How to communicate daily with your Virtual Assistant – Verifying the deliverables

Posted by Owen McGab Enaohwo

The key to getting things done and achieving your goals when working with a Virtual Assistant is constant Communication. Working with a virtual assistant demands that you keep communication channels open all the time so that nothing you say is ever “lost in translation”. In my previous blog post on hiring and managing your own virtual assistant, I underscored the importance of preparing and setting up the virtual workspace and communication tools needed by the VA to carry out his/her daily activities prior to you actually hiring one.

Assuming that you have finally hired a virtual assistant, established the workspace and have set up the necessary communication tools, let me share some tips with you on how to communicate effectively with your virtual assistant so your expected deliverables and results are delivered on timely.

Communication tools

 

Daily communication between you and your virtual assistant is a must and you need to conscious of the fact that the results that your VA ends up delivering to you are only as good as the systems that you have created for them to use and how well you trained them on using the systems. Granted, the training process might take some time, especially when you newly just hired the VA. This is the reason why constant communication is necessary because you must exhaust all opportunities available to make sure that your virtual assistant understands what tasks need to done, the reasons why they need to get done on time and how to get them done in the manner that results in a favorable outcome. Now let us review two communication tools available; Email and Voice Chat and I will highlight how each tool can be used to communicate effectively with your virtual assistant.

How to effectively use Email

 

  • At the beginning of the work week, send an email to set the expected deliverables for that week. It should also specifically state on which day each deliverable is expected.
  • Send an email each subsequent day requesting for status updates on each deliverable.
  • Require your virtual assistant to respond to each email that you send so that you can track the progress of each task and quickly identify when you need to step in to get things back on track. This feedback mechanism should be put in place when you first hire the VA because it helps with the training process; in the sense that once the VA cannot get something done you will be immediately informed and then take the necessary steps to conduct additional training with the VA. Remember that experience is the best teacher so the more that they get their hands dirty working on your tasks, the more they learn how to do it and eventually will not require your attention.

How to effectively use Voice Chat

 

A voice chat client is useful when you need to have real time discussions on deliverables.

  • State the main purpose of the discussion at the beginning of each chat session, this will help to keep the focus on the key points that you want to get across to your virtual assistant thereby saving time.
  • Point out the specific details that you expect on a deliverable item. Make sure you ask your VA if the item you highlighted is doable within the timeframe or not.
  • After each chat session, ask your virtual assistant to send a summary of your discussion so both of you will have a common understanding on the points that were discussed during the chat session.

Some voice chat clients such as Skype now also have video conferencing capabilities. In order to conduct a video conference, both you and your VA will need good webcams. I have found that nothing beats face to face communication with virtual assistants.

Conclusion

The tools that I presented above are the basic communication tools needed to communicate with your virtual assistant. How each tool will be used is up to you and it also depends on what outcome you are trying to achieve. Use emails to set goals and expectations for the week. Use a voice chat client to discuss the tasks and deliverables in detail as well as offer additional training when necessary. Remember that making use of videos enhances your communication with your VA and the technology available today only helps to make communication with your virtual assistant via various mediums a lot easier, hence take advantage of them.

Question for you:

  • What other means of communicating with a virtual assistant do you think I did not cover in this blog post? Explain why you think it should be included?