A customer service virtual assistant is an invaluable part of a successful business. But if you’re a small or growing company, you might think customer service or customer support isn’t necessary. Why hire a customer support virtual assistant, you might ask. There are several good reasons! For one, every growing company needs great customer support to make sure that the service can accommodate all customers’ needs. Having a VA is a cost-effective way of providing top quality service to your customers.
What is a customer support virtual assistant?
What exactly does a customer service virtual assistant do? A customer support virtual assistant is a professional who takes on customer service admin tasks like taking and making calls, sending emails, and responding to chat messages from customers. Businesses may hire them to help with technical issues, customer service inquiries, and everything in between.
Most business owners still prefer having someone handling live customer support. It is because they can interact with people naturally while fixing their problems or answering the complaints from customers.
Signs you need a virtual assistant for customer service
You might wonder whether or not you need a customer serv
ice virtual assistant. At what point does a small- or medium-sized business require an additional person to handle customer support full-time? Well, if the following things have been happenin
g to you lately, or if you’re trying to get ahead of them, you should definitely consider getting someone for customer service.
You have a backlog of comments on your social media pages
You take so much time to respond to support tickets
You haven’t set up a system for support tickets
Your inbox is swamped or you can’t get through calls
We use chatbots–why hire a customer support virtual assistant?
Chatbots are a great way to connect with customers and provide help. They’re easy to use, and the customers can get help from a virtual assistant without leaving your desk. But they don’t provide the level of personalization that a great customer support VA does. It’s better to have a human VA backing up your chatbots.
Using both human and digital customer service is effective for a new company or a growing company who needs fast service for all customers. The chatbots can work fast and answer customers’ questions at the same time without waiting for another customer to finish. Chatbots can also help you efficiently respond to the typical questions you get about your business, so that your human assistants could concentrate on unusual or very specific queries.
You can also use chatbots to schedule support appointments, track customer feedback, and many more. Incorporating chatbots in your customer success system will allow you to improve your company’s CS database. If a customer raises a concern, or if you need a compilation of all the feedback you’ve collected from customers, having chatbots will help you build a better customer success strategy.
With strong customer support systems in place, a virtual customer assistant can provide a more personal touch, interact with the customers naturally, and respond with empathy to complaints.
What else can you expect from your customer service virtual assistant?
Outstanding communication skills
A well-trained assistant would be good at spoken and written communication. They would be great at composing email replies to queries, but they’re equally good at walking a customer through a process on the phone.
Good listening skills
You don’t have to worry about customer service assistants missing crucial details from phone calls or meetings. Your assistant would know how to listen for important information that can help them resolve clients’ issues.
A customer service assistant has empathy and patience. They are able to resolve conflicts, de-escalate situations, and protect your business’ reputation while they troubleshoot concerns. A well-trained virtual assistant will always strive to leave a positive impression on those with whom they interact.
Many remote assistants with experience in customer service are also product sellers. They will know how to present your product or service to interested parties, answer any questions they may have, and upsell existing customers to better services.
Why hire a customer support virtual assistant to help in operations
There are a few reasons why you might want to hire a customer support virtual assistant. For example, if you have a large customer base and you don’t have the time or resources to provide support yourself, a virtual assistant can help you out.
Additionally, if you’re a startup and you don’t have a large customer base yet, a virtual assistant can help you retain your customers by providing high-quality assistance.
There is no substitute for feeling secure in a service provider’s capabilities to respond to your needs. A support assistant is one of the first points of entry a customer has to your company, so their interactions are invaluable in retention.
Still not convinced? Here are 9 other reasons for hiring a customer support virtual assistant!
Save money on equipment and training
A virtual assistant provides operational support for your team, reducing costs associated with customer support. This includes support during business hours, responding to customer inquiries through various channels, and troubleshooting issues.
What’s more, managed service providers handling VAs also provide training and equipment for assistants in their talent pool . This can include onboarding, on-the-job training, continuous professional development, and more.
The company does not need to pay for additional training for customer service, which is perfect if your company is new or has a limited budget.
No need to rent office space
Second, you don’t need to rent office space for a virtual assistant. Since VAs work remotely, they can provide effective support even if they don’t have a cubicle at your office. For a scaling company, not having to think of additional overhead costs is a blessing. It is even more so if you consider that CS professionals directly affect retention.
Offload the cost of employee benefits
Providing employee benefits is a must, but their costs do add up. Switching to virtual customer support might be the best solution for reducing the cost of employee benefits.
