How to build a great relationship with your Virtual Assistant
You’ve found your dream Virtual Assistant and you’re starting to reap the rewards of having someone to share the load with. It’s an amazing feeling, right? In fact, you’re probably wondering how you’d survive now without them.
The problem is, when you’re working with someone remotely, how can you make sure they’re as happy with you as a client as you are with them as an assistant? Here are five simple things you can do to nurture a long and fruitful relationship with your Virtual Assistant.
5 tips for a better relationship with your Virtual Assistant
1. Keep communication open and regular
Don’t be fooled by your VA’s remote location and digital communication prowess – this doesn’t mean they don’t want to actually speak to you every now and again.
In the early days, video calls or regular chats are an essential part of you getting to know each other. Your Virtual Assistant will build a picture of your preferences and factor the nuances of your personality into the service they provide.
But what you really want is for your VA to develop the ability to second guess your next requirement. You also need to be able to trust them to respond on your behalf and instinctively know the call you would make when faced with a scheduling clash.
The secret to this is communication. The mind-reading skills of your VA will be significantly enhanced if they’re completely in the loop with what’s happening in your business. This is why you should always have a regular check-in session in the diary.
2. Be honest about how you like to communicate
We sometimes see a fear from our clients of over-communicating with us – they don’t want to be a nuisance. In contrast, most Virtual Assistants feel more uneasy when a client goes too quiet on them. The only way to get the balance right, is to have an honest chat about how you’re best to keep in touch.
Are there certain days or times when either of you would prefer not to be contacted? Do you favour a particular video conferencing platform? Would you like a regular email summary from your VA? Maybe a good old-fashioned weekly phone call is more up your street?
Agreeing how you keep in touch is the best way to make sure you keep up regular communication and prevent frustration and guesswork creeping into your relationship.
3. Make them feel part of the team
When you’re not working at the next desk to someone, there can be a tendency to get down to business and forget all of the pleasantries that you instinctively offer to more visible team members. For example, inviting your VA to relevant team meetings and socials. Including them when you’re celebrating successes. Or simply just making sure you’re available to answer questions or flesh out the details of a brief. Even simple things like taking time to ask about their weekend can foster a friendly relationship, making them feel part of the team.
4. Agree everything in writing
Your relationship with your Virtual Assistant has to be based on trust. A contract sets out things like payment terms and contracted hours. But more importantly, it clearly details proposed working arrangements and terms and conditions, so you’re both happy and clear about what’s expected. And if you’re uncomfortable with anything, it flags the opportunity to talk about it and hopefully find a resolution before it becomes a problem.
Agreeing this at the beginning of your relationship (and revising it whenever relevant) could help if later down the line a misunderstanding arises (on either side). It’s protection for both client and Virtual Assistant if there’s a breach of trust.
5. Make sure your VA has provisions in place for if things go wrong
It’s important that you, as a client, feel absolutely confident and comfortable outsourcing all kinds of work to your Virtual Assistant. This inevitably means giving them access to all kinds of data and information. You’ll probably also need to entrust them to act on your behalf. There are inevitably risks involved in doing all of these things.
Making sure your Virtual Assistant has insurance cover in place can offer the reassurance you need. We suggest you look for professional indemnity insurance and cyber security insurance as a minimum, and public liability insurance if they are doing any onsite work. It’s also important they’re registered with the ICO for data protection reasons.
Why it’s worth nurturing a good relationship with your Virtual Assistant
Your Virtual Assistant is likely to have years of experience working behind the scenes, helping businesses like yours run smoothly. This can be extremely valuable when you need advice. Whether it’s a perspective on a new piece of software you’re considering or access to your VA’s bountiful little black book of contacts. If you get the relationship with your Virtual Assistant right, they can be a great sounding board as you’re growing your business.
Ready to start a new relationship with a Virtual Assistant? Book a 30 minute consultation to find out how Virtually Priceless could help you.