If you feel overwhelmed, drained, and tired at the mere thought of all the administrative tasks you need to do, it might be time to hire help.
Hiring a virtual assistant can be an excellent way to free up some of your time, create a better work environment, and provide better customer service.
In this article, we’ll explore eight of the biggest benefits you can expect when hiring a virtual assistant for your business. We’ll also look at the most common tasks they perform and the top virtual assistant skills you should look out for.
What is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant (VA) is an independent contractor that provides administrative duties to one or several clients at a time. They work remotely — usually from their home office.
They’re mainly responsible for performing tasks that an executive assistant would typically handle. These include making calls, booking appointments, and organizing business emails.
What does a virtual assistant do?
Virtual assistants can perform many tasks, and some of them — especially those specialized in a particular field — may be able to do more than others. Here’s a list of core tasks performed by virtual assistants.
1. Manage social media accounts
There are 4.59 billion social media users in 2022. This number is estimated to grow to nearly 6 billion by 2027.
Because of this, it’s crucial for your business to stay relevant on these platforms. A virtual assistant can help you achieve this. They can help publish content and answer customer queries on your social media platforms to create and maintain a positive online presence for your practice.
2. Answer phone calls and emails
VAs are responsible for answering incoming phone calls and emails from clients, employees, and suppliers. During these calls, the assistant must address questions to the best of their ability.
If they’re unable to answer a question, they need to escalate it to the right person. They may also be required to make outbound calls to:
- Clients when they miss appointments or need to be informed of important changes or other information.
- Suppliers when they need to place orders for healthcare or office supplies.
3. Schedule appointments
Virtual assistants are responsible for scheduling patient appointments whenever a client calls or asks for a booking online. They check for double bookings and help clients reschedule when necessary.
4. Perform market research
Market research can be done for many purposes, but the four main ones are:
- Positioning: Measure the perceptions of a brand or product compared to that of the company’s competitors to make sure that your business is properly positioned for your target market.
- Forecasting: Project future trends and demand for a specific service or product to ensure that your business remains relevant.
- Optimization: Determine how strategies and processes can be optimized to reach business goals.
- Reducing risk: Determine what customers want and which needs aren’t currently being met so that changes can be made and risks can be reduced.
Your VA can help you perform market research to ensure that your practice remains competitive and is set up for maximum growth.
Benefits of hiring a virtual assistant
Here are some of the biggest benefits of hiring a virtual assistant for your business.
1. It saves time
Many of the daily tasks done by virtual assistants, such as taking notes, submitting monthly reports, and answering emails, are repetitive.
As a result, these tasks can take a lot of your team’s time — taking away from more pressing issues and high-impact tasks.
Delegating your administrative tasks to your VA will free up your team’s time so you can have more time to spend with your patients. Your team will also be able to focus on their more important tasks.
2. It increases work efficiency
You and your team will have less work on your plates, which can lead to higher productivity and work efficiency.
Some of the tasks performed by your virtual assistant could also lead to smoother business operations. For example, your marketer may assign your VA research tasks, allowing the former to focus on more complex tasks, such as creating and publishing the content.
3. It leads to a healthier work environment
As mentioned, hiring a VA means your workers will have more time to focus on their own work. As a result, you’ll reduce the risk of your workers burning out and, consequently, your practice having a lower turnover rate. Your full-time employees will also be far happier — resulting in a more positive company culture and work environment.
4. It improves customer loyalty
The 2020 Global State of XM Report released by Qualtrics shows that 89% of companies with “significantly above average” customer experience perform far better financially than their competitors.
A virtual assistant will help you deliver better customer care. They are there to answer client questions, help them with bookings and payments, and much more. Consequently, you’ll build loyalty with these clients and may even gain additional clients from their referrals.
5. It will give your business a competitive advantage
Having more loyal customers means the chances of you being seen as an authority in your industry will increase drastically. This means that you might become known as the “go-to” medical practice — giving you a competitive advantage. As a result, you’ll be able to scale your business to new heights.
6. A VA requires less micromanagement than an in-person employee
Once you explain how things should be done, your VA will take on full responsibility for the tasks you assign to them. They’ll be able to work independently without you constantly monitoring them.
Since their payment is directly dependent on their delivery, a VA will work hard at providing the best service possible. You can expect results without having to spend your precious time micromanaging.
7. You’ll get access to diverse skills
Regardless of the type of tasks you need your VA to perform, there’s a good chance that they’ll be able to do it.
This is because many virtual assistants have diverse skill sets. They’re able to perform a variety of essential tasks, including administration, research, client communication, travel planning, and social media management.
8. It reduces operating costs
Getting a virtual assistant means that you’ll only be paying for the hours they work. And, since they work remotely, you save on office-related costs, such as a dedicated office space, uniforms, and parking spaces.
Additionally, as an hourly worker, your VA won’t require any employee benefits, like a 401(k) plan or health insurance. But perhaps the most persuasive saving comes from the fact that a virtual assistant has a lower hourly wage than a traditional assistant.
That’s nearly $10 less per hour — resulting in approx. $80 in savings per day (if the person works eight hours) or around $1600 in savings per month.
Skills to look for when hiring a virtual assistant
Here are some of the main skills to look for when hiring a remote assistant for your practice.
There’s a lot of typing involved in the healthcare industry, from notes to patient documents to lengthy emails. As such, it’s important for your virtual assistant to have fast typing skills. This skill is so valuable that VAs with fast typing skills can earn close to 64% more than the average base salary.
Customer service skills
Since your VA will work directly with clients, they must have great customer service skills. Furthermore, they need to be willing to go out of their way to help the client. Soft skills, such as communication, listening, and empathy, are desirable.
Your virtual assistant will often be required to perform several tasks at a time. They need to have great time-management skills to make sure everything is completed on time.
Alongside time management, they need good organizational skills to make sure tasks are handled in an orderly manner.
Learn more about the skills that all virtual assistants need.
Ready to hire a virtual assistant?
Now that you know about all the benefits virtual assistants have to offer, it’s time to look for the ideal candidate for your practice. It’s important to keep ideal VA skills in mind so that you can choose one who will perform all their tasks efficiently.