Effective communication will make your business more competitive. A survey on business communication found that firms with effective communication and support programs are 3.5 times more likely to be competitive than their rivals.
The study also found that over 70% of the employees considered firms with better communication more organized.
Effective communication has a more prominent role in the virtual assistant industry. It is a vital cog in facilitating the relationship between a virtual assistant and clients. However, communication is still one of the main challenges faced in the virtual assistant industry.
Therefore, as a virtual assistant, you ought to know the communication challenges that may arise in your work so you can be prepared to tackle them.
Lack of Communication Skills
Communication is both an art and science. Therefore, you need the right skills to conduct business communication effectively. Your clients are interested in your written and oral communication abilities.
Clients expect administrative virtual assistants to correspond with the business’s customers. Your client will expect you to help them create and sustain meaningful relationships with the customers. Therefore, as you would imagine, your communication skills will be put to a real test.
Your communication skills as a virtual assistant will also determine your relationship with your clients. One way to be effective is to shorten your response time. No client is willing to entrust their projects to an unresponsive VA. How will they know about the progress of their project and whether you are going to deliver?
Everyone in the virtual assistant industry has the technology to thank for the ability to work remotely with people from all corners of the world. However, while technology has managed to make the world a small global village, the issue of time remains a mystery. The world may be smaller, but the time zones remain different.
The time differences may be a barrier for certain clients to maintain productive working relationships with you. There are projects your clients may want to be hands-on. Therefore, it becomes a challenge if the client cannot reach you immediately to offer directives or feedback on the projects.
On the other hand, some clients like to develop a relationship with their virtual assistants by keeping in touch regularly. When you have a 12-hour or more time zone difference, that becomes a challenge. It may be even harder for you to attend some of the team meetings.
Cultural differences may present a huge barrier to effective communication with your clients. Cultural beliefs and attitudes towards authority may trigger this challenge.
Cultural differences may create challenges at the beginning of a relationship with the client. For example, most clients like to foster an element of teamwork among their VA teams. Clients will go the extra mile of making their virtual assistants feel a part of the team by maintaining cordial relationships with the team members. However, cultural differences may sometimes prove a barrier to achieving this goal with some virtual assistants.
For example, a study published in Harvard Business Review claimed that Chinese employees usually portray an attitude of respect towards authority and find it hard to adapt to the egalitarian and open-door management approaches common in Western countries. Therefore, it will take some time before such a virtual assistant learns how to address the client in a more relaxed tone.
Language differences may be a barrier to effective communication in the virtual assistant industry. It is one of the reasons some clients shy away from hiring virtual assistants from overseas. It is mainly a challenge where the virtual assistant has not achieved proficiency in English.
Sometimes, the accent may become a challenge when video conferencing with a client. The problem is even bigger when one party has connection problems on their end. It becomes harder to get the point home within a reasonable time. Therefore, some clients may decide that it will not work for them and decide to hire a domestic virtual assistant.
The language barrier issues could also be a problem when dealing with your client’s customers. If you are a virtual administrative assistant, sometimes your client may task you with the responsibility of communicating with the customers.
That may pose a challenge if your English is not fluent as it may create a bad impression on the customers. Therefore, most clients will want to be sure the virtual assistant they hire is proficient in both spoken and written English.
Start Dealing with Communication Challenges Now
You should be encouraged to know that the above communication challenges are easy to overcome. A majority of these challenges can be overcome, especially through training. Deal with this challenge head-on by joining the Royal VA Academy. One of the best experts in the industry will mentor you in the community.