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Virtual Assistant Support Services Archives - IdeasUnlimited

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.

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!

Norwegian Customer Service by IdeasUnlimited

God morgen! A New Era of Norwegian Customer Service

By | Call Center Support, Customer Service, Multilingual Customer Service, Multilingual Support, Receptionist Service, Transcription, Translation, Virtual Assistant Support | No Comments

When you say the word ‘Norway’ what comes to mind? Is it the fjords? Skiing? Or maybe the glorious Vikings? Whatever stereotype you choose, good customer service is likely not in the top ten. IdeasUnlimited is here to help change that. We can help take your companies’ online web presence and sales and elevate them so that you are creating connections while upselling. This allows you the freedom to focus on improving your value offering while we provide exceptional Norwegian customer service.

Apparently, there is national recognition of passivity or inaction in retail. ScienceNordic details a study conducted recently which concluded that “companies are once again paying attention to the importance of how their employees treat customers”.

This research campaign brought to light a tendency to forget upselling and a decrease in securing final sales from 18 to 14 percent. Norwegian salespeople are now much better at greeting customers with that sunny smile and Nordic disposition, but there just has not been that follow through to secure the sales. IdeasUnlimited’s Norwegian customer service representatives can manage phone sales and even online orders to increase your company’s conversion rate. As a company, we have a large pool of native Norwegian speakers. Hence, you will have that cultural continuity while being assured that your hires will be trained to fit your standards. This allows your efforts to be spent best on optimizing your core business competencies.

IdeasUnlimited can also provide you workers to oversee quality assurance or customer satisfaction research for you. This can be vital, as “asking customers how satisfied they are does not always give a true picture of how well employees do their work”, especially when asked directly. Responses are often much more honest when done behind a barrier, so to speak, or anonymously to an individual who can hold accountability. You can only then receive honest feedback as to the tone of the interaction, how empathetic the customer support agent was, and whether customers were offered incentives to stay with your brand. You can know exactly where changes need to be made. It isn’t enough to just meet your sales goals, you need a team who believes an understanding of what it is that drives people is more important to continue progressing to the next level. By visualizing your customers perceptions, you can carve out solutions.

One of the examples that Norway is learning from is Tesla. They are a story of what exactly not to do then taking the time to make corrections. As of 2018, Norwegian Tesla owners reported “ridiculously long wait times and un-returned phone calls as Tesla’s service centers in Norway are overworked and low on parts”. Many customers had to make trips to customer care centers specifically just to find someone to communicate with who could direct them to help. Others were given surprise notifications for repair dates that they had not made. At one point, the lack of communication within their customer service department was so pervasive, that messages were actually being sent to the founder, Elon Musk. Luckily, 2019 has seen several changes in procedures.

Several initiatives like seeing service team sizes doubling by the end of the year were introduced. But what were the actual results? Well, Tesla grew its service team in Norway by 30% this year and added more shifts. Greater coverage meant more claims could be taken in. Customers could finally speak to a human being within a reasonable time.

But IdeasUnlimited knows you can do better than that. That you WANT better than that. This is why we want to set you up with a team that will make this a reality. When you have the right product or service, a perfect ratio of customer service and a unified management, you can do just about anything. So, let us find the right local customer service representatives for you while you strengthen your retail strategies.

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.

Finding New Clients

5 Ways to Find New Clients

By | Become an Affiliate, Business Improvement, Customer Service, Entrepreneurship, Virtual Assistant Support | No Comments

1. Word of Mouth

First, use the technique as old as time. Regardless of new technology, word of mouth is still valuable. According to Yotpo, 74% of consumers say word of mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decisions. Ask your customers to recommend you to a friend. In fact, try offering them an affiliate partnership so that they get a percentage of the payment as a finder’s fee. (We have an affiliate program…check it out!)

2. Advertising

Second, look into the many, many forms of advertising that are available. Don’t spread yourself too thin…limit yourself to two or three methods of advertising that are most likely to reach your customers. For example, if your customers are young and tech-savvy, put ads online. If they’re older and more traditional, buy ad space in the newspaper or magazines.

3. Networking Events

Third, get face-to-face with potential clients. This will give you the chance to tell a personalized story that reaches an individual on a personal level. While the local chamber of commerce is an obvious choice, there are many other options available for networking. Consider joining an organization like Rotary, Kiwanis, or Optimist. You can also look on Meetup.com to find networking groups in your area.

4. Social Media

Fourth, consider using a social media platform. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and many other networks are an excellent way to have ongoing conversations with potential customers. And it’s not just good for B2C companies, but for B2B as well. Entrepreneur reported that social media lead conversion rates are 13% higher than average lead conversion rates. (Need a social media manager? Hire one of our virtual assistants to do it for you!)

5. Partnerships and Alliances

Finally, consider making an arrangement with another business with the same target audience. Brad Sugars explains, “They might attach a gift voucher or other discount offer for your products at the end of a newsletter or mailing.” He goes on to say you can build an alliance: “For instance, a Web designer and an ad agency might send each other referrals for clients who need added services.”

What are YOUR ideas for finding new clients? What techniques have worked for you?

Real Estate Virtual Assistant: Do You Need One?

Real Estate Virtual Assistant: Do You Need One?

By | Business Improvement, Entrepreneurship, Real Estate Virtual Assistant, Remote Support Services, Virtual Assistant Support | One Comment

Real estate is a demanding industry. This makes it extremely valuable for realtors like you to stay ahead of the curve. It also explains why running a real estate practice or agency is time-consuming. The introduction of new technologies that support virtual assistants has made it easier for realtors to focus their efforts on enhancing the core competencies that come with running a real estate agency. Support services ancillary to core business activities such as paperwork have been delegated to real estate virtual assistants. These assistants provide the tools needed to fuel your success, whether you are a solo agent or own your own real estate or brokerage firm. The following are some reasons to consider the services of a virtual assistant:

Cost-Effective

Real estate agents live a fast-paced, busy life. They spend many hours going through emails and phone messages. They then need to organize the day’s events and transactions. You could avoid all this by getting an assistant. This will help but it is not a cost-efficient solution. Get yourself a real estate virtual assistant who will handle all these tasks at a cheaper price than what you would spend to maintain an in-house employee. You also save on expenses such as getting insurance and pension plans for in-house assistants.

Increase the Level of Productivity

A real estate virtual assistant’s primary function is to handle your day-to-day schedule and organize your emails and messages. When you hire an in-house assistant you will have to give them vacation days or sick leave. Rather than lose all this valuable time and resources, get yourself a virtual assistant who is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Increase Sales Conversion

When it comes to the real estate industry, lead generation is as important as making a sale. When you get yourself an experienced real estate virtual assistant, they can help you make calls and follow-ups with prospective clients through both online and traditional methods.

Omnichannel Support

All client engagement touchpoints you require—inbound and outbound calls, email, live chat, mobile SMS/text, and social media—will be covered by the real estate virtual assistant to improve the client experience and ensure there are no missed opportunities. A virtual assistant can cover your busy hours or take up the slack of your office staff. A remote workforce also allows you to choose from a much larger, more talented pool of applicants than candidates available for in-house work.

Multilingual Support

Firms and agents in the real estate industry face language barriers in dealing with tenants, owners, vendors, and clients. Get an edge over competitors by hiring a multilingual virtual assistant as the need arises and communicate with your client base and vendors in their native languages. The virtual assistant can also provide administrative and backend support for those particular projects.

These reasons clearly highlight why you should get yourself a real estate virtual assistant…click here to hire yours today!