|At 8:00 p.m. one evening, I received a frantic telephone call from a client. She desperately needed an emergency meeting with her staff who was on a much-deserved two-week vacation. Their client was displeased with the PR campaign they had recently pitched and wanted to change directions, quickly.
Ah, technology! What would we do without it?
As a virtual assistant who frequently receives “frantic calls,” I literally looked into my grab bag of tools and said, “No problem, meet in my online voice meeting room. Call your reps and have them log into this URL. I’ll provide unlimited access so you can speak to anyone in the world and show documents at the same time, right over the Internet.
The voice quality is superior to a telephone. Once you’ve completed your review and edits, I can save the documents to your hard drive or an internet-based storage area, and then transmit it directly to your printer or client for production and review. My client was so relieved. She said, “I’ve never heard of this technology.” Smiling, I replied, “That’s why you have me as your VA.” We live and breathe this stuff.”
In today’s fast paced business society, technology can provide shortcuts and business solutions never imagined. Entrepreneurs either need to know about the technology or hire someone with the skills and knowledge to operate these platforms. By doing so they can save time, money, and energy and streamline a business’ administrative operation.
State-of-the-Art Technologies Enhance Capabilities
Three such platforms include interactive, real time voice meeting rooms, Application Service Providers (ASPs), and Project Managers.
For example, Dennis Gerik of Voxwire, a supplier of online voice meeting room technology says, “With a computer, internet connection, and microphone, a person can click into an online “Meeting Room” and speak to anyone in the world and show them shared visuals at the same time. It can be one-on-one or with hundreds of people. It’s an enhanced service that Virtual Assistants use in their day-to-day operation.”
Another technology, Application Service Provider (ASP) is also regularly used by VAs. An ASP allows VAs to rent a server with a particular application or suite of tools running on that server. Companies in need of the ability to collaborate over large distances utilize the services of ASPs to do things such as manage company inventory, sales, purchases, events, etc.
Virtual Assistants use them as a tool of their practice to support their clients. In addition to the above-listed functions, they can capture voice recordings and transcribe the material for distribution while the client is sleeping. When the entrepreneur is ready for work the next morning, the document can be sitting at her email address, waiting to be read.
Yes, enhanced technology allows individuals these flexibilities, and much more.
On the move entrepreneurs sometimes leave “important files” on their desktop computer. By using software like PCAnywhere, Virtual Assistants can login on the client’s computer, retrieve the missing file, and then forward it to the client – fast and efficient!
Virtual Assistant to the rescue!
Project Managers are sometimes called calendars. But these aren’t your “normal calendars.” Project Managers can be industry-specific designed to document a project from its inception to conclusion, including sharing files, date sensitive actions, note recording, call reminders and much more. For example, the real estate industry has a product developed by Gurunet.net that produces a web-based transaction management system with listing, task, document and contact management tools.
Through the use of Action Plans and Auto-populating templates, users are able to automate the transaction process and reduce redundant data entry. The data is accessible to all parties in the transaction based on the permissions assigned to them as a participant. This allows users to reduce phone calls, increase quality service and keep a permanent audit trail of all communications and interaction during the entire pre-listing to post-closing process. The Virtual Assistant manages the transaction and the real estate agent has time to make the sale.
Technology. Virtual Assistants depend on it to run their business and manage tasks for their clients.
Be it the frantic call in the middle of the night or the mundane processing of orders and reports, VAs are aware of technologies that simplify the job.
Why? Because we live and breathe this stuff.