This week we feature an article by Andy Steuer who shares valuable information about how to use virtual web assistants to optimize productivity in areas of customer service, customer support, CRM management and more. – Shep Hyken
Developing and maintaining a successful enterprise in today’s demanding business landscape is no easy task. It’s no surprise then that when organizations begin to contemplate their future success and the resources required to support it, uncertainty can set in when deciding how to manage their growing infrastructures while maximizing their overall business productivity.
The fact of the matter is, as companies begin to scale, a lack of office space and restrictive full-time staffing budgets can cause hiccups in business development plans and significantly reduce departmental output. While these setbacks may be temporary for some organizations, most growing companies continuously struggle with the ability to focus on their forward progression while still managing their day-to-day operations. This is where the benefits of a virtual web assistant truly shine.
If you’re not familiar with the concept of using a virtual web assistant, consider how beneficial it would be to pass on busy assignments and day-to-day process to an experienced personal assistant, while you concentrate on higher-level department strategies and development. Virtual web assistants can quickly get up to speed with your organizational needs and can provide many productivity and cost-saving benefits for your company.
Here are several areas that virtual web assistants can optimize productivity for busy companies.
In nearly every organization, the customer service department is the life force that drives the success of the company, and maintaining that integrity is vital. Virtual web assistants can help to manage multiple levels of customer service interactions and workflows in an easy-to-manage on-demand staffing solution.
Support Tickets and CRM Management
Virtual web assistants can take the lead when managing support tickets and updates to CRM platforms such as Zendesk and Salesforce. By using a virtual resource to manage first-level support to customer inquiries and concerns, you can ensure your customers receive fast responses to their support issues and quicker resolutions. While maintaining CRM data accuracy can be time-consuming, a dedicated virtual web assistant can provide your customer information is always kept up to date, making it easier to track interactions over time and improve your overall engagement strategy. Helpware employs teams of virtual web assistants who are at your disposal and ready to streamline your customer service strategies
Email and Phone Support
As your company grows, so does the frequency of customer emails and phone inquiries. For organizations with demanding administrative workloads, employing dedicated staff members to answer phones and draft emails might not seem realistic. Virtual web assistants are an excellent solution for companies in need of a more personalized approach to their customer engagement strategy and can be trained to manage the customer experience entirely. By hiring a virtual workforce to handle any phone calls, email support, or live chat dialogues, you can ensure that your company maintains the highest level of customer service standards in your industry and surpasses industry benchmarks.
Order Management and Data Entry
Regardless of the size your of your organization, in one capacity or another, data entry processes can take up a considerable amount of your time and resources to manage day-to-day. Virtual web assistants are the perfect solution when looking for a way to automate the repetitive, but necessary aspects of your business operations.
Many companies find themselves in the position of wanting to automate their order entry processes, without significant investments in EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) to increase the productivity of their operational departments. At Helpware, their virtual web assistants can manage all of your necessary workloads to keep your organization running at optimal efficiency, including order processing, vendor portal management, and shipment tracking.
CRM and ERP Database Management
Whether you’re a small business or large-scale enterprise, maintaining database accuracy is essential for companies to optimize their operational performance and adequately represent their revenue and profitability. For many organizations, migrating to an ERP (Enterprise Resource Solution) is the most efficient way to manage all business transactions and inventory management is one centralized platform. However, properly maintaining these enterprise solutions takes a considerable amount of employee adoption and requires daily administrative workloads to manage. In cloud-based ERP solutions, virtual web assistants can be onboarded as administrators or regular users of these databases and free up a considerable amount of internal resources to manage them effectively. Virtual web assistants can help to monitor and maintain warehouse inventory levels, shipment tracking notifications, product return authorizations, and many other important aspects of database management.
When managing an E-commerce web presence, having dedicated staff to maintain your company website properly is essential. Not only is the functionality of your site relevant to the overall customer experience, but it is directly associated with the amount of revenue your organization brings in.
Product Listing Audits
Keeping your website up to date with your latest product offerings and inventory availability can be a time-consuming process. While there are many advanced CMS (Content Management Systems) like WordPress on the market today, finding enough time to manage these solutions effectively can be difficult. WordPress virtual assistants are a great way to automate the necessary website audits and updates to your product offerings on site, ensuring your website remains functional at all times while maximizing revenues.
Most companies who maintain a web presence in today’s dynamic digital landscape understand the importance of regularly generating relevant content and distributing it through appropriate channels. At the fundamental level, most organizations maintain a corporate blog and regularly contribute to its development. However, periodically generating and organizing web content, whether through internal resources or outsourced freelance contractors, can be a full-time job on its own and extremely demanding of departmental bandwidth. Virtual web assistants can be employed as marketing assistants and digital content specialists that streamline the content management process, working with writing teams to ensure timely and accurate updates to company websites and blogs. This flexibility allows internal customer service, sales, and marketing teams to concentrate their efforts on improving the functionality of the site and maximizing the ROI of any content generation initiative.
When companies put more of their focus into scaling their business processes, it becomes easy to lose track of all the steps necessary to keep managers and their departments organized and on task. Virtual web assistants can help fill the gaps in business productivity by providing on-demand solutions to task management and prioritization of assignments.
There are many different task management and personal assistant applications available on the market today that are designed to help employees manage their scheduling. In busy organizations though, these applications are rarely managed consistently and quickly become a wasted investment. Virtual web assistants, however, can not only handle these applications effectively, but they’re also able to provide personalized service in managing work schedules, essential event calendars, and staff functions.
Reporting and Email Follow Ups
While the importance of creating intelligent business reports and detailed company analysis is reasonably evident, having the time to review these reports and create actionable business strategies associated with them isn’t always achievable. Virtual web assistants make it possible for companies to achieve both of these initiatives. Companies can hand over all or a portion of any necessary reporting requirements to virtual web assistants while deploying standards for regularly scheduled updates and email follow-ups to support.
Virtual web assistants are the perfect solution for growing companies looking to improve their productivity while maximizing operational efficiencies. By investing in virtual staffing solutions to manage your customer service, website maintenance, and task management processes, you can ensure that your business maintains the highest productivity levels while reducing operational and staffing costs.
Andy Steuer is the Co-Founder of Helpware where we help companies build their own enterprise-grade customer experience teams so they can earn more margin as they scale their businesses.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes article: The Ten Commandments Of Superior Customer Service