As people’s lives have got busier, and people juggle more and more competing demands, the virtual PA, or online PA, has emerged as a resource for people to manage these challenges. They can organise any part of a client’s life from work, personal, vacation etc. Typically virtual PAs can work for a number of clients at any one time, so the ability to work flexibly, embrace technology, and provide differentiated services is key to their route to market.
Virtual PAs need to be able to tailor their services to each client, be it diary management, document drafting, responding to correspondence. Every client is different, and every client expects a bespoke experience.
From a technology perspective, being able to portray the client themselves, or the client’s business is a vital aspect of the PA’s rule. This would include being able to send email ‘from’ the client, be it as the client themselves or as part of their business. The ability to make and receive phone calls too is of key importance, again making sure that the technology allows a seamless experience between the PA and the client. Such telephony requirements would include being able to:
- Handle multiple different clients in a single system
- Present different outbound numbers per client
- Transfer calls seamlessly to the client
- Identify inbound calls per client so they can be answered appropriately
- Send voicemail and messages to each client
- A single app or phone that can deliver all of this
- Conferencing bridging so the client can create conference calls.
This is where hosted telephony comes into its own as it allows Virtual PAs to create such an environment. Through the use of tagging calls based on the CLI dialled, systems can easily label the desired destination of the caller, and then answer as the correct client. Similarly, when making calls on behalf of the client, a simple pre-dialling code can set the outbound CLI as the specific client, thus ensuring consistent presentation to their contacts.
Technology further helps this through the use of desktop and mobile apps. By choosing a hosted system, the power of Virtual PAs smartphones comes to the fore, bringing all the capability of a previous-generation multi-line fixed phone into a powerful iOS or Android app. Not only does this untether a PA from a fixed location, but also allows them to respond more flexibly to meet the clients needs. Were the client to have the same app, then calls can be easily transferred between PA and client, as if they were in the same office, where actually they may be hundreds of miles apart.
A robust conference call facility too can enable the client to host the meeting, and the PA to facilitate, take action points, and administer the meeting again when they are potentially geographically distant from the client.
Hosted telephony is a mature product which can deliver incredibly complex, flexible solutions at a fraction of the cost of an on-premise solution. With a predictable OpEx model too, it allows PA and client to scale up or down as their business demands. So long as all parties have an internet connection, be it broadband or 3G/4G, then hosted telephony is no longer an aspiration.
Talk to us at Securus Voice about how we can help you create a system to drive flexibility and scale into your business.