All about the Virtual PA Co Service
Since 2001 we have helped businesses large and small with their calls and secretarial requirements and some of our original clients are still with us. Here to help you understand our service, are the most Frequently Asked Questions.
How does it work?
When you join Virtual PA Co as a client we give you a named Virtual PA who is available to help with admin if required and answer your calls in your company name, handle the caller’s enquiry or booking and deal with the call in its entirety.
How does your call handling service work?
When you sign up to our call handling service you are given your own unique DDI (or telephone number that you can divert your calls to). When your calls arrive in the office, they are clearly labelled as yours and your client account ‘pops’ onto the screen of your Virtual PA so that she can answer as if part of your team. At its most basic level, your Virtual PA can answer your calls, say you are unavailable/out of the office/away from your desk (your preference) and take a message for you. You can then have your messages sent instantly, stored for you until the end of the day and sent as a summary or transferred if and where required (just let us know your VIPs).
If you want or need more for your business, you can brief your Virtual PA on how to access your booking system, diary, accounts package, CRM or database and/or payments system so that they help reduce your workload and enhance your business as opposed to passing work back to you. There is largely no extra charge for them doing this, unless the call lengths exceed three minutes or if there is admin work to do off the phone, in which case it is charged as admin at our Pay As You Go rate.
To discuss your requirements and budget, please contact us.
What about my administration and tasks?
Your Virtual PA is able to organise any task you need doing. Everything is charged by the minute, so if you need invoices entering or raising on your accounts package, email checking, order placement, data entry, list cleaning or audio-typing, all you have to do is say. Contact us to discuss your needs.
How do I divert my calls?
It’s very simple and we can send you a guide. In the first instance you need to let your telephone service provider (e.g. BT) to activate your divert services they will charge a nominal sum per month for the service and you will be charged for the calls that are forwarded to our office from your line, usually at a standard rate. For a full guide please contact us.
Do you answer my calls in my company name?
Yes. We answer as you wish us to and you can change at any time.
Can I have my own script or train my Virtual PA to answer my calls in my way?
Yes of course. Ours is a highly personalised service. Just let us know your preference and train us if need be.
Can you take payments for me?
Yes indeed. If you have an online payment gateway you just need to let us have access to this. We are fully GDPR Data Protection compliant as a data processor for our clients and registered with the Information Office as such.
Can you book appointments into my diary?
Yes. All you need to do is give us the access details and we can help with your diary management. Our Virtual PAs are used to dealing with a number of diary packages.
Can you manage my diary?
Yes. If you need full diary and contact management as well as venue sourcing and booking, your Virtual PA can do it all.
Can you fill out a template for me?
Yes. Many of our clients require information collecting to their preferred template. This is not a problem at all; just brief your Virtual PA as to your requirements.
Can you add any new enquiry details into my CRM system?
Yes, just let us have access to the system.
What happens if my calls are longer than average?
Generally most calls can be wrapped up within three minutes but if you need us to do more, it’s not a problem. Extra minutes are charged at our Pay As You Go rate or less if you have also taken an admin package.
Can I control how much I spend with you?
Our call handling service is charged in advance purchase packages payable monthly in advance, additional calls are charged extra once your free calls have been used up. If you would like to set a limit on your monthly spend, just let us know and we can keep an eye on it for you to help you manage your budget.
Administration is much the same. If a package is purchased but you prefer pay as you go, please let us know your monthly budget and we’ll be sure to honour it.
In both instances communication is the best policy. Please contact us to discuss your monthly budget.
Can I log onto my account online?
This service is in development and will be available in the not too distant future. Please contact us for more information.
How much does the service cost?
Naturally this depends on volume of service use, but the monthly invoice for your Virtual PA service will be a fraction of the price of a salaried member of staff as you only pay for what you use. For a more specific estimate tailored to your needs, please contact us.
Do you do typing up of audio files and copy-typing?
We do indeed, just send us the files, we charge by the audio minute.
Can you help with email marketing?
We can indeed, we’re happy to help with administrating email campaigns.
Can you help with social media?
Yes we can. We’re happy to schedule tweets and status updates as well as do them live on your instruction.
Can you come to my house or office and help me there?
Yes we can. We generally work remotely but if you need someone on site we can usually draw from our network of Virtual Assistants across the UK to find you someone who can help.
How long is the contract term?
There is no contract term as such. We understand the need for flexibility in business and ask simply that you give notice in the month to cancel at the end of your current period.
Do I get to know the name(s) of my Virtual PA(s)?
You do indeed, we actively encourage it. Our aim is to give you as close to your own team as possible through a highly personalised service. The more you train your ‘people’ the better service you get. When you first join you will be asked a number of questions in order to establish your preferences and requirements but you can always add to this, at any time, just let your Virtual PA know. A scheduled training session will be charged at admin rates.
What hours do you operate?
Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm. Out of hours you will have a personalised voicemail with an ‘office closed’ message, unless you would like you Virtual PA to change this or even record your own.
We currently hold a register of clients interested in extended week-day hours and Saturday opening, if you are interested in this service, please let us know as once we have a viable number of clients to support an out of hours team we will make it available.
I’m just a start-up, am I too small?
Never! We’re a ‘no job too small’ business. We know that everyone has to start somewhere. We also know that the one call you miss, could be the one that makes all the difference to your business. And we love being a part of that. That’s why our base package is always affordable and our budget guarantee stands for all.
I work for a large business; will this still work for us?
Absolutely. We cut our teeth on some the biggest household names and are proud to include O2, Lloyds Bank, Royal Caribbean and RNIB in our client list.
Can you grow with my business?
Of course. We’re not a call centre in the traditional sense, we very much like to keep things personalised, so we don’t start with promising to ‘answer every call’ and then distribute your calls to vast numbers of office and home workers. All our calls are answered in our office by a team that have heard your name before and we can flex the number of Virtual PAs in your team as you need, and as you grow.
Can I just use you as overflow for my contact centre or own phone line?
You can use our service entirely to suit your needs and it is ideal for overflow at busy times. You can still brief us to log into your own systems if required, or we can simply answer, take a message and let you know who to call back. Your call. Please get in touch if you’re struggling at busy times. The great thing about us is that our team is very likely to be the same team you need when you’re next busy, reducing the need to turn to temp agencies and the expense of briefing new people every time you need a helping hand.
Can I have a mailing address at your office?
Yes of course, there is a monthly fee and your post will be dealt with as admin by the minute and forwarded post will be charged at postage cost plus admin.
Can I use your office for meetings?
Indeed, our meeting area includes refreshments and is charged by the half day.
Can I rent a desk at your office?
We have desks to rent with utilities, phone and broadband included for a weekly fee, just ask for details.
Is there a discount for volume work or calls?
Indeed. For admin and for calls, the more you buy upfront the less you pay.