your industry, and our agents will ensure that each one of your customers becomes a brand evangelist.

Multilingual Support

One of the premier resources at IU is multilingual support, ensuring that you reach the customers you need, in a way that fosters a trusting patronage. We can do this by providing a receptionist service to field all incoming calls and make reservations. Or even by taking complaints and forwarding them, ensuring seamless customer service in the customers’ native languages. All of this would be done via call center support.

Business Management

Building up a fantastic team is an often-unappreciated asset within the career world. Minimizing as much drama as possible keeps that heat in the kitchen, where it belongs. Let IU take the stress off of your proverbial plate with our premiere services.

Our administrative support gives you the time to focus on the passions of the palate. We can take care of everything from handling schedules to managing all communication channels and taking care of documentation.

IdeasUnlimited’s call center support takes you from managing pantry ingredients, to posting jobs, and training servers to get ready for opening day. While you are plating, we are oiling the machine with flawless oversight of cash flow. IdeasUnlimited also cooks up some creative juices with our much lauded customer-satisfying ecommerce support!

These are some of the day to day business management services we offer:

Administrative Support
Ecommerce Support
Inventory Management
Listing Management
Technical Support
Vendor Management
Payroll Processing
Job Listing Management
Resource Screening and Interviewing
Bookkeeping and Tax Preparation

Contact us and we will show you what we can do for your business. The results will definitely not lead to returned orders: the chef you hire at IU will keep your tastes in mind.

IdeasUnlimited Has Achieved Another Milestone: Top Customer Support Company Award by Clutch, 2019

By | Administrative Support, Backend Support Services, Business Improvement, Call Center Support, Ecommerce Support Services, Multilingual Support, Remote Support Services, Remote Work, The IU Way, Virtual Assistant Support | No Comments

Endeavoring to provide the highest quality of service, IdeasUnlimited has achieved commendable success in delivering support services to many companies across the globe. These services have recently been recognized by Clutch in its 2019 Leader Awards.

Clutch is a leading platform that provides data-driven analysis, reviews and ratings for B2B buying and hiring. It values the importance of efficient business services and human resources for a responsive and intuitive organization. Therefore, it uses market research, analytics, and verified user reviews to filter the best service providers in the industry to help clients easily identify the best options for themselves.

With an overall 4.5/5 rating, Clutch has chosen IdeasUnlimited amongst more than 470  competitive IT and business services firms as a Business Leader in several categories:

Medical Billing

Customer Support

Inbound Appointment Setting

HR Recruiting

Benefits Consulting

HR Outsourcing

We are proud to mention that we have achieved this Business Leader Award based on reviews from our esteemed clients, industry knowledge and experience, client satisfaction, and our ability to perform a range of support services par excellence. IdeasUnlimited has been a reliable partner to its clients for customized and focused support services across the clock.

Not only this, we received another positive manifestation on Clutch’s sister website, The Manifest. It has mentioned IdeasUnlimited as the best HR Outsourcing Company in Houston on the basis of our wide range of services, projects, and client reviews.

2019 has been a remarkable year so far and IdeasUnlimited’s team is grateful.

We cannot wait to work harder and serve global businesses in an even better manner!

5 Easy Tips for Creating a Better Brand Image as a Receptionist

By | Administrative Support, Call Center Support, Customer Service, Receptionist Service, Remote Work, Technical Support | No Comments

A good receptionist service constitutes performing a number of administrative support tasks. Administrative support services are the backbone of a successful business; hence, they require a combination of skills for efficient delivery, namely technical, interpersonal, and communication skills. A receptionist typically handles all telecommunication, receives and guides office visitors, manages itineraries and prepares for meeting and training schedules.

All administrative support workers who are responsible for customer support are brand ambassadors since professional receptionist service provides the first contact point in most interactions. Therefore, a receptionist holds greater responsibility of conveying the company image correctly and professionally. Use these 5 easy to implement yet very powerful training tips for a receptionist to define the company image in a better manner:

Positive Language and Tone

Your enthusiasm and warm tone can help you bring in meaningful connections for your office. It is important that you avoid a negative tone and phrases. Avoid phrases that are cold and demanding. Instead, use friendlier, warmer phrases to deliver the same message.

Phrases to AvoidPhrases to Use
You need to…I’ll be happy to find a solution for you
…can’t be doneGladly! / My pleasure!
I don’t know!Happy to take your message
No problem!May I put you on hold?
Hold, Please!Will have the call returned
… not availableI’ll be happy to follow-up with you
Just a sec.One moment please
Who is this?May I ask who is calling?
What?Will you please repeat that?

Usage of correct tone and phrases goes a long way in establishing a positive image of your company and products/services in the minds of your potential connections. Your welcoming language will show that you are concerned and demonstrate your sincerity and ability to help.

Gatekeeping Skills as a Brand Ambassador

Receptionist service training constitutes discerning between clients, potential clients, and mere inquiries. A trained receptionist shields the people in-charge from interruptions to help them focus on their tasks. This is when a receptionist performs the role of a gatekeeper. Like for b2b sales, receptionists take the calls and set appointments. They are rarely involved in final decision-making but they are the ones who decide who gets through to make a pitch and who does not.

Here, a receptionist gets a chance to act as a gatekeeper as well as a brand ambassador. While screening for unwanted calls, keep your questions simple and your tone friendly. Invest your time to identify a potential, new business opportunity and deal accordingly. This showcases the professionalism of your company with which it handles clients and customers.

Connect to the Relevant Person

As you have trained yourself to assess caller/visitor agenda, make sure you refer them to the appropriate department or person without delay. This saves time for all the parties. It also shows that your company is resourceful and organized along with creating an image of specialized and cooperative staff.

A Quick Recap and Follow-Up Message Before the Call Ends

Setting up clear expectations and definite timeframes create a professional environment for carrying out business activities. A receptionist can make callers comfortable by helping them get things done. For quality customer experiences, the receptionist service should include a quick recap of the information gathered and a follow-up time for the caller. This makes things easier and clearer for the one who has approached your company, resulting in higher chances of positive reviews.

Share Informational Material About Your Products and Services

In addition to showing your dedication by reiterating the information received from potential clients and providing them a follow-up schedule, a little marketing could also help create a better brand image.

You can take permission from upper management and then share relevant authorized material with your clients through any channel they may prefer such as emails, fax, post, text messages, etc.

This can provide supplementary information to the clients about your company and its goods and services. Additionally, it can show them how things are carried out in your organization and what range of solutions are offered to clients. This might also lead to further opportunities with the client and a recommendation for potential collaborations.