A virtual assistant job description includes responsibilities like managing an email inbox, picking up the phone, handling tickets, document processing & more.

Virtual Assistant Job Description and Responsibilities

Your typical virtual assistant job description will include tasks such as answering the phone, managing an email inbox, handling customer service tickets, document processing, uploading blog posts to WordPress, designing graphics and creating marketing videos and animations.

A virtual assistant job description includes responsibilities like managing an email inbox, picking up the phone, handling tickets, document processing & more.

Hire a Virtual Assistant for $6 Per Hour

Save 70% when you outsource with Jobstob. Highly qualified virtual assistants, designers, video editors and more for a fraction of the price of a domestic hire.

Answering the Phone

One of the most common tasks a virtual assistant (VA) will be asked to do is to answer the phone. A VA should be able to answer the phone in fluent, professional spoken English. Ideally, the person calling should have no idea that the person answering is remotely based. In a perfect scenario, there should be no difference to the caller between the virtual assistant and an in-person front desk receptionist.

If the virtual assistant is based overseas in a country like the Philippines or India, he or she should have a neutral, clear accent in addition to having a strong degree of spoken and written English comprehension.

Your typical virtual assistant job description will include tasks such as answering the phone, managing an email inbox, handling customer service tickets, document processing, uploading blog posts to WordPress, designing graphics and creating marketing videos and animations.

While the cost savings from having a virtual receptionist can be substantial, the costs could outweigh the benefits if you hire a low quality virtual assistant who speaks broken English. How do you think your customers will react when they call your business only to be greeted by someone who is cleared based overseas and can barely speak English? It’s sure to drive many a customer away, or at least cause doubt about the quality of your services.

Pro Tip: Read our guide on how to find a virtual assistant to learn the secret sauce on what makes a great virtual assistant, and how to source one for yourself. And if this is your first time hiring a virtual assistant, please remember to check out our wide selection of highly qualified, fluent, English speaking virtual assistants who are ready to work for you at Jobstob.com.

Responding to Email Inquiries

A virtual assistant might initially be tasked with managing an email inbox that only receives customer inquiries of a specific type. You might also trial a virtual assistant by giving them template responses to use in specific situations. This way, you’ll be able to control the quality of the responses being sent to customers.

Once an email virtual assistant has proven themselves, they might be allowed to handle a business’s general email inbox. As a business owner, letting go and giving up access to your primary email inbox is challenging, but it yields massive benefits in time saved from obsessively checking your email.

Furthermore, if you find a really good virtual assistant who has strong, professional, English writing skills, you may allow them to start responding to inquiries with free form, custom responses. You’ll need to check these responses initially to make sure that the grammar and spelling is of an acceptable quality.

Pro Tip: It’s easier to let go if you set your virtual assistant up with their own custom email signature, which has their name and their title (i.e Executive Assistant). You can each have your own email signature in the same email account. One way to do this is for you to check emails from Outlook, but have our virtual assistant access that same email account from Zoho or some other webmail interface.

Save 70% When You Outsource With Jobstob

Full-time, fluent, English speaking virtual assistants, designers, video editors and salespeople for $6 a hour.

Cleaning up Email Conversations

It’s easy to get overwhelmed from a clogged inbox if you’re using an account as both your primary email as well as the default account for any customer inquiries.

One way to save yourself from going crazy is to set up conversation mode on whatever email program you are using, whether it be Outlook or some webmail interface. Conversation mode essentially combines every sent and received email in a back and forth chain as one entry that can easily expand if you wish to see the individual emails in the chain.

However, we personally find it annoying still to have so many emails clogging up our inbox, even if they are stacked in conversation mode. What’s the solution? Have your email virtual assistant go through on a daily basis and delete every email in the conversation except the latest one. Don’t worry, you won’t lose any content because the latest email should have all of the previous emails in its body as a history of the conversation.

Pro Tip: This trick is harder to execute if people you are emailing have an annoying habit of not responding to the latest email in the chain, thus essentially creating multiple threads with different histories. Depending on whether you care enough about missing a few tidbits here or there, you can have your virtual assistant check each email to make sure it’s part of the thread history of the latest email in the conversation before deleting it.