When you have a virtual assistant, you can keep your onsite staff small while reducing your expenses on benefits. Hiring a VA through managed services further reduces costs, since you only need to pay a flat monthly fee to the provider.
Growing companies have to consider using virtual assistants as customer support. Having a VA is beneficial to a growing business’ bottom line.
HR benefits – customer support VAs and your productivity
Virtual customer support can also be very helpful in increasing your in-house employees’ productivity. Here are some reasons why!
Focus on mission-critical tasks
Some days, there just seems to be so many customer concerns coming at you from all sides – through your social media pages, website chat, email, what have you. Addressing all of these concerns could easily take up an entire workday.
Unless you’d like your in-house employees handling that themselves, you’re better off having a VA for customer support.
When you have a VA, your employees can focus on other tasks that are more important to your business. Instead of putting out fires, they can work on projects closer to their core responsibilities.
Improve work quality and efficiency
Having someone on hand to respond to DMs and chats will certainly make a difference. For one, it gives visitors the impression that you are always on top of things at your company. By providing support to your customers in a timely and effective manner, VAs can help you improve customer satisfaction.
A great customer support virtual assistant can also take the time to speak with your developers, UX designers, or anyone working closely on your products. They’ll do what they can to understand how to troubleshoot more complex technical concerns.
Reduce turnover due to workload stress
A top-notch support VA is valuable in alleviating the stress that comes from a customer-facing role. Let’s admit it – we aren’t all people persons, but customer support VAs surely are! They know how to handle interactions efficiently and with a smile.
Sure, an in-house employee might know the nuts and bolts of your product or service, but they aren’t necessarily equipped with the people skills to convey what they know. Customer support VAs are skilled in handling emotions. They can patiently walk someone through a procedure, respond to questions promptly, and listen to an irate caller without getting mad themselves.
Having a warm, welcoming person at the helm of your customer support will bring a more positive experience to your visitors. Best of all, your other employees won’t feel the pressure of having to take on a role for which they did not sign up.
Brand benefits – remote assistants and customer success
Finally, having a virtual customer support assistant can also contribute to your brand and people’s impression of it. Here are some ways having a CS virtual assistant helps make brands successful.
Provide round-the-clock support to customers
VA customer success teams can be available 24/7 to help customers with any issues they may have. Additionally, VAs offer a variety of benefits to their customers. You can train a VA to be proactive in looking for the best responses to visitors’ concerns.
Cover fluctuations in customer demands
If you have a customer service VA, you’ll find it easier to handle queries. Fluctuations in demand won’t put as much workload on your employees since there’s someone whose job largely involves addressing questions and troubleshooting concerns.
And even if demand surges past the capacity of one person, you can still easily ramp up. It is because managed service providers will supply you with more VAs as needed.
Maintain a professional image
A virtual assistant is trained to think of your company as their own. They won’t put your reputation at risk by behaving in a way that runs counter to your messaging and branding while on duty. As long as you orient them about what your company is all about, they will work to give a great experience for all your customers.
How to find a virtual assistant for customer service?
There are many ways you can get a customer service virtual assistant. You could hire a freelancer, through websites like Upwork or Fiverr. You could also go through an agency or a managed service provider, like Wing. Whichever way you hire someone, you’ll have to consider the pros and cons.
Hiring a Freelance Assistant
A freelancer typically has higher rates than virtual assistants working through agencies. It is because independent contractors have to pay for their own equipment, as well as file their own income taxes and mandatory benefits.
When you hire a freelance assistant, you’d typically have to put up an advertisement for the role, interview candidates, choose the best among them, and perhaps train your new assistant. If for any reason your assistant has to leave, you’d have to find, hire, and train a new one.
Hiring a Managed Service Provider
Get a Customer Support VA through Wing
When you need customer support, a virtual assistant can help you out. By having a VA on your team, you can save time and money. Plus, you can trust that your VA is always working hard to provide you with the best possible customer support.
Quality service is our priority at Wing, which means it’ll be our VAs’ priority when they join your customer support team.
Get a virtual assistant from Wing; book a call to learn more!
Alexander Lim is the founder and CEO of Cudy Technologies, a platform aiming to deliver high-quality educational content to students around the world. He is also a freelance writer specializing in tech, startups and marketing. He’s passionate about learning, digital marketing, and the SaaS space, and he likes writing about how startups can market their products and content effectively online.