If you've ever been shopping online, you will have no doubt come across a live answering service feature in the corner of the screen -- these are virtual assistants and they can be a forceful marketing tool for small businesses.
As a small business owner, it can be a struggle to find the time to market yourself while doing your actual job -- but that's okay. The fact is, you can't do everything at once, and if you try, you'll risk running yourself (and your business) into the ground. A virtual assistant takes this load off whilst keeping you connected to your customers. Here are 4 ways a VA can be a handy little helper when it comes to increasing your business sales.
Increased brand awareness
A virtual assistant can get your brand name out there and ensure it sticks by making good use of the appropriate platforms to grow your online presence. By using social media such as Twitter and Facebook, a VA can post updates and content on your behalf -- sharing the most relevant and up-to-the-minute info with your customers. Posting regular updates to social media feeds puts across a passionate and friendly business persona and will keep customers interested in you.
The beauty of hiring a virtual assistant is that you can provide the most competitive customer service out there -- round the clock customer engagement which makes for increased feelings of trust and satisfaction towards your business. The majority of business contact hours only extended to 5pm or 6pm on weekdays, and this can be hugely limiting in terms of potential sales.
If a customer has a query outside of traditional business hours, this can be a lost sales opportunity. Getting back to them the next working day or after the weekend may not be soon enough, and any interest in your product or service can be quickly extinguished (think how much this adds up over the course of a year!). A Virtual assistant can ensure this doesn't happen by responding to queries in a timely manner.
This quick communication style should extend to existing customers as well as new. Your virtual assistant can initiate other methods of communication with existing customers such as email newsletters and leaflets by post -- ensuring customers are always in the loop regarding promotions or your new product/service range.
Customers are always more likely to recommend a company that communicates in a caring and personal manner, and a virtual assistant can ensure you don't falter in this aspect. Instead of making customers wait on sluggish in-house email responses, a VA can be at their beck and call 24/7 in terms of following up a purchase or query.
A huge advantage of hiring a virtual assistant to handle customer service matters is that you can assign as much work to them as your budget will allow. Depending on the number of leads you may need to process, you can also take on more than one assistant to ensure each individual customer has your undivided attention -- and this is what will ensure repeat business.
Whilst you can focus on the larger tasks of running your business, a VA can manage all incoming communication using a mix of email, website support and phone answering services to bring the most promising leads to your attention. Contact a professional business like The Message Centre and discuss their policies for using virtual assistants.