If your team has decided to hire a remote personal assistant, you may have questions about where to start the recruitment process. For instance, you might wonder, what makes a good digital assistant company? What are the qualities you should look for when researching companies that provide VA services?
As you begin the search for digital assistants, it’s a good idea to get to know the different virtual assistant companies on the market, what they do, and what makes them worthwhile. Virtual assistant companies prescreen qualified remote personal assistants and connect these contractors with companies for a variety of tasks. These companies will also provide replacements when a digital assistant is out on leave or if the assistant gets a new job. All of this upfront work is included in the cost of services, which is typically billed monthly.
The best virtual assistant companies will provide a variety of tiers depending on the needs of the customer. Wing offers three tiers: limited, basic, and pro. There are additional pricing options for specialty VAs, such as sales callers, social media assistants, and real estate assistants.
In this article, we’ll go through a few of the basic requirements for a good personal assistant by looking at two providers in particular: Zirtual and Double. We will look at crucial factors like cost, VAs’ training, and the range of services offered. By the end of this post, you should have a good sense of what to look for when hiring a remote personal assistant company.
Not all virtual assistant companies are the same. That’s why it pays to research before hiring a company. Many companies will appear like excellent candidates at first glance, but when you read up on some of the finer details of their services you will begin to understand that is not so. Here are a few things to consider when hiring a virtual assistant company:
- Cost of services
- Range of services
- How VAs are assigned
- Location of the company
- VA’s skill and experience level
- Customer service responsiveness
In general, when it comes to services offered by the VA, broader is better. VAs who work in many different industries on a wide array of tasks are the most valuable and sought after. These assistants are generally more adaptable and can be an asset no matter what task you throw at them. For example, e-commerce entrepreneurs will need to have remote personal assistants who can help them with Amazon FBA, social media, and sales.
Similarly, realtors and real estate agents will want digital assistants who can serve as receptionists, sales callers, and admins for industry-specific tasks like coordinating open house events. It’s important to understand what kind of training and preparation these assistants have undergone before being deployed to handle these tasks.
Training is important in any field, but it has particular importance when contracting a VA. Remote personal assistants may have access to sensitive documents and information. Similarly, their work could put them in charge of critical parts of your business such as scheduling or customer relations.
For these reasons and more, choosing the right candidate is essential to ensure success in the role. Wing VAs are college-educated English speakers. They undergo a rigorous training curriculum for 4-6 weeks which prepares them to be competent generalists who can tackle a variety of tasks with utmost professionalism. Their training continues on the job under the supervision of senior members of Wing’s operations team.
Companies follow different processes when assigning VAs. Some will ask clients a few questions during a brief phone interview. Others will ask them to fill out a questionnaire. Still, others don’t provide details on their websites explaining how they make these decisions.
No matter the process, though, assistants are often paired with business clients based on logistical conveniences like time zone, the skills required, personality type, or a mix of all three. Wing conducts a 10-to-15-minute phone call with new customers to learn the specific tasks that need to get done. We then invite you and other users who are part of your team to join our Wing software platform. After that, you can begin communicating with your personal assistant immediately.
Pricing for VA companies may seem high, but remember you are paying upfront for a company that will expertly vet potential candidates and provide a match that will meet your expectations. Also, note how much work time the company allots at each price point. Just because companies offer services at similar price points doesn’t mean that their offerings are the same.
For instance, basic plans with Wing provide a personal assistant for an unlimited amount of work during an 8-hour block of time. This assistant supports up to 3 people. Pro plans provide a second assistant and support for up to 5 people. In contrast, many managed VA companies provide work for fewer hours or limited tasks within a workday.
Response times are a major factor to consider with all VA work. Your assistant must be able to complete requests quickly so you can move on with your day. One of the major selling points of a digital assistant is the ability to take work out of your schedule, which can’t happen if VAs have slow response times. Wing’s digital assistants are guaranteed to respond within 3 minutes during contractually agreed upon business hours.
Besides assistants, the company’s customer service department must be responsive as well. Sometimes, when you are working with a digital assistant, you will have questions for the customer service team. Do they respond quickly to your questions? This is a sign of professionalism and the company’s commitment to its client base.
If you can’t answer yes to some of these questions around responsiveness, it may be time to seek out a new company to provide remote personal assistants. Wing has highly responsive 24/7 customer support that is guaranteed to respond within the same business day on any issue.
What is the best virtual assistant company? This depends on several factors. Some things to consider when comparing virtual assistant companies include:
- Customer reviews
- Pricing plans
- VA training and qualifications
- Customer service
- Software integrations
- VA backup support
Ultimately, the best company will be the one that suits your particular use case and meets your criteria for these factors. Zirtual and Double are two popular VA service providers. Let’s take a look at both of these companies and discuss some pros and cons to their offerings.
