Here at Zirtual, we believe in helping people advance their businesses, live better lives and work more efficiently by providing the highest caliber virtual assistants. Imagine you've screened thousands of college-educated and highly trained assistants and prepared them for this very job — and you only had to pick one. Well, here at Zirtual — we do that for you.
But, how can you know that our virtual assistants are as amazing as we say they are?
By talking to our customers.
Virtual assistant reviews are essential for anyone who’s looking to hire a virtual assistant. All of our virtual assistants are college-educated and come with years of experience in helping make your business and your life run more smoothly.
But, don’t take it from us — Here’s what real Zirtual customers have to say about working with their Zirtual Assistant:
“Outsource and automate. The #1 resource we found for outsourcing is Zirtual. They will save you countless hours of work.”
—Tim Ferris, author of “The 4 Hour Work Week”
“Zirtual is simple, accessible and effective; working with Jessica has been great. She was quick to pick up the tools Bench uses and integrates herself in the way we work.”
—Ian Crosby, Co-Founder and CEO, Bench.co
“Michelle has ramped up quickly to become an indispensable member of our team. She's fast to respond, learns fast, and adapts at lightning speed to the needs of our company."—Anastasia Leng, Founder & CEO, Picasso Labs
“I wanted to share a bit about the Virtual Assistant service that has been helping me with admin tasks over the better part of the last year. Sorry to disappoint, but this is a real person who works remotely vs. an AI. The service I use is called Zirtual, which Christian P referred to me. Tasks that my VA, Erin, helps with:
— Email and calendar management
— Research — She even helped source candidates/partners! She's a whiz at getting cold responses)
— Receipts/expense reporting
— Booking travel (this was the big reason I got a VA to begin with. I missed a flight and rebooking cost me $1k personally)
— Planning off-sites/dinners for team
— Photo editing and slide creation
— Runs my LinkedIn — accepts invites, responds to people, etc.
— Helps my team with admin tasks — they all know they can email her for support in items like above.
— Travel advice. Likely specific to my VA, but she is a digital nomad and gives me trip/travel advice regularly!
I'm including an example of virtual assistant help that I get to this email. I asked her to help me triage because my inbox was out of control after the last few weeks of travel. A couple hours later, all done! Went from a few hundred unread and unorganized emails to just 42. Totally manageable now. I'll also note that hiring a Virtual Assistant is like hiring for any other role. You may need to try a few before you land on one. I will say that Zirtual matched me well with mine.”
—Internal email from Kathleen Mullaney, VP of Udacity, to her executive team
Pros of Outsourcing to Virtual Teams
With all of the expenses that go into hiring an in-house employee, such as recruiting costs, healthcare and other benefits, parking, office space, and supplies, outsourcing to a virtual assistant can be much more cost effective.
Ability to Deploy Experts in Specialized Areas
Whether you work alone, or have a staff, there’s a good chance that you’ll eventually have a need for your business that you don’t have the expertise to fulfill. Whether it’s a one-time marketing research project, or lead generation on an as-needed basis, outsourcing to people that already have the experience in those areas saves time, and improves results.
Frees Time for Higher Level Projects
By delegating menial, repetitive tasks, you can focus your time and energy on making important decisions, closing sales, and attending meetings and calls. Outsourcing the small stuff allows you to be more productive and spend your time where it matters most.
Ability to Get Large Projects Done Faster
Sooner or later, everyone has a project or task that is especially large, tedious, or time-consuming (and often it’s all three!). That’s when taking advantage of a virtual workforce can be the most effective option, and sometimes, the only way to meet a looming deadline. Depending on the service, you can customize the hours needed, and the number of people assigned to suit the size and timeline of the project.
Work Gets Done During Your “Off” Hours
If you’ve ever wished that work could magically get done while you sleep at night, outsourcing to a virtual assistant is for you. By selecting a virtual assistant that works during some or all of the hours you are out, you can be twice as productive. This option also allows you to start your work day one step ahead when your emails are already sorted, your appointments are made and confirmed, and the research you need for a project is waiting for you.
Easier to Make Quick Adjustments in Hours and Staffing
In-house hiring and firing decisions can be difficult to make because there are so many variables to consider, such as the cost of recruiting, hiring and training a new employee that may not turn out to be the right fit or changes in business needs that leave you unable to keep salaried employees busy enough to justify the cost. There is also the impact on morale and company culture when there’s lots of staff turnover. One of the advantages of virtual teams is the flexibility to increase or decrease use, switch out team members that aren’t the right fit, and add additional services based on your needs.
Cons of Outsourcing to Virtual Teams
Sharing your Business Processes and Other Private Information
Most companies are extremely careful about sharing proprietary information and processes with their own employees, let alone anyone outside the company. Keeping information private and secure is a huge consideration when outsourcing any work. Be sure to ask how the service stores secure information, and if needed, have them sign an NDA.
Losing Time to Training and Relationship Building
Often, when you’ve worked with someone for a long period of time, you develop your own shorthand for communication: they know your expectations around how a task should be done and how long it should take, and can often anticipate your needs. When you outsource to a virtual team, there will always be a ramp-up period where a certain amount of training and communication will be needed. If a task that requires a lot of training or explanation can be done by someone you already work with, you may want to keep that task in-house. If you don’t have someone available though, consider that you would have the ramp-up period and training time whether you outsource or insource to someone new.
Longer Response Times vs. In-House
When you need an update or have a question on a task or project, it’s extremely fast and convenient to simply walk over to that person’s desk and have a quick discussion. When using a virtual team, you will inevitably have some longer response times as you email back and forth or find a time you can both jump on a call for longer discussions.
Possible Lack of Investment or “Buy-In”
Getting your own employees to care about the success of the business or the positive outcome of a project is easy. They have a stake in the company's’ success because it means secure employment as well as bonuses, raises or other potential financial benefits. When you outsource to a virtual team, they are not a part of your company or culture, so they need to be motivated in other ways.
Language or Cultural Barriers
When outsourcing to international virtual services, you may find communication issues due to differences in language, or a lack of knowledge of common U.S. cultural terms and slang. This can also be an issue with knowledge of specific areas in the States, exchange rates, and transit systems. One way to avoid this is to use a virtual service that provides U.S.-based assistants.
Possible Impact on Employee Morale
Sometimes, the decision to outsource to a virtual team comes from the desire to save money versus having a higher paid staff member spend time on the project. But, if the project is something the employee wanted to be assigned, or they see the outsourcing as a lack of confidence in their abilities, it may leave them feeling disappointed or resentful.