What do virtual assistants do?
It is a question often asked by people interested in becoming a VA.
If you’re wondering what it takes to become a VA, understand that virtual assistants provide remote administrative and technical support.
You can provide various services depending on your skills and client needs.
In this article, we will explain what tasks you might do when working as a virtual assistant and the most popular types of virtual assistance services.
What Do Virtual Assistants Do?
As a virtual assistant, you might perform tasks such as customer service, appointment setting, scheduling posts on social media, or creating marketing materials.
Some virtual assistants specialize in a certain area, such as content marketing or project management.
Other tasks might include the following.
- Do internet research
- Data entry
- Proofread documents
- Create presentations
What Skills Does a Virtual Assistant Need?
Here are the three main skills you need when working as a virtual assistant.
1. Computer Skills
As a virtual assistant, you will need proficiency in the use of computers and various software programs.
Learn how to type quickly and accurately.
As well, you want to have a good working knowledge of the Internet and email.
2. Communications Skills
You will communicate regularly with your clients and their customer base.
So you must have excellent oral and written communication skills.
Can you express yourself clearly and concisely?
Are you able to build rapport easily?
If so, then you possess the basic communication abilities required for all high-level virtual assistant roles.
3. Time-Management Skills
As a virtual assistant, you will likely work on multiple tasks for different clients at the same time.
That’s why time management is an essential skill for anyone in this role.
You will need to prioritize your work, stay organized, and meet deadlines.
What Services Do Virtual Assistants Provide?
While virtual assistants can provide various services, we will review some of the most common for you to consider performing.
1. Travel Booking
If you have experience booking travel, then you can get paid to do it for company executives, freelancers, or other business owners.
With this task, you will typically use the client’s business credit card to book airfare, rental cars, and hotels.
You might also need to make restaurant reservations.
2. Social Media Management
Regarding social media, your client will want you to help grow their social media following and engagement.
The process can involve creating and scheduling posts, replying to comments, and conducting market research.
Social media content creation is a higher-paying job for virtual assistants than other types of services.
It’s one thing if you will simply post for a client who creates their content.
However, you should consider charging more if they ask you to create content from scratch.
3. Project Management
Are you good at keeping track of details and completing tasks on time?
If so, then your client may ask you to manage one or more of their projects.
As a project manager, you might become responsible for creating timelines, assigning tasks to team members, and providing status updates.
4. Email and Phone Response
When doing this work, you will respond to emails and phone calls on behalf of your client.
In some cases, you might need to provide customer support.
Other times, you may act as a gatekeeper by screening calls and only passing on the truly important ones.
5. Appointment Scheduling
Are you good at staying organized?
Do you have experience scheduling appointments?
If so, then consider offering this service as a virtual assistant.
Appointment scheduling can involve setting up meetings, sending out reminders, and managing a client’s calendar.
6. Administrative Support
With this service, you will provide general administrative support to your client.
The tasks can vary depending on the business.
They may include preparing reports, handling customer inquiries, and managing data.
7. Customer Support
If you have experience working in customer service, then you can use those skills as a virtual assistant.
In this role, you will likely handle customer inquiries, complaints, and billing issues.
You may also need to provide product information and troubleshoot technical problems.
What Are the Most Popular Virtual Assistant Services?
Although you can find work in all of the above roles, you will discover that most business owners and executives hire a virtual assistant in the following three popular VA services.
1. Back Office Administrative Duties
As the name suggests, back office administrative duties are all the behind-the-scenes tasks that keep a business running.
It might involve bookkeeping and scheduling appointments.
As a bookkeeper, your client will put you in charge of maintaining financial records, preparing reports, and assisting with the budget.
Bookkeeping is one of those roles that typically requires past education.
For example, you might need a degree in accounting or experience working in bookkeeping for another company.
Some companies also ask for bookkeepers to have certain certifications.
Scheduling appointments can mean anything from setting up a meeting with a client to managing an employee’s vacation time.
Your job is to make sure the business owner or executive has enough time in their day to get their work done without overbooking themselves.
Other scheduling activities could include setting up consultations and sending reminders to clients.
Virtual assistants in sales typically help increase revenue by generating new leads and customers.
You may need to make sales calls, send emails, conduct market research, and manage content platforms.
Skills that work well in this area include people skills, empathy, and closing skills.
Keep in mind that the sales process doesn’t always include getting on calls with prospects.
Your client might use dedicated salespeople.
Your role could involve being the appointment setter for the sales team.
Or, you might follow up with prospects after the sales call with sales enablement materials.
Many prospects can’t decide on a live sales call.
Your virtual assistance work after the call becomes an integral part of the company’s closing process.
Market research typically includes finding out what services or products the customer wants and needs.
You might also need to use analytical software to help make sense of the data you’ve gathered from your research.
3. Customer Service
A virtual assistant in customer service is responsible for handling customer questions and complaints.
Clients will want you to manage live chats or handle returns.
Customer service reps need to have strong people skills, remain patient, and possess excellent problem-solving abilities.
Sample Work of a Virtual Assistant
When clients post job descriptions, they will provide a sample of what they want a VA to do.
Here is a sample of the work required by virtual assistants on most VA job descriptions.
Responsibilities of a Virtual Assistant
- Handle customer service via email and phone
- Manage contact lists
- Create and update spreadsheets
- Organize calendars
- Copy and paste data from one source to another
- Create presentations
- Organize files and create folders
- Schedule meetings
Requirements and Skills of a Virtual Assistant
- Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Office Suite
- Prior experience
- High school diploma
- Excellent communication and customer service skills
- Knowledge of Google Calendar
- Attention to detail
- Time management skills
- Organizational skills
- Ability to work independently
So what do virtual assistants do?
They provide services that include, but are not limited to, answering customer service inquiries, managing social media accounts, conducting market research, and performing data entry.
In addition to the services listed above, many VAs also offer specialized skills such as copywriting, web development, and graphic design.
Do you still have questions about what virtual assistants do?
Please ask us in the comments below so we can help you.
Or, if you’re ready to begin working as a VA, start on your new career path today.