Hire a Virtual Assistant for $6 Per Hour

Save 70% when you outsource with Jobstob. Highly qualified virtual assistants, designers, video editors and more for a fraction of the price of a domestic hire.

Unsubscribing to Newsletters and Spam

One of the most frustrating things about email these days is the amount of unsolicited spam and newsletters that arrive in your inbox. As a result, we as a society are wasting an unparalleled amount of time unsubscribing to newsletters and marketing emails, and flagging direct email pitches as spam. We all know too many people, perhaps including ourselves, who religiously unsubscribe and clean up their email inboxes on a daily basis in the hope of achieving inbox zero.

A virtual assistant can help you with this. At the end of every workday, have your virtual assistant go through your inbox and unsubscribe from all marketing newsletters and emails. If there’s no way to unsubscribe automatically from an email list, have a template email ready for your VA to use asking the sender to please unsubscribe you.

If you have a high level of trust with your virtual assistant, you can even authorize them to move all spam and marketing emails to your junk folder, or to block the senders from ever sending you email again.

Pro Tip: Be very careful about allowing your virtual assistant to start blocking senders in Outlook or whatever email system you are using. Moving emails to junking and blocking people excessively can cause many legitimate emails from customers to be mistakenly moved to your junk folder. Many of these email programs are known for having very hard email blocking and junk filtering algorithms. So be careful and remember to check your junk email folder periodically!

Handling Customer Service Tickets

A customer service virtual assistant can help manage all of your customer inquiries and requests through support ticketing software like Freshdesk or Zendesk.

If you’re in a business that receives a lot of customer service requests, such as e-commerce, then you can direct all customer service inquiries directly to your support ticketing software. This saves you from being bombarded with customer service requests in your primary email inbox, and can even save you from being aggravated and stressed out with just seeing egregious requests from customers.

As a business owner, you’re much more likely to provide great service if you don’t have to deal with the negative side of managing customers. If your virtual assistant handles all the difficult and sometimes nasty customer requests and messages, then you’re much more able to stay balanced and put on a smile for every customer.

Pro Tip: One perk of using support ticketing software is that your virtual assistant won’t need to have their own corporate email address, and they won’t need to access your email inbox either. If the primary virtual assistant job description is customer service, all of that can be done via support ticketing software.

Save 70% When You Outsource With Jobstob

Full-time, fluent, English speaking virtual assistants, designers, video editors and salespeople for $6 a hour.

Processing Documents for E-Signature

Every business will have documents and agreements that need to be signed, often repetitively. Even though this task has been made dramatically easier with the advent of online e-signature software, it still takes time to make edits to agreements (i.e. editing the name and address of an Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Agreement in NYC) and to send the agreements out for e-signature.

A virtual executive assistant can help you send out template agreements to customers again and again. Just show them where the templates are and what fields need to be edited and changed every time. Then simply drop in your chat room details for each new agreement, whenever they come up.

For example, if you’re a Realtor looking to send out yet another listing agreement. Just drop in the chat the name of the client, the address, the listing price, the commission and the client’s email. Then your virtual assistant will know to just edit the template listing agreement with these client specific details and then send it around for e-signature. How much simpler is that then having to do it yourself after every seller meeting or call?

Pro Tip: There is a remote risk that your virtual assistant can go rogue and e-sign contracts on your behalf that you are not aware of, especially if he or she also has access to your main email account. You can mitigate this remote risk by always asking your virtual assistant to send documents for e-signature to a personal email address that only you control. Of course, you shouldn’t have to worry about this sort of thing in the first place. Why not work with a pre-vetted, virtual assistant from an experienced business process outsourcing firm like Jobstob? Leave the compliance, training, payroll and management to us!

Hire a Virtual Assistant for $6 Per Hour

Save 70% when you outsource with Jobstob. Highly qualified virtual assistants, designers, video editors and more for a fraction of the price of a domestic hire.

