The hidden qualities of Virtual Assistants: troubleshooters and problem solvers

by Jennifer Chamberlin
September 2023


Businesses increasingly rely on digital solutions and remote workers; the role of virtual assistants (VAs) has grown significantly. If you're considering becoming a virtual assistant or contemplating hiring one for your business needs, you might wonder what qualities are essential for excelling in this profession. In this article, we'll delve into the multifaceted world of virtual assistants, revealing that they are much more than just administrative support. They possess a unique blend of skills that can even make them akin to detectives, and we're not talking about fictional sleuths like Inspector Morse or Agatha Raisin.

In the ever-evolving landscape of the digital age, the demands for professionals who not only carry out routine tasks efficiently but excel at uncovering solutions and information are skyrocketing. These digital professionals go beyond the call of duty, leveraging their diverse skill set, adaptability, and unwavering commitment to aiding their clients. Here, we'll explore how virtual assistants are like detectives with hidden talents for finding information and solving complex problems, drawing upon real-life experiences and scenarios.

Extensive research abilities
When you hire a VA, you’re often hiring so much more. I ask you, when is a VA, not just a VA? When they also offer a range of other complimentary services. One VA we know has even put her detective skills to good use by providing genealogical research.
Recently, My Bilingual VA was hired to support a client in recovering a bad debt from a company that hadn't paid them. Our research revealed that the company they'd been invoicing had actually closed, and a new company had taken its place and was continuing to do business.
At its most basic level, our research begins at the onboarding stage. We don't ask our clients for their company information; we find it ourselves as part of our due diligence and KYC procedures. Yes, even our small business follows best practices from bigger businesses. Our job is to save our clients time, so asking them for information we can find ourselves is something we avoid.

Personal support
Our research can also be more personal. A good example of this would be for one particular client who needed to switch their American driving licence for a French one. This may appear to be a fairly simple task, but don’t be fooled. After struggling for over eight years our client had all but given up. After engaging us, we were able to achieve it by reaching out to the right person, in the right place, at the right time. Much to the delight of our client.
This is just one example of how a VA needs to be resilient and look for different ways to solve a problem.

Experience has shown us when to accept "no" as a final answer but also when to not give up. Our persistence paid dividends when we were able to change a flight for a client less than 24 hours before take-off. After 3-4 hours of unfruitful telephone conversations, we decided to go to the top and contacted the airline's headquarters, where we were finally successful.
Persistence and a little lateral thinking can go a long way to achieving results.

A valuable network
A VA's worth can also be their network. They may not have all the answers themselves, but knowing who to ask is the next best thing. That’s why, at My Bilingual VA, we value our network so highly. Having a team of professionals, each with their own special skills, as well as a much wider network to fall back on, is an invaluable asset. Working virtually doesn’t have to mean working alone.

Handling administrative challenges
One of the main tasks for a virtual assistant is to manage various administrative tasks, such as scheduling, email management, data entry, and document organisation. When problems or challenges arise in these areas, a good VA will be able to find efficient solutions.

Customer relations
Virtual assistants play an invaluable role as the bridge between businesses and their clientele. Their skills extend far beyond administrative tasks, as they are entrusted with maintaining the delicate balance of customer satisfaction.
Businesses rely on virtual assistants to manage and respond to customer inquiries and issues promptly. This encompasses not only addressing concerns but also proactively troubleshooting common problems that customers may encounter.
Their knowledge and problem-solving capabilities ensure that accurate information is delivered and customer complaints are efficiently resolved. By doing so, VAs contribute to the creation of a positive and seamless customer experience, reinforcing customer loyalty and trust in the brand.

Technical support
Some VAs specialise in technical support, becoming the lifeline for clients facing software and hardware issues. Their role extends well beyond traditional administrative tasks, as they are the go-to experts for resolving technical challenges.
Those offering technical support can skilfully troubleshoot problems, offering comprehensive guidance to clients to address issues effectively. When confronted with more complex technical hurdles, the matter can be escalated to higher-level support, ensuring that the most qualified professionals are engaged in resolving the issue. This technical proficiency not only streamlines the client's experience but also underscores the adaptability and versatility of virtual assistants in the realm of modern technology, where staying current with advancements is paramount to providing effective support.

Project management
It’s not just administrative tasks that VAs are limited to; they can excel in the role of project managers across various domains, from event planning to content creation. In these diverse professional settings, virtual assistants bring their problem-solving skills to the forefront, ensuring the seamless execution and ultimate success of each project.
When navigating the intricacies of project management, challenges inevitably arise. It's here that problem-solving abilities prove invaluable: Identifying obstacles, strategizing solutions, and implementing measures to overcome these challenges. Whether it's coordinating an event with multiple moving parts or managing the intricacies of content creation, a good VA will demonstrate their adaptability and resourcefulness, ensuring that the project not only stays on course but also reaches its desired destination of success.

Research and analysis
One of the fundamental aspects of a virtual assistant's role is conducting thorough research and analysis to provide clients with valuable insights and critical information. This critical function serves as the foundation for informed decision-making in various professional contexts.
The intricate challenges encountered may include navigating vast information landscapes to find reliable sources, collecting and deciphering specific data, and ensuring the integrity of the information provided. It is here that problem-solving skills come into play. Virtual assistants adeptly troubleshoot these research-related challenges, ensuring that the insights they provide are not only accurate but also comprehensive.

Adaptability stands as a cornerstone of a virtual assistant's skill set. This ability to pivot swiftly and respond effectively to unexpected situations or changing client needs is standard practice.
A high level of adaptability ensures that they remain agile in the face of evolving circumstances. Their capacity to swiftly recalibrate their approaches, strategies, and priorities not only safeguards the client's interests but also facilitates the attainment of their objectives.

Proven communicators
Effective communication is the linchpin of success. Virtual assistants play a pivotal role in bridging the gap between clients, team members, and customers, necessitating a keen ability to convey information, understand the nuances of issues, and articulate solutions with clarity and precision.
A virtual assistant should showcase their communication skills by listening attentively to the concerns and inquiries of their clients. Comprehend complex issues and challenges and employ strategic questioning to extract crucial details that might otherwise remain hidden.
Through concise and transparent communication, a VA can navigate the intricate web of information and priorities, ensuring that every message, whether it's a response to a client's request or a solution to a customer's concern, is delivered with the utmost clarity.

Problem-solving tools
Proficiency with a diverse array of problem-solving software tools and platforms is a vital skill that all virtual assistants should either possess or be eager to acquire. These digital tools play an essential role in enhancing efficiency and streamlining operations.
A good VA should be able to employ various software tools that are designed to address and overcome challenges efficiently. This proficiency extends across a spectrum of functions, from utilising project management software to ensure tasks are well-organised and on track to harnessing communication tools that facilitate seamless collaboration and information sharing.
The incorporation of automation tools allows for the swift and efficient execution of routine tasks, freeing up time and resources for more strategic endeavours.

Time management
Effective time management allows VAs to prioritise tasks, allocate resources, and meet deadlines to address challenges promptly. The use of time management software is helpful for this.

Continuous personal development
A virtual assistant should stay updated with industry trends, tools, and best practices. Continuously improve their problem-solving skills and seek knowledge and learning from experiences as a part of their everyday job.

Virtual assistants are undoubtedly highly valuable assets for businesses of all sizes because they excel at troubleshooting and problem-solving across a wide range of tasks and responsibilities. Their ability to adapt, communicate effectively, and leverage technology makes them essential for resolving challenges and improving efficiency in various professional settings. If you’d like to know how we could help you today then here’s our Linktree, where you can find all our contact information.

Photo by ALAN DE LA CRUZ on Unsplash