The last few years have seen the rise of the virtual assistant. A virtual assistant or VA provides various services to businesses from a remote location.
What tasks does a virtual assistant do?
A VA can handle many tasks including:
- Scheduling appointments
- Managing events
- Answering phones
- Data entry
When it comes to choosing a virtual assistant, you can hire an Australian-based VA or an offshore VA. There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to use a local or offshore virtual assistant.
Language barriers, humour and cultural references
It goes without saying that a local VA will understand Australian business practices and the local market better than someone offshore. Also, things like colloquialisms or the use of particular terms or references differ around the world. In the case of Australia, a local VA would pick up on the most common slang that may be used in conversation.
An offshore VA on the other hand most likely won’t be familiar with some of the local terms used. An offshore VA may be a good option if language barriers won’t affect the outcome of a task.
Everyone wants tasks to be completed to a high standard. Virtual assistants whether local or offshore will provide various standards of work. The tasks that need to be completed may determine whether an Australian or offshore VA is better suited to the role.
Tasks, where local knowledge or expertise is valuable, would be better suited to a local VA. Also, if you are looking for a virtual assistant that will help you improve your business systems and practices, a local VA may be a better option.
Australia’s location means there is a time difference with pretty much the whole world. While in some cases it may only be a couple of hours between locations, big time zone differences can have an impact on the workday. If an offshore VA is not available at the times that are most critical to your business, then this can have a negative impact. An Australian-based virtual assistant will for the most part be available during standard business hours.
Consistency of Service
It’s important for anyone working within a company to understand the business and its values. Whether the VA is dealing with clients or staff, they need to be delivering a level of service that is consistent with the business’ values. External parties should feel they are dealing with someone within the same business regardless of whether they are dealing with the VA or another staff member.
An Australian VA may also be able to integrate a little better due to understanding the local market as opposed to someone offshore who may not be as familiar.
Is an Australian-based or offshore Virtual Assistant better for your business?
When it comes to choosing either an Australian-based or offshore VA, it comes down to what’s right for your business. Budget, expectations, and the outcomes you wish to achieve all play a part in the decision.