Uploading Content to WordPress

A WordPress virtual assistant can help you upload new blog posts and articles onto your WordPress website, as frequently as you decide to post new content. A WordPress VA can also help you format the article properly, including putting in meta titles and descriptions that will be conducive to your search engine rankings.

Some of this you will be able to standardize and have your VA do every time, other aspects you will need to provide instructions for. For example, you might want to provide specific article titles, article URLs, meta titles and meta descriptions each time because they are so impactful for SEO.

Other aspects can be more automated. For example, your WordPress VA can automatically create an article cover or featured image each time that is under 150kb in size and standardized in style. Or your WordPress virtual assistant can know to select related categories and tags so that at least three related articles show up at the bottom of the article.

Many business owners may initially scoff at the idea, and will be reluctant to give up control of their precious websites. However, once you begin standardizing the process of article uploads, you’ll realize that the process is highly repetitive. And once you begin having your VA upload articles for you once you or your SEO virtual assistant has written them, there will be no going back.

Pro Tip: Letting go of your WordPress website can be just as difficult for entrepreneurs and business owners as letting go of their email inbox. However, once you get used to saving 20 to 30 minutes each time you need to upload and format a new blog post, you’ll feel like you never want to personally upload another article again!

Maintaining a WordPress Blog

One of the most helpful things a virtual assistant can do is to help maintain a WordPress blog. For example, a WordPress VA can help reformat old blog posts to new styles across your entire site, a project that would ordinarily take days or weeks of your own time.

A WordPress virtual assistant can add new pieces of multi-media content to existing articles whenever they are created. This is extremely helpful as there’s often a lag in creating a video or infographic for a specific article, often days after the new article has been uploaded.

Or perhaps you are going through your entire blog and creating dedicated animated videos and infographics for each article. This is a massive undertaking and will require a good deal of organization and collaboration between your WordPress VA and your graphic designers and video editors.

Pro Tip: We recommend having a shared spreadsheet containing line items for each article in your blog in Google Drive that all team members have access to. This way, you’ll be able to keep track of what updates have been done for each piece of content on your website.

 

Save 70% When You Outsource With Jobstob

Full-time, fluent, English speaking virtual assistants, designers, video editors and salespeople for $6 a hour.

Design Infographics, Cover Images and Banner Ads

A great virtual assistant will have experience with graphic design and will have a current subscription to Adobe Photoshop or some similar service. If not, a virtual assistant should be able to learn this skill set on the job. After all, the best virtual assistants will be able to continuously learn, improve themselves and enhance their skill set over time.

If you’re short on time and absolutely need someone to be able to start designing graphics for you from day one, then we recommend mentioning in your virtual assistant job description posting that the candidate must have prior experience with graphic design. You should also ask to see a portfolio of their sample work, or even just links to sample fliers, brochures or infographics that they have designed before.

Pro Tip: Well-made infographics can contribute to a significant portion of an article’s organic backlinks, and can generate significant impressions and clicks even by themselves. We recommend hiring an experienced virtual assistant who can create multiple infographics for you per day, perhaps based on prior article content that you’ve already written. Remember, quality always trumps quantity. So make sure to double check output until you’re sure of your new hire’s abilities.

Hire a Virtual Assistant for $6 Per Hour

Save 70% when you outsource with Jobstob. Highly qualified virtual assistants, designers, video editors and more for a fraction of the price of a domestic hire.

Create and Edit Animated and Other Videos

A truly stellar virtual assistant will be able to help you with all of the above, plus help you create animated videos and explainers for your business. This means familiarity with video animation software such as Vyond (formerly called GoAnimate) or general video editing software such as Adobe After Effects CC.

A truly exceptional virtual assistant will be able to create and edit just about any type of intro, outro or video for your business. For example, a great video animator virtual assistant will be able to create a slick, custom end animation and YouTube end scene for your videos.

Pro Tip: Video animation and editing skills are rarer, and you should definitely include familiarity with the above mentioned software in your virtual assistant job description if you need someone to start making videos right away. We think this skill can be learned, but it does take time.

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