Meet Izza Andong, our HR and virtual assistant

As much as we value our clients, we also value our virtual assistants. Most big time business owners would agree that the key to a successful business is having happy customers, and how do we keep our customers happy? First we need happy employees.

“The key to achieving customer happiness, as in customers who want to do business with you again and again, is to focus on employee happiness first.” That’s according to Jason Whitman, VP of Customer and Employee Success at Justworks

As we are hiring virtual assistants offshore, do you ever wonder how they manage their time per client and what they are like outside office?

In the next months, we will be posting a series of blogs about our virtual assistants so you can learn more about them, and how they deal with your business. If you have a question, feel free to comment so we can add them on the next blog.

Meet one of EWE’s most hardworking and beautiful ladies, Izza Andong.

Izza Andong

 

What are your main tasks?

As a human resource Trainee, I’ve been trained to strictly follow and impose the processes in the company. I file and organize documents, I follow up and/or talk to clients re VA’s absences, I also handle two clients in which I format CV’s for them and data entry if requested, I help Shammie and Winrich in imposing the Company Policies, I’m the go-to of every VA’s concerns (which I also coordinate with both Shammie and Winrich), I check the attendance daily, I organize and facilitate recruitment tasks and I also make sure that everyone gets in the loop of anything that the company should be concerned of.

 

How do you manage your time with multiple clients?

For me, my tasks don’t come in specific “time-schedules” but I usually just do everything as “First come First serve”. When there are urgent tasks, I put them first. As much as possible, urgent or non-urgent, I really want to do my tasks ASAP always because then I’d have enough time to do personal things after. I am willing to sacrifice breaks for as long as I get the tasks DONE. I can just eat in between, I really don’t mind. Hahaha

 

Why did you choose to be a VA?

Who wouldn’t? Haha. I really don’t have specific reasons as to why I chose to become a VA, but maybe I can see my growth here as an individual. This is an actual training for me to enhance my interpersonal skills. Of course, the pay is also good enough especially for a starter like me. What more of those who are very experienced? Plus, the work doesn’t get you so worn out at the end of the day and you also get to talk to people offshore and also learn their culture.  How I wish I’d get to adapt Aussie slang and idioms as well hahahahah.

 

What was your previous job before you became a VA?

In summer of 2017, I was an office-based ESL teacher for a month. I taught to children, teens and adults. It was a great experience because it really enhanced my communication skills. As a teacher, you need to be an example of how words are pronounced, so that made me learn and review a lot of English lessons too. I also learned a few of the Chinese culture and made friends to some of my students. 

 

Tell us more about yourself

I love Pinterest. I love anything cute, rustic, vintage and dark. I love dark chocolates over any flavors, I can go up to 70% cocoa. When I was younger, I wanted to become a Veterinarian. Maybe that’s why I love animals especially dogs. In high school, I wanted to become a Lawyer. But in College, I was enrolled to Industrial Engineering. I didn’t even know that program existed before haha. I love painting, sketching and drawing. I love art more than anything in this world. I don’t go for mainstream fashion, although sometimes it’s all you can literally SEE so you end up buying too haha). I’m not a fan of night-outs. I love to read books but I don’t have my own book-collection. Wishing to have one soon! I collect ball pens, although I don’t really use all of them. I love greens and salads over chicken & pork. I also enjoy singing and watching series (TWD,TVD,Suits etc.)

5 Virtual Assistant jobs we got right and 1 very wrong.

Over the last year our Virtual Assistants got everything done very well, except one.

Virtual administration

5 things we did very well

  1. Administration:  We rock at this.  Our Virtual Assistants worked on way to many tasks to mention, such as having a certain amount of hours until a deadline to complete tasks to data entry to reporting.  You want administration done call us today.  Giving you time back.
  2. Bookings:  Through people phoning in to emails to using apps and calendars.  We worked with electricians, psychologists, tree loppers, real estate agents to golf courses. Bookings were done, tracked, invoiced and followed up.  Making businesses money.
  3. Data mining:  Looking through phone directories to scouring the internet.  If you need a database built your Virtual Assistant can do it.  Great for getting new customers.
  4. Updating information:  This can be from your word press website to your blog to your social media.  All ways to keep in touch with your customers.  Being consistent to your clients, showing them that your still in business.
  5. Saved time and money:  Our clients gave our Virtual Assistants great training and in return our VA’s were able to handle all tasks very efficiently, thus giving the client back their time and at these rates saving significant money.  (Average rate for a high level VA is about $10.30 an hour.)

The one thing we got wrong.

We thought this would be great but so far it has not worked.  Telemarketing.  Our Virtual Assistants have neutral accents even a hint of Canadian, so it is not like 10 years ago with the heavy tones.  They had scripts and taught well.  Maybe Australians are over telemarketers.  I know some very good ones in Australia however they are 10 times the price in Cebu so out of some businesses reach.

How we can see this working:

  1. The client needs to put in daily training, answering all questions and knock backs received.
  2. The VA needs to know the business backwards and not just the script.  After all the VA is part of that business.
  3. Time.  2 months minimum to get this working well.
  4. A good list of potential clients.

