Curious about virtual assistant call center services?
Virtual assistant call center services help your business run smoothly. They take a lot of the weight off your shoulders by doing some of the repetitive work, like handling phone calls.
But what exactly is a call center virtual assistant, and what tasks can they do?
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you should know about call center virtual assistants, including what they do, where to find them, and how to manage them successfully.
This Article Contains:
(Click on the links below to go to a specific section)
- What are Virtual Assistant Call Center Services?
- What are The Benefits of Virtual Assistant Call Center Solutions?
- What Does a Virtual Assistant Call Center Service Do for You?
- How Do You Hire a Virtual Assistant?
- How to Manage a Call Center Virtual Assistant?
Let’s get started.
What are Virtual Assistant Call Center Services?
A virtual assistant call center service provides business owners and professionals with courteous, trained virtual receptionists or assistants. These virtual assistants can handle and route incoming calls, schedule appointments, provide customer service, and more.
In most cases, they provide a centralized place for your non-client facing activities. Your VA call center service provider then divides or re-directs tasks or handles it themselves.
What are the Benefits of Virtual Assistant Call Center Solutions?
Here are some benefits of hiring a call center virtual assistant:
1. Improves Efficiency and Customer Satisfaction
Whether you’re a solopreneur, small business owner, or freelancer, chances are you have your plate full — handling all the admin, finance, marketing, sales, and other tasks for your business.
Perhaps a lack of manpower is having a negative effect on your customer satisfaction?
If you’re trying to expand your business or just operate more efficiently, a virtual call center assistant or virtual receptionist can help do this.
They can handle what is probably the lifeblood of most companies — calls, emails, and other points of contact with your clients, customers, and leads.
This way, you don’t have to miss out on any email or a call.
You’ll also have more time to focus on specialized tasks while your virtual assistant service handles things, such as:
- Directing incoming calls to the right person or department.
- Managing emails, paperwork, and contracts.
- Handling a customer issue.
- Calling or emailing potential leads
This can also improve your customer experience levels because calls won’t go unanswered anymore.
2. Cost Savings
Hiring employees is an expensive, time-consuming, and laborious task.
By engaging a virtual assistant or virtual receptionist service, not only can you save money but you can also avoid the hassle associated with recruiting and training new employees.
Here’s how a virtual assistant (or a virtual contact center) helps you save money:
A. No Overheads
Virtual assistants work remotely. So you don’t need to provide them with offices, an internet connection, computers, etc.
B. Low Service Fees
As virtual assistants usually work for multiple clients at a time or charge per hour, you only have to pay a fraction of the cost you’d pay a full-time salaried employee.
C. No Training Costs
Virtual assistants offering call center services require little or no training at all to begin working.
This is because most VAs are already experienced and skilled in their respective fields. They already know how to perform the task and what technology to use. You won’t have to invest time and money to train them.
3. Achieve Work-Life Balance with More Free Time
Entrepreneurs and freelancers usually handle all the aspects of their business with hardly any downtime.
Add to that the stress of unanswered emails, the phone ringing off the hook, or emails that get lost, and you have one very stressed out business owner.
Virtual assistant call centers can help you with repetitive and routine activities so that you can breathe a little easier.
This allows you more time to spend doing the things you love or just having some time off to destress. In turn, you can enjoy a better work-life balance.
The more balanced your life, the healthier, happier, and more productive you’ll be!
What Can a Virtual Assistant Call Center Service Do for You?
There are a host of activities and tasks you can consider outsourcing to a call center VA.
Here are just a few of the common ones; they can handle one of them or all or any combination you choose:
1. Administrative Tasks
Instead of hiring a permanent employee to handle administrative duties, a VA call center service can handle these tasks for you, including, but not limited to:
- Answering phone calls, routing correctly, and message taking.
- Scheduling and diary management.
- Data entry tasks.
- Travel arrangements and bookings.
They can handle all the tasks a receptionist or personal assistant ordinarily would — without having to be in the office.
2. Customer Service
Virtual assistant call center services are more than just a telephone answering service.
Businesses often hire virtual assistants to improve their customer engagement, especially because hiring an entire team of people or even just one employee to handle this task full-time would be costly and labor-intensive.
Usually, customer support involves:
- Providing more information about a company and its services.
- Making bookings.
- Remote tech support.
Fortunately, these tasks can all be done easily with instructions from a manual, no in-person training is necessary. All you need to do is provide your virtual agent with all the relevant company information, product details, FAQs, and a script.
For the more in-depth queries, your virtual assistant can escalate the call to you or another member of your team.
Additionally, many people prefer to have a live chat with agents rather than interact with chatbots on your website.
This is where a virtual assistant comes in handy.
They can give your business competitive advantage because your competitors are probably using conversational AI, which some customers may not like.
3. Email Management
A virtual assistant call center service can handle your company’s general incoming emails and direct them to the relevant person or department.
They can also handle your personal emails, follow up on leads, and sift essential mail from spam.
Here are a few more tasks they can tackle:
- Answering emails related to general inquiries.
- Reviewing job applications
- Organizing your mailboxes.
4. Miscellaneous Services
Virtual assistants can do all the tasks a personal assistant normally would, without the high salary costs, healthcare benefits, etc.
Here are some tasks your virtual assistant service provider can perform:
- Organizing your personal schedule and calendar.
- Making travel arrangements for personal and business trips.
- Personal shopping — ordering your goods online and having them delivered to you.
You can also hire a dedicated virtual assistant to handle specialized tasks such as accounting services or HR management.
