Identifying Markers Of Success For Your Virtual Executive AssistantSamantha Cordero
In today’s fast-paced business world, virtual executive assistants play a crucial role in supporting and enhancing the productivity of executives remotely. But how do you determine the success of your virtual executive assistant?
At Auxo Business Services, we use an assessment tool for new clients and their VAs. This allows the client to evaluate how things are going, if the VA is a good fit, and if they need to change their own habits around delegation. Whether you’ve had a VA for a couple months or a few years, here are 6 markers of success that you’ll want to evaluate in your virtual executive assistant.
Clear Communication Skills
Communication skills often top the list of required soft skills in any position, and with good reason. Poor communication leads to disorganization, confusion, and even missed deadlines. On the flip side, good communication is a tremendous asset. It allows you and your VA to connect and understand one another, and helps you be able to work together to accomplish your goals.
You can ask yourself a few questions to determine if your VA is a good communicator. Is she understanding what you have relayed to her in your meetings, and is she demonstrating that by being able to adequately do her work? Is he able to clearly explain his tasks to you, so you’re sufficiently aware of what he’s doing, and is he able to proficiently ask questions that help him further understand anything he’s confused about? These skills will be hugely beneficial for your VA to possess, especially as you work together remotely.
Everyone has their own definition of a timely response, but in a business setting, receiving a response in 24 hours or less is considered professional. Personally, I typically expect a response on the same day, especially if I’m using text or Slack to communicate, but I like to give some grace knowing that we’re all working in various time zones. That said, responding promptly to emails, texts, or phone calls is an important aspect of a virtual assistant’s job.
On a side note, VAs also typically love to get responses back from their clients in a timely manner. Sometimes I can’t move forward on a task for a client without further information, so a delayed response just prolongs the project. I’d challenge you that if you’re expecting replies in a timely manner, extend the same courtesy to your virtual assistant and other team members as well.
Ability To Help With Strategy
At Auxo Business Services, we define ourselves as virtual executive assistants, and one of the ways we stand out from a traditional administrative assistant is in the level of services we provide. One of the biggest ways this is noticeable is that we can help with planning and strategy, in addition to administrative tasks. Does your VA ever ask you deep questions to help spur your thoughts and processes along? This is a good sign that they’re interested in more than just the day to day tasks, and are inspired to help you move the mission of the company forward too.
For an executive VA to assist with strategy, they need to be knowledgeable about the organization they are serving, as well as the company’s objectives and their client’s goals. This allows the VA to offer solutions to current situations and even anticipate future ones. While VAs often have tasks delegated to them, it’s also their role to be thinking strategically about their clients and anticipate what needs they have or what they could do that would benefit them. This is where a VA’s value is really found.
A reliable virtual executive assistant will be organized and able to manage multiple projects at once. At Auxo, we utilize Monday.com as our task management system, and this allows us to not only stay on top of projects, but allows our clients to check in on our progress as well. Our clients anticipate that they will hand off a project to us, and we will be able to complete the task with minimal oversight. Not only that, but we’ll be able to manage several different projects at once. Sometimes this might mean taking on one major project, while completing regular weekly tasks, and keeping track of all of it. The ability to manage all this, and complete things on time, is something you’ll want to look for in your VA.
Virtual executive assistants should have the ability to solve problems quickly and efficiently on their own. I have to admit, this isn’t something I’ve always done the best at. My instinct is to ask for help right away when I don’t know or understand something. But something I’ve learned with time, and with help from my team at Auxo, is that it’s actually better if I try to solve the problem myself.
Let me give an example. I recently had a situation where my client was out of town and I had to enter a new client into their EHR system. I had never done this before, so I could have waited until my client was back in town and asked for directions. However, the better option was to dive in and figure out how to do it myself. Guess what? I was able to walk through adding the client just fine. Even if I hadn’t been, there are tutorials to turn to. By figuring it out without interrupting her vacation or waiting until she got back, I freed up my client’s time. That’s exactly what she hired me for in the first place.
For every client, this is going to look a bit different. For one of my clients, who is a mental health therapist, I interact with the other therapists on her staff, software representatives, insurance customer service, and her clients. This might be over the phone, via a website, or through email. In each instance, my professionalism and kindness are of utmost importance. I want her clients to feel welcomed and cared for. I want the insurance companies to know that we won’t back down in our requests for fair pay. I need to understand how to triage a technology issue between my client and the software reps. While those are different roles, they serve important functions, and free my client from making those time consuming calls or emails herself.
Identifying markers of success for your virtual executive assistant is crucial in ensuring a productive and efficient partnership. By setting clear goals, establishing effective communication channels, and evaluating performance regularly, you can maximize the potential of your virtual executive assistant and achieve desired outcomes. Remember, a successful virtual executive assistant is not only skilled and experienced but also adaptable, proactive, and committed to meeting your business needs. With the right markers of success in place, you can confidently navigate the virtual landscape and build a strong and successful working relationship with your virtual executive assistant.