We do have one valuer that has had his Virtual Assistant for 18 months and does telemarketing.  He has a very good list and has done the above.  If you are prepared to put in the training then this can be achieved.  Put the hard yards in first and it will get easier.

 

There is also so much more that our Virtual Assistants do and so many different business types.  Call us today to learn more.  Or come to one of our seminars soon.  Like us on Facebook or keep an eye out for our emails.

6 things not to do before hiring a Virtual Assistant

Frustration

Hiring a Virtual Assistant

may seem like the end of all your administration problems.  You have someone on hand to do all your work while you can get on to running your business, plus it is more cost effective?  While I have 2 Virtual Assistants (VA’S) here is what we have learnt not to do.  If you do the below you will get maximum results.

  1. Treating your Virtual Assistant as though they are not in the office.  You cannot see your VA unless you are on video skype so it is very easy to just ignore them and not to talk to them.  Treat your VA as though they are in the office beside you.  Build them into the culture of your business and TRAIN them as though they were in the office with you.
  2. Think your Virtual Assistant already know’s what to do.  If you are thinking you can hire someone that already knows what to do you are wasting your time.  I have had VA’s that have had great experience but do not know the way I do things.  It is just like if you hired someone from your competitor, they still need to know how you conduct business.
  3. Getting a cheap Virtual Assistant.  Yes they can be very cost effective, but you get what you pay for.  The minimum I pay is $9.50 and hour.  I have tried and wasted money with lower levels and they have never lasted longer than a week.  By all means give it a go but we have a ranking system and now if they are not at a least Tier 3 we do not hire.  The levels are Tier 1-5 with 1 being low skilled and 5 being fantastic.
  4. No Planning, No Schedule, No, Task. I actually find this bit very enjoyable.  I list all the tasks I need to do for the day or week and allocate them.  “Delegation.”  I set a plan and my VA’s have already been trained how to do most of these.  I then get emails through the day when each has been completed.  THIS IS WHY I HAVE VA’s.  My customers are happy as they always have communication and my work life is organised.
  5. All in One Solution.  Want your VA to knock up a website, do you cash flow statement, cold call, make sales.  This is not going to happen.  Find a VA that you need or that you are replacing another staff member with, don’t assume your VA can do all tasks, they are specialised in area’s and need to be optimised for the skill set they have.
  6. Dispensable.  Virtual Assistants are human beings like you and me. I fly over 2 times a year and see their families and have a great time.  I have a responsibility as a business owner to look after my employees and my Virtual Assistants are no different.  Start talking to them and you will know what I mean.

Dans une soirée, les vêtements formels ainsi que les ensembles sont trop raides pour que la personnalité unique des femmes soit reflétée, tandis qu’une robe de soirée courte vous rendra la femme la plus éclatante et charmante à la soirée. Raffinée, Robe De Soirée Courte.

Chatting to your Virtual Assistant

Ever been apprehensive about hiring a Virtual Assistant?

Virtual Assistant
Chatting to your Virtual Assistant

I remember 8 years ago when I needed some administrative help I was nervous about hiring a Virtual Assistant and even scared.  I did not know what to expect, were they going to talk me into hiring them for a year and I was going to be committed? Will they some how rip me off, steal my clients, steal my information, steal my money?

Little did I know that they were more intimidated by me than I was of them.  They were probably thinking OMG, I’m going have to work for this westerner who lives in a mansion and  is going to abuse me if I say no or I dont understand anything.  “I better just say Yes to anything he says.”

Bea my VA now and I joke about this and now have a great working relationship.  Virtual Assistants are real people and I suggest even before hiring a Virtual Assistant get on skype and have a general chat as you would someone coming into the office.  We have now taught Bea Aussie slang which she uses around her office in Cebu.  They get a real kick out of it.  We still have great respect for each other and work always gets done.

What type of Virtual Assistant do I need?

Choosing a Virtual Assistant.

If you are new to Virtual Assistants but want to take advantage of the expertise outside your country and it’s cost effective model then here are some things you want to consider.

  • Is your project a once off or ongoing.  We find that if your project is a once off then you can find some great talent on websites such as www.elance.com or www.freelance.com.au  There is a large amount of highly qualified people on these websites.  You do need to do your homework with some of the people that reply.  Personally I have had to filter and interview many who have been very under qualified.
  • Beware of price.  Type in “Virtual Assistant” into Google and you will see ads promising $5/hour etc.  If you are after an asset to your business AVOID these people.  You get what you pay for.  You are better off paying double and getting someone half the time.  You will not even have to pay double.  Most virtual assistants work on a tier system.  We now only employ Tier3 and above.  Why? We have tried the cheaper option but our clients opt out rate is very high.  There is no value.  Pay the extra few dollars and hour and enjoy.
  • If you are in a specific industry try to find someone with related knowledge to that industry.  East West Enterprises always looks for this.  We have Virtual Assistants who have worked for Trades people, Real estate Agents, Mortgage Brokers, Business Coaches, Personal Trainers etc. They have great understanding.

These are just some basic tips to help you find a Virtual Asset

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