Working with Virtual Assistants and Inside Sales Agents can be both rewarding and challenging. This is true whether your VA is across town or in the Philippines. One of the expectations of outsourcing is that you may think it is an instant solution to all your employment problems. Although you are hiring skilled and educated Filipinos, your “Virtual” Assistant is still a “real” person with the same real issues which we all face each day.
Since I am living in the Philippines I have become aware of our many cultural differences. After 380 years of Western colonization (330 years by Spain and 50 years by the USA), Filipinos have become very “Westernized.” Although in many ways, they are more American than Asian, they are uniquely Filipino. They think and behave differently than us, which only means that we can learn from each other.
Frustrations of both you and your VA are usually caused by a combination of lack of communication and lack of cultural understanding. At Global OfficeWorks, we provide you the tools for easy communication. This may include a local phone number, Skype, Google Chat, Asana Project Management, and Email accounts. We also introduce your VA to some of the cultural differences they will experience. In addition, since you have chosen to work with a Filipino, it is in your interest to learn a little about their traits, traditions, culture, and personalities in general.
One effective way to find out if your VA understands the tasks is to ask “Is there anything that I didn’t explain well enough?” This allows them to let you know what they may not fully understand without “losing face” if they answered no to a question like “Do you understand?”
Regular bonuses keep your VA and/or ISA motivated, excited, and most importantly, loyal! Our clients who give their VA/ISA a few hundred dollars after every closing have the most success. And since you send it to them only after you are paid from your closing; you hardly notice it, but it will have a large positive impact on your business.
However, like most of us, your Filipino VA is motivated by more than money. What motivates them more than anything else is the need to be appreciated and valued. If you can fill their need to be appreciated, you will see huge changes in their work.
- They will be more consistent in their communication.
- They will complete tasks faster.
- They will set more appointments.
- They will start to figure things out on their own and contributing their own ideas.