Virtual employees are those who are not physically present in a company. They may operate remotely from their homes or some other location.
Virtual employees could be employed by a company or maybe freelancers who work as and when needed. Work can be sent to virtual employees through email or using software. They can then complete the work from wherever they are based and send the completed work.
This work process would be convenient for both the employee and the employer. The virtual employee gets steady work helping them earn their income. For an employer, there is no need to appoint a full-time employee on-site but can use a virtual employee’s services as and when needed.
If you are running a business, then you can use virtual employees for various tasks. Doing so will help you save money and time. We list out five different tasks that you can consider outsourcing to virtual employees.
Five Tasks to Assign to Virtual Employees
1. Managing phone calls
Instead of hiring employees to handle phone calls, the work can be assigned to a virtual receptionist service. The other option is to use voicemail, which can put off a customer. When a customer or a stakeholder calls, they would want to hear a real person. Listening to an automated voice can be irritating.
In fact, a study showed that 75% of people calling prefer to hang up the call if it goes to voicemail. This is where a virtual employee would be useful. The virtual employee could be trained on the company operations and on how to handle calls. Whenever a customer or anyone else calls, the call can be transferred to the virtual assistant.
The virtual assistant can handle the initial transaction and provide basic information. When more information is needed, the details of the call can be sent to the relevant function, which can then call the customer. This helps in filtering out calls so that the company staff does not waste time handling routine calls. This can be done by a virtual employee.
2. Managing emails
It is estimated that employees spend 11 hours every week checking emails and replying to them. While this is essential, in many cases, the email handled are routine ones. A lot of time is spent reading and replying to routine emails. This work can be done by virtual employees, saving a lot of time. The time saved can be used for other important work.
While personal emails cannot be managed by virtual employees, official emails can be handled by them. Here is how a virtual employee can help handle emails:
- They can provide a basic response to client emails and then forward them to the relevant executive.
- Spam emails can be managed to avoid clogging official inboxes.
- Mails by prospective customers can be handled initially with basic information being provided. The mail can then be forwarded to sales for further processing.
- Organizing emails into folders and taking back up emails are other things they can do.
3. Handling customer satisfaction surveys
A routine task that is very important is handling customer satisfaction surveys. These surveys are essential since they help a company to know what the customer is thinking. The survey is vital to understand if the customer is happy or not, so necessary action can be taken. The customer satisfaction survey can be administered through email or over the telephone.
A virtual employee can be given this job. All they have to do is to use the existing database of customers and send emails or call customers one by one. They need to ask questions over the phone and get the response and record it. Else, they need to send an email and then follow up until they get a reply.
Once the responses are received, they can compile all the responses and prepare a survey result sheet. This can be circulated to the marketing function or other functions that need this survey result.
4. Data entry and bookkeeping
Data entry work, as well as bookkeeping, are important jobs for a business. These jobs are important but at the same time are not so important that a full resource should be used for them. A virtual employee can be assigned this job. The data entry work like collecting data from different sources and entering them in a spreadsheet or software can be done by the virtual employee.
Bookkeeping is an important accounting process. This calls for recording transactions using software. Reconciling transactions and keeping the financial records updated can be done by the virtual employee. When this work is done by a virtual employee, it frees the accounts staff, who can then focus on other important work.
Creating invoices is another bookkeeping task. It is a simple task but is important. Invoices need to be generated and sent to customers on time. This will help the company collect payments on time. A virtual employee can do this job easily. Another point to be noted is bookkeeping deals with sensitive data. So, it is important to choose a trustworthy virtual employee who can be entrusted with such data.
5. Social media management
Social media is very important since most of the customers of a business would use social media. Companies need to create social media accounts on all key platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Once the accounts are created, information needs to be posted on social media.
When social media posts are made, customers and others would react to them and post comments, queries, or complaints. Someone needs to monitor all these and engage with customers. A virtual employee can do this job. All the person has to do is regularly post updates on social media and then monitor the same.
In case customers ask something, they can provide a reply. Where needed, it can be marked to a senior sales/customer service person who can provide a detailed reply.
Virtual employees are important for organizations. They can work on various supporting functions that do not require an employee to be physically present. What you need to do well is choosing the right ones for your organizations. Make sure that you choose based on expertise, experience, and fit.