You’ve spent the last several [months/years/decades] building a successful business – why on earth would you trust someone else with it?
While I’m not recommending you turn over the reigns on your entire business, I am recommending that you consider hiring a virtual assistant to help with customer service. Because if you find the right person, it’s a GAME CHANGER!
Any entrepreneur that’s built a successful business through buckets of sweat, tears and many a long nights is probably cringing right now.
Because businesses are like babies to us entrepreneurs (HH is totally my 3rd child 😉 ). So why would you want to remove yourself, hand over the customer service reigns and leave your clients and customers in the hands of a virtual assistant?
Well, it might just make you more successful. In fact, here are four reasons why I think that you should hire a virtual assistant for customer service.
1. You can take your business less personally.
Why would you ever want to take your business less personally?
Aren’t you and your business one in the same? For personally branded businesses like Horkey HandBook, the answer is mostly yes. Because without me (Gina Horkey), there’s not much of one…
But taking your business less personally, doesn’t have to mean you take it less seriously.
What I mean by taking it less personally, is not listening to the negative chatter. You know how that one piece of “constructive criticism” outweighs those 100 “Your product/course/advice changed my life!” notes in your inbox?
Yep, that’s what I mean.
What if you never had to see them?
I wouldn’t mind not seeing that email from someone replying to my newsletter where I talked about wanting to lose weight tell me that I was “disgusting” and basically accuse me of stealing people’s money and not teaching them anything of value in return.
I wish it wasn’t true, but it totally happened… 5 days before my birthday and it was all I could think about while trying to take my first real vacation since I started this biz.
But I want to see these:
Or let’s talk refund requests. They totally happen.
And it’s actually normal to have a certain percentage of people ask for one. Because you (or your course) aren’t going to be for everyone (see above!).
But it doesn’t mean that a little piece of you doesn’t die inside when you receive a request for one (just me?). And not because you have to part with the money.
Rather, it’s a reflection of your self-worth. That you didn’t provide the value that someone expected from you. Or put another way, that you weren’t good enough.
2. You don’t have to be peppy if you don’t want to!
It’s hard to be pleasant all.of.the.time.
Especially if you feel defensive (see the above section on negative comments and refund requests). But as business owner, it’s kind of your job to act professionally.
Even if you’re human.
And professionalism and peppiness (or positivity) kind of go hand-in-hand. But what if you’re not so peppy naturally and/or don’t feel like faking it?
Since a virtual assistant isn’t taking your business as personally (even if they’re taking it seriously and care a lot about it/you), they don’t have to worry about all of that. They can “just do their job,” which is to respond politely and in a timely manner to support requests, inquiries, etc.
They don’t have to feel bad about saying no. Or guilted into saying yes. They can just follow the rules you’ve outlined for them and respond accordingly.
Easy peasy, right?
3. You can free yourself up to do more (or better) work.
Who doesn’t want to do more of what they love and less of what they don’t [Gina raises hand]?
No one. Not a single one of you would rather focus on solving a tech integration issue than whatever it is that you enjoy doing (like writing or solving expensive problems for your clients).
The best thing that I outsourced was my email. Not only was handling all of my email a huge time suck for me, but 80% of our email was easily handled with canned responses in Gmail. It was one of the cheapest things we could outsource and made a huge difference in freeing up my time for higher income projects.” ~Rosemarie Groner
If you’re like me, the weight of not only running a business (via content and course creation, plus I still offer writing and VA services to a few select clients), growing it (through marketing, networking, etc.) and managing it (think technology, accounting, making business investment decisions, etc.) gets HEAVY at times.
And I didn’t even include customer service, one of the most time consuming (yet extremely important) tasks in the above illustration.
Basically, as small business owners we wear many hats. But there comes a time where our head and hat size are no longer the same. If we want to keep growing, we need someone else to wear one of the smaller ones.
Often, we can kill two birds with one stone. We can stop doing something we don’t love (like sitting in our inbox all day) and start doing more of what we do. Here’s the kicker, we can often make more money in the process!
And who doesn’t want more of that?!?
4. They can spot areas of opportunity.
When you’re too close to something (ahem, your
baby business), it’s easy to miss some glaringly easy changes that should be made. Low hanging fruit if you will.
That’s one reason why people work with a coach. But a coach isn’t the only one that can spot these areas of opportunity in your business.
I would argue that a coach isn’t even the most qualified.
But a savvy virtual assistant on the other hand? Someone that works INSIDE your business and is hearing what customers want and need firsthand? Someone that can not only spot a common theme or problem, but is intuitive enough to come up with a solution or strategy to solve it?
And again, this is something that you might not have ever seen. Or that’s been costing you a ton of money (in opportunity cost or low client retention).
That’s what a good VA does – they don’t just perform X, Y and Z tasks, but they also are on the lookout for ways to improve processes, make your business more efficient and help YOU enjoy YOUR work more.
So what are you waiting for?
If you’ve been reading and nodding your head as you’ve made your way through this blog post, you probably need a kickass VA to man your customer service (or happiness) department.
Here’s the thing, I happen to know A LOT of highly qualified VAs that would love the opportunity to meet and work with you. Click here when you’re ready to extend your hand and be introduced. 😉