How Do You Hire a Virtual Assistant?
Once you have decided on the tasks you will assign to a virtual assistant call center service, here’s what you have to do:
1. Determine the Type of Virtual Assistant Required
Do you require a VA call center service on a long term, short term, or seasonal basis?
For example, if you sell a product online (for example, clothing), perhaps you’re busiest over the holidays.
Depending on the volume of work you want them to do, you’ll need to decide if they’ll work the entire day or just a few hours.
If the virtual assistant is going to be working around the clock, you’d need a full-time service, but if you only require them for a few tasks, perhaps a few hours a day is enough.
Write out the list of tasks they will be doing and decide from there.
2. Decide Where You Want to Hire From
Once you’ve figured out what they will be doing and how long you need them to work, you can go about hiring your virtual assistant.
There are two options here:
A. Hiring from a Virtual Assistant Agency
If you’re unfamiliar with virtual assistants, a good place to start is with an agency.
They can help you find the right fit for your industry and provide a replacement if necessary.
Here are some popular VA Agencies that offer contact center services:
GetCallers is an inbound/ outbound call center with virtual assistants and “callers.”
These virtual assistants can:
- Handle your inbound calls and inquiries.
- Set up appointments for your sales team.
- Cold call for new business.
- Compile sales reports etc.
My Call Center Solution is more than just an inbound call center.
They can provide you with virtual assistants and call center agents to assist via phone and computer, handling your routine tasks.
Their virtual assistants are trained to help you with:
- Appointment setting.
- Managing emails.
- Handle inbound and outbound calls.
- Creating marketing materials (for example, product brochures or promotional fliers).
WoodBows offers virtual assistants from The United States, Philippines, and India. Their VAs are experienced and educated, having proven their skills through a three-round testing process.
Here are some of the duties they can perform:
- Digital marketing.
- Data entry.
- Customer support / CRM and telemarketing.
- Voicemail management.
- Web development etc.
B. Hiring An Individual Virtual Assistant
Another option for hiring a virtual assistant is to hire a freelancer.
These are usually highly skilled individuals who are well educated and experienced, so they typically cost more than an agency based VA.
Here are some excellent freelancer platforms to find a virtual assistant:
Upwork is a popular freelancer platform where you can find virtual assistants for general work like admin support and customer service.
You can also access experienced professionals from a wide range of fields, including data science, engineering, mobile developers, etc.
Want an in-depth review on Upwork?
Fiverr is another top-rated freelancer access site where you’ll find talent from all around the world.
Fiverr has a wide range of freelancers offering call center services, whether you’re looking for chat support, lead generation, cold calling, etc. They can even help you find a virtual assistant that fits your budget.
Freelancer.com is another popular platform connecting you to thousands of freelancers around the world.
Many small business owners prefer it because it lets you post a project or virtual assistant job, and freelancers can bid for it. This way, you can weigh the pricing against the experience of said freelancer before making your choice.
How to Manage a Call Center Virtual Assistant?
Many employers are put off by the idea of having to outsource responsibilities to a virtual assistant call center because they work from a remote location.
Keeping tabs on a virtual employee can be difficult.
How will you know they are doing what you pay them for?
More importantly, how will you gauge the productivity and progress of tasks?
Fortunately,y you can easily overcome these challenges with the right tools.
Here are some of the tools you need:
A. Communication Tools
Since your only contact with them will be virtual, you need to use efficient communication tools.
1. Instant Messaging Tools
These tools will help you:
- Share the details of tasks and projects.
- Share and edit files.
- Convey task requirements.
- Create task-specific communication channels.
This makes collaboration with your virtual assistant simple.
2. Video Calling Tools
There are some tasks and projects that are more complicated, and explaining them over a message or two wouldn’t suffice. A video call or voice call will help in this case.
With these tools, you can:
- Host project meetings with multiple people.
- Share your screen for more detailed explanations.
- Have your VA present in a meeting to take minutes, prepare data, etc.
B. Performance Tracking Tools
When your virtual assistant call center service works remotely, it can be difficult to keep track of what they are doing during billable hours.
It’s important to know they are doing what you’re paying them to do — whether they are freelancers or employed by a virtual assistant services agency.
By tracking their productivity, you can gauge:
- If they billed you for the time spent on other clients’ projects.
- How long tasks and projects took them to complete.
- If they are actually working on your projects or just idling away.
There are handy tools available to make productivity tracking possible.
One powerful software is Time Doctor.
What Is Time Doctor?
Time Doctor is a robust time tracking and productivity management tool that’s used by large corporations like Verizon as well as SMBs like Thrive Market to track their employee’s performance.
With Time Doctor, you have access to all the information regarding your virtual assistant’s work activities during the time they track.
- Precisely track the time they spend working on your tasks.
- See which websites and apps they use during tracked (working) hours.
- Motivate them to focus on the task at hand without getting distracted by social media and other unproductive sites.
- Ensure that you aren’t billed for idle hours.
- Accurately pay them on an hourly or task basis for the work done with the Payroll feature.
A virtual assistant call center service can save you time and money while helping you focus on the things that matter.
While deciding on the right one can be tricky, just use the tips and services we covered here to make your choice a lot easier.
Once you’ve chosen the right VA call center service, you’ll need efficient communication and a way to effectively manage productivity.
Fortunately, we’ve also highlighted some convenient tools that are sure to make your communication and productivity management a walk in the park!
Liam Martin is a co-founder of Time Doctor—a time tracking and productivity monitoring software designed for tracking hours and productivity of remote teams.