Dropshipper’s Guide to Hiring a Virtual Assistant

One of the key elements of a successful dropshipping business is a stellar customer service team. Hiring a virtual assistant to handle customer questions and concerns can give you more time to spend on less routine matters. You can run your business more efficiently while keeping customers satisfied. To help facilitate this, it’s important to find the right virtual assistants to add to your team.

The Key Components of Good Customer Service

If you want to provide the best possible customer service and win consumers over, you need to have certain standards in place. If you don’t set the standards for good customer service, it doesn’t matter how you go about hiring a virtual assistant to help your business—nobody will be able to wave that magic wand and save your business.

There are several elements behind reliable, helpful customer service that can help you establish these standards. They include:

Quick Response Time

Consider the kind of response time that’s acceptable for your business to get back to customer requests. Your response time could be one or two days, or it could be as fast as hours or even minutes. 

Efficient Ticketing Systems

You can also use a ticketing system to keep track of support tickets and use a monitoring system to see what kinds of questions customers are asking. 

Quality Assurance

A lot of businesses fail to offer any quality assurance after they begin outsourcing customer service. This is a bad practice that can lead to unhappy customers who eventually drop off. Make sure the people you outsource your customer service to adhere to the standards and guidelines you have in place, or this could lead to a decrease in quality that keeps customers from coming back to you. We definitely recommend performing quality assurance checks once every two weeks or at least once a month.

Listening to Customer Feedback

It’s not enough to simply allow customers to provide feedback—you need to actually listen to it to optimize the customer experience. You could be implementing strategies based on customer feedback, which can help continue to improve products, services, and processes.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Before putting your team together, it’s essential to have standard operating procedures in place. You won’t get very far if you don’t have some proven processes that can keep customer service consistently efficient and effective.

Why You Need Solid Standard Operating Procedures

screen grabbed list of benefits of having standard operating procedure documentation

It may sound daunting, but it’s worth the effort to create and implement SOPs for your business before hiring a customer service team. There are several key benefits to developing SOPs, including how they:

Hold Everyone Accountable

Having SOPs will help ensure that everyone is held accountable and provides consistently top-tier customer service. They also give clear guidelines for how things are properly done. If your VAs are uncertain of what to do at any point, they can consult that SOP repository to find out what the procedure would be.

Maintain Standards at Scale

Everyone in the company will be able to consult the SOPs to stay on the same page at all times when it comes to operations. Even business owners may forget the procedures they implemented. But with sufficient documentation, they can always go back to these resources to refresh their memory.

Quickly Bring New Team Members Up to Speed

Using SOPs, you can make sure your new team members have all the resources they need to keep up with the latest processes. Also, these new hires will be able to look at the SOPs and learn what they need to know without the need for manual training, which will streamline the onboarding process.

Provide Reference Points

Again, even business owners might need to refresh their memory when it comes to certain procedures and methods of operation in their own company. SOPs can provide a good reference point so anyone can easily go back and review the details.

Have Efficient Systems in Place

Having proven systems and processes in place can help your business in any number of ways. Apart from the key benefit of keeping things simple from start to finish, they can:

  • Ensure that all tasks are performed the same way for optimum consistency, efficiency, and quality
  • Replicate throughout the business in different areas, enabling businesses to recycle innovative process
  • Improve scalability by allowing you to make necessary changes to them as your business grows
  • Provide documentation that people can review

How to Start With Documentation Before Hiring a Virtual Assistant

When it comes to getting started with documentation, we recommend you stick to the KISS tradition, which we’ve slightly modified to “keep it stupid simple.” This entails simply keeping documentation so simple that just about anyone can understand it without any difficulty. 

In addition to simple, your documentation needs to be consistently actionable and measurable. Every step should include something actionable that people can apply. 

If you want to take full advantage of documentation to help improve simplicity and efficiency, try to create documentation for any recurring or repeatable task.

What Should You Outsource and Delegate?

list of routine business tasks that can be streamlined by hiring a virtual assistant

To begin determining what you should delegate and outsource, organize your day. Start by creating a list of all of the tasks that you complete on a daily basis. 

What exactly needs to get done? Also, what can outsourcing help simplify?

Some of the tasks you might complete from the start of each day could be making phone calls, answering comments on social media, fulfilling orders, or posting updates on Instagram and other platforms. If you can compile an exhaustive list of all these tasks you complete every day, then you can then use this to create the foundation for your documentation.

Some processes you might create guidelines for, based on the daily tasks you complete every day, may include:

  • How to fulfill orders
  • How to look up and send tracking numbers
  • Order information email templates
  • Service information email templates
  • Refund email templates
  • How to upload and optimize social media photos

You can use a combination of text and video tutorials to help teach these processes to new employees. 

The Best Place for Hiring a Virtual Assistant Online

virtual assistant handling client calls and order fulfillment

One great resource we recommend for finding your VAs and outsourcing your customer service is FreeUp. Visit our FreeUp page here to create an account and get a $50 coupon code that you can use toward jumpstarting your customer service team. What’s particularly nice about FreeUp compared to platforms like Fiverr or Upwork is that you can be sure you’ll find people who actually know what they’re doing. Every professional is screened to make sure they have the expertise they advertise.

You can hire just about everyone you’re through FreeUp for customer service and beyond, whether you need:

  • Phone support
  • Live chat support
  • Marketing
  • Proofreading
  • Content writing

The fact is that you can outsource just about every mundane task so you can focus on more important aspects of running your business.

Hiring a Virtual Assistant Is Part of a Business Growth Mindset

In short, we adhere to the philosophy of “do what you do best, and outsource the rest.” If you find that you can better spend your time on other things and someone else can get a lot of the routine work done, don’t be afraid of hiring a virtual assistant to do that work for you.

It may take a long time to grow your business to the point where you can easily outsource customer service. But it helps to treat your business like a seven-figure company from the very start. When launching your dropshipping business, get to work on listing those everyday tasks and developing SOPs. Then you won’t have to slow down when you start hiring and outsourcing. In the process, you’ll be geared for success every step of the way as you begin to grow.

If you want to learn more about getting started with dropshipping and launching your business, then attend the free Ecommerce Empire Builders Master Class. We’ll show you how easy it can be to set up a successful dropshipping business and excel in ecommerce. Tagged : / / / /