Zirtual is a remote personal assistant platform connecting busy professionals with digital assistants. Like many other VA services platforms, Zirtual provides assistants skilled in many different tasks. Zirtual assistants can handle basic social media marketing, make travel bookings, schedule meetings, follow up on phone conversations, conduct online research, and even purchase office supplies on your behalf.
Most VA companies provide these services since they are valuable to any small business person seeking relief from the crush of everyday tasks. All Zirtual assistants are U.S.-based.
Is Zirtual legit?
Zirtual is a very useful service because their assistants can help you with a variety of tasks. Although there are some limitations (VAs don’t do customer support, sales, or receptionist services), Zirtual assistants can handle a lot of the work that frequently overwhelms busy entrepreneurs and professionals.
All Zirtual communications are confidential, so users can be confident that they can entrust their assistant with sensitive information related to their business. For all of these reasons, Zirtual is a good choice for remote personal assistant services.
What are the drawbacks of hiring Zirtual?
When comparing services, it’s also important to ask: How often does the virtual assistant work? This is where one drawback of using Zirtual comes into play: Their lowest tier plan only features 12 hours of task work per month.
That’s considerably fewer compared to a service like Wing, which features plans that start with a minimum of 4 hours of VA work per day during a 5-day workweek, for a total of 20 hours per week. In this regard, Wing is a better value for your money than Zirtual.
Another issue with the Zirtual platform is response time. Zirtual assistants are only available within a 2-hour response time window during your business hours. This is a wide window, especially if you are signed up for one of Zirtual’s lower-tier plans that have only a few hours of tasks per month.
In addition, this would not be well suited for entrepreneurs or business owners who need to get things done right away. In contrast, Wing’s digital assistants are guaranteed to respond within 3 minutes during your business hours.
Double is a U.S.-based company that connects busy professionals with part-time digital assistants. There are a variety of payment plans for teams of various sizes that offer assistant services to complete a variety of tasks, from data entry and research to email management and event planning.
Why is Double a good remote personal assistant company?
Double is a good company for VA services because they pride themselves on the human connection made with remote personal assistants. The company was founded by a group of professionals with experience in the time management space. For this reason, Double pairs VAs with clients for the long term.
This arrangement is a double-edged sword: while it helps clients and VAs produce synergized work, it does not account for the VA becoming sick or leaving the job. Wing has a strong corporate culture focused on employee empowerment and improvement. The company invests 4-6 weeks in training these employees and preparing them to be effective communicators who make meaningful contributions to their teams.
The fact that each Wing VA is part of a team allows a knowledgeable replacement to cover for dedicated assistants in the event of a leave of absence. The result is a capable, competent workforce and a dependable service for remote personal assistants. Clients communicate via a dedicated account manager who coordinates services and ensures that there is always coverage.
What are the cons of Double virtual assistants?
One of the cons of working with Double is they have limited software integrations: Double’s mobile app only runs on Apple iOS. As they are quick to point out on their website, this does not mean you will be unable to work with Double if you have an Android phone, it only means you won’t be able to use the mobile app to communicate with your assistant.
However, if you do not have a GSuite or Outlook login, you will also be unable to use the mobile app. Wing’s mobile app is available on iOS and Android, and you can communicate with your assistant on other platforms, like Slack, via phone, or text, or via email (by request).
Both Zirtual and Double make strong cases for the importance of hiring an experienced virtual assistant company. Both have experience in the digital assistant industry and provide a variety of services from pre-vetted, qualified VAs.
However, one drawback to both companies is that they provide remote personal assistant support for a finite amount of time; they built limited work hours into their tiered pricing.
Wing offers full-time digital assistant work every day during the business hours you have reserved for your assistant. It’s a much better value for your money and can potentially help boost your productivity exponentially.
Remote personal assistants are worth it – but choose wisely
VAs are definitely worth the investment, and hopefully, you now understand why it pays to go with a company that will vet and train remote personal assistants so they can make a meaningful contribution on day one.
Wing offers an unlimited dedicated virtual assistant for busy startups and executives. Schedule a call to see how our trained, dedicated assistants can help boost your business’s productivity today.
Dan Eder writes frequently about digital marketing trends, SaaS, and e-commerce. He has previously worked as a content writer at an SEO agency for tech companies, an e-commerce specialist at a Fortune 500 company, and a journalist for several educational outlets. Read more from him at www.daneder.com.