The Privacy Concerns Of Virtual Assistants
A virtual assistant, also known as a VA, is usually self-employed and offers specialized administrative, technological, or creative help to customers remotely from their home office. A VA offers a variety of administrative services from setting up a blog for a business, to answering emails, conducting online surveys, writing newsletters, and managing client websites. A virtual assistant can do many of these tasks from an offsite location similar to a home office, or in some cases, a temporary office. In other cases, the VA will travel to the client's location for the needed service or project. Regardless of where the VA is working from, they are usually paid on a per-project or hourly basis.
The use of virtual assistants is not new. They have been in high-demand for years and can be found almost everywhere, from hospitals to marketing companies. However, there has recently been an influx of online businesses offering virtual help, including data entry, website creation, medical transcription, human resources management, legal assistance, and data management. There are a number of ways that these virtual assistants can make money. The most popular methods are:
Using voice commands - This is perhaps the simplest way that intelligent virtual assistants can make money. Most VA's provide a platform through which customers can communicate with their VA via phone or text messaging. The information passed between the two parties stays secure and confidential. Customers can also receive follow up instructions, questionnaires, and files even when they are away from the office. Some businesses require virtual assistants to use voice commands only when the person is at the computer, while others expect them to answer any questions and leave contact information. This type of service allows businesses to get rid of paper and repetitive forms.
Speech recognition - It is very likely that all full-time employees, as well as many independent contractors, use computers to access the company's resources. As much as the current technology lends itself to more efficient, on-demand delivery, the vast majority of companies still cannot afford to outsource speech recognition. As long as a virtual assistant can use a computer, she or he can deliver a high quality service. The companies that do outsource speech recognition typically do so because it is less time consuming than simply hiring a full-time employee.
Voice Commands - Although most VA's provide a means through which customers can communicate with their VA, this is not enough to eliminate the need for a human assistant. Many people argue that they want more control over their virtual assistants rather than more communication features. Many virtual assistants still require human interaction in order to provide effective services. However, a good business will use artificial intelligence and speech recognition to eliminate most of the privacy concerns inherent in telephone and computer voice commands. By providing businesses with pre-recorded voice commands, which can be delivered at any time, the end user experience will improve significantly.
Virtual assistants have come a long way from their initial conception. Advances in technology, affordability, and convenience make them an increasingly popular option for businesses looking for help with their day to day activities. Their value as an independent contractor, however, remains to be seen. Virtual assistants are extremely valuable in situations where an individual needs assistance with repetitive or monotonous tasks. Businesses that opt to outsource their virtual assistants should be comfortable with using these assistants in order to maximize their profit.