What does a client look for when looking for assistance with a task?
This article is part of TAVASA's ongoing education campaign to clients and VAs in South Africa.
As a client what do you look for when you want assistance with a typing task? Are you looking for the cheapest assistance you can find or are you looking for someone with the experience needed to do the task you require?
Let me use the two common tasks that Virtual Assistant offer to clients: Typing and Transcription Services.
Do you as the client, care about how your work is done, if so, then price can be the object, but not the deciding factor in getting assistance, you will look for someone with the experience to assist you, and you must have the confidence in that person that they can do the job the way you would like it done. It is much better to go with the person with the experience you need for the task that you require the VA to do for you. If you send transcription to a person with very little experience in this skill you will end up having to resend your work to someone else to redo and finish it. Ask the VA about their experience, ask how long they have been doing this skill, ask do they proof read and spell check their work as not everyone does, it sometimes is not part of the job for some people to check what they are doing.
Do you want your typing done at the cheapest possible price, does getting the job done as cheap as you can, mean that the service quality will not be as it would be with someone with experience. Any can offer typing and transcription services but what is their experience.
If I was looking for someone to assist me I would look at the experience that person has in the skills they offer. If I required a job done urgent, I would look to the person’s skill and experience. Clients require a transcriptionist to assist them and often this task is urgent but they want to pay the least amount of money for this task. Transcription is a skill that has been learnt and perfected by transcriptionist’s. Transcription is not typing it is more involved, using listening, concentration, sentence construction, layout, punctuation etc skills. You have to know where to put in your punctuation etc. This is a task you cannot just give to anyone at the cheapest possible price if you do you must expect to get the service from the person that the price dictates. An experienced transcriptionist will not offer to do your work for a cheap price as she knows what is involved with that work, she knows the time it will take to complete and she will provide a quality service to you.
Ask the VA or Transcriptionist how long she has been doing this task, ask has she experience in transcribing focus groups, have they transcribed court cases. If there is more involved within your typing than just plain copy (coping text), if there is graphs involved, flow diagrams ask the VA has she experience in this. You have a problem if you assume they can do this and then send them work that they cannot complete as they don’t know how to do a flow diagram and then they send you back a flow diagram as a scanned image, is this what you want, often no its not, often you want that diagram to fit nicely within your document so you want it created, not everyone has this experience.