6 Qualities of an Effective Virtual Assistant

6 Qualities of an Effective Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants are the gateway into the wonders of outsourcing, and with good reason.

VA’s, as they’re sometimes called, carry out a variety of crucial tasks. They can organise your schedule for you, book your appointments, plane tickets, and hotel reservations, and pretty much run all the aspects of your professional life that you can delegate.

But what makes for an effective VA? What green flags would indicate one worth keeping?

Here’s a handful of them.

1. Reliability.

Does your VA get their tasks done on time? If not, do they inform you about what’s getting in their way as soon as possible? Are they easy to get in touch with?

This is perhaps the most important trait for a good VA to have. When you’ve got a client relying on you from the other side of the world, you HAVE to deliver. No matter what. 

2. Good communication skills.

We’re not just talking about how well they speak and understand English too. (Though that’s also crucial. How else would you understand each other?)

You’d want a VA who isn’t afraid to speak up when necessary. They shouldn’t hesitate to get in touch with you if there are concerns or any unforeseen issues that may come up. Ideally, they should also be able to clarify if instructions are vague, preferably without any prodding. 

3. Consistency.

You want someone who can perform their duties reliably, day in and day out. Not someone who only brings their A-game when they feel like it.

Granted, you should always make room for occasional errors, but such incidents should be few and far between. A good VA also happens to be someone who learns from their mistakes, so it’s not a good sign if such things keep happening.

4. Proactiveness.

The best VA’s are able to function independently for the most part, especially after the initial onboarding. They should already be in tune with their daily deliverables and manage their time wisely to accomplish these on schedule.

Anticipating challenges ahead, both for themselves and their clients, is also a critical trait and will definitely be invaluable for any long-term working relationship.

5. Resourcefulness.

Any VA worth their salt should know how to Google things instead of just running to their client every time they have a question. It’s fine to clarify instructions or to pose follow up questions from time to time, but a good VA should be able to sort things out with minimal supervision.

6. Attention to detail.

God is in the details. Every good VA lives by that motto.

From ensuring that their client’s calendar is in order to keeping tabs on their client’s key information for filling out forms, among other things, the best VA’s ensure that these things don’t get past them.

If you’ve managed to find a VA who has all the aforementioned qualities, do everything you can to keep them. A good VA can be worth an entire back-office, depending on the situation.

Of course, you should also bear in mind that some of these qualities can be cultivated. So, don’t worry if your current VA doesn’t have all of them. With a bit of encouragement and support (and open communication), s/he can develop them in time.

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