How to Improve Communications With Your Virtual Assistant - 3 Steps to Success

Once you hire a virtual assistant (VA), you may find that you and your assistant are both consumed with finishing tasks; however, you may also find that tasks are not being done correctly. For instance, you may think that you are being clear in your emails, chats and / or phone calls, yet some things are simply not being done or are not being done well enough to your liking. Or you may be unsatisfied with the overall quality of output.

This situation starts to brew tension between you and your VA, and in the long run, the tension may overwhelm other aspects of your business. Before you give up and become frustrated, practicing better communications and using better forms of communication usually solves this common issue. In a nutshell, what's happening is that your instructions are probably being miscommunicated and misunderstood.

To help improve your VA relationship, here are three steps to better communications:

1. Communicate well and as often as necessary with your VA, but don't over-do it. If you only need to communicate with your VA once a week or once a month, and that's all that is needed to set up the project tasks and keep them in motion, so be it. Communicating should be done on an as-needed basis, and it should be done in a way that is productive. Phone calls or emails several times a day or week to "check in" can disrupt the work flow and add unnecessary task handling into the mix.

2. Communicate about any problem areas promptly. If you notice that you are having problems in the same area time after time then there must be a breakdown in communication somewhere. Address these issues. Instead of becoming frustrated, talk or email through the issue, step by step, and point out where errors are occurring. Have the VA sum up the corrected solution, sending you a sample once the task is on track so you can make sure the trouble spot is tackled and smoothed over once and for all.

3. Use other forms of communication. If you communicate by email or by phone only, then it may be time to incorporate other types of communication tactics. For example, using a support desk with email tickets to track project work is a great way to get and stay organized - for your VA and you. And using Skype, Gchat (via Google's free gmail), Facebook chat or other chat software is a great way to communicate quickly and easily. Somehow, this cyber "talking" to someone can often yield better results than emailing or phone calls. Therefore, don't be afraid to experiment with different technology out there so that you can attain a better working relationship with your VA.

A breakdown in communication can ruin your relationship with added stress and tension. If you notice that your current communication method is not yielding positive results, it may be time to reformulate the way that you communicate with your VA. Use technology like a support desk and Skye or other chat software, communicate with your VA as often as you need to, and use a step-by-step communicating strategy to discuss insufficient areas.

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