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It feels great to achieve your very first sale on an e-commerce site. But the real challenge is maintaining momentum and traffic to your Shopify store. Here are some of the best Shopify marketing tips you can learn to skyrocket your sales on Shopify…

Three crucial things to remember before you get down to your Shopify plans:
  1. Shopify is your own independent shop. Learn how to attract your own audience, and encourage repeat business or word of mouth.
  2. Do a research and utilize all Shopify features that apply to you like the Abandoned Cart Recovery feature, Bulk Discounts, and Customer Profiles.
  3. Running your own Shopify site is more work than working for someone else. Get an assistant to help you with operations such as product listing, refund/replacement, and customer service.

There are 600,000 Shopify merchants in 175 countries (2018).
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Are Shopify stores successful?

Any Shopify expert can tell you his or her inspiring Shopify journey and how it was intimidating at first. You’ll have to work hard not to go broke, and at the same time keep on optimizing your landing pages for Shopify users.

Helm Boots has one of the best Shopify success stories out there. Founded in 2009 in Texas, HELM casual & work boots quickly gained traction and got orders from high-end clients liked Ben Affleck.

In September 2018, a total of $63 billion sales were processed on Shopify.
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Top 5 Methods on How to Make Money From Shopify 1. Explore the free and easy traffic sources for your Shopify shop

The rule of thumb here is that every action you take online can potentially drive traffic to your store. Consider offering a discount or promo code to encourage people to check your store out.

A lot of ecommerce experts looking for online shopify jobs will help you out in adding your store URL to your social media accounts or personal online profiles such as your Twitter bio or LinkedIn summary.

2. Identify your best buyers by creating customer profiles

Your next Shopify guide will come directly from your customers. Ask them to create an account before buying from you. It might sound creepy but it’s possible to track and monitor their information and purchase history so it’s helpful to see exactly who bought what.

3. Tap into your online personal networks and communities

“The first 3-4 sales were from friends and colleagues who knew me personally. Within a month, we started getting enquiries and sales on the website from unknown customers.” ~ Founder of Parinita Sarees Clothing

Post on forums like Reddit, join Facebook groups, and other online communities so you can build up reputation and create authentic connections.

73% of Shopify traffic comes from mobile.
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Where can I get a virtual assistant for Shopify listing? 4. Hiring a Shopify Virtual Assistant (VA) to get more sales

Getting Shopify help for your daily tasks is easy. But the key is to look for a VA who is not only knowledgeable, but also reliable. There are freelancers online but it’s recommended that you go for “managed VA services”.

This means that each e-commerce virtual assistant is carefully monitored to make sure they provide excellent service to the Shopify sellers.

5. Technical and non-technical Shopify VA

Non-tech VAs can handle basic assignments like customer service and listing. Shopify Tech VAs are those who know how to set up paid ads like Facebook advertising and Instagram advertising; SEO, copywriting, manage your website, coding, analyze algorithms, etc.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to e-commerce success. Exploring, trial and error, and improving will make you find out what works for you. You need to get out there to grow, connect with existing audiences, and constantly track your store insights.

If you’re looking for Shopify virtual assistant to hire, give us a CALL at 1-866-596-9041. Our experienced E-commerce Virtual Assistants can support you with e-commerce operations such as answering customer inquiries, issuing Refunds and Replacements, Shipping and Inventory, Product Research, Product Listing, Product Reviews and Seller Feedback, Copywriting, and more.

Talk to us today and discover how our VAs can help you with customer support and manage your seller account, so that you can focus on truly understanding your customers’ needs, wants, and desires.


The post 5 Best Techniques to Skyrocket Sales in Your Shopify Store appeared first on Virtual Assistant Talent.

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Currently, there are $3.3 trillion ecommerce sales worldwide and is expected to double by 2021—a trend that is opening doors to numerous Ecommerce professionals selling and promoting products online.

Ecommerce digital marketing is rapidly growing that a projected 95% of purchases will be made through online shopping by 2040.

67% of millennials and 56% of Gen Xers prefer shopping online versus in a brick-and-mortar store.
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What are the advantages of E-commerce?

The main reason is the way we live every single day. Millions of people nowadays check their mobile phones first thing in the morning and can’t even leave their homes without one! Ecommerce marketing has made it possible for each one of us to live the fast, easy, and comfortable life.

Need to know about the product before buying it? Search Google. Need to compare prices, product features, and user reviews? Go to Amazon, Shopify, or eBay. It’s that simple. No need to go to a physical store when you can have it delivered straight to your place, right?

With this, an e-commerce business owner would think it’s easy to hit it big in the digital space, but it’s not entirely true. When you work with an Ecommerce marketing agency, you will find out that there are key online strategies that you need to work on to scale and grow your ecommerce business.

3 reasons why 80% of all e-commerce businesses fail: Customers don’t know how to use your site, product value isn’t clear, and navigation is difficult.
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What makes an ecommerce site successful?

Starting an ecommerce business from scratch requires minimum effort especially when you build one up from an already established site like Amazon. But it’s the “running” and “growing” your ecommerce store successfully that will need your 100% commitment.

An Ecommerce marketing manager can introduce you to the ecommerce trends like omnichannel marketing, the use of apps, chatbots, voice assistants, customer service personalization, etc. in marketing, selling, and fulfilling aspects of e-commerce.

A sophisticated digital marketing strategy is essential for any modern seller to cut through the noise and find interested consumers. ~Channeladvisor
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What are the key factors for success in ecommerce? 1. Positioning your brand to the right customers

Understanding first how your prospects search, what they see, and where they go will bring you targeted Ecommerce business opportunities. Make sure that your business stands for something specific in the minds of customers. One way to differentiate your ecommerce site is to solve a problem, especially one that only a few or nobody else is solving.

2. Give personalized experience to the individual user

Now that you know your customers’ past and current behavior, use the ecommerce platform’s algorithms and functionalities like the “similar products”, “frequently bought together”, “you might also like”, and “customers who bought this item also bought” recommendation features to personalize each user experience.

80% of American shoppers say that shipping price and speed are very or extremely influential in determining where they shop. ~Channeladvisor
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3. Interact with customers first and build trust

  • Customer interaction makes up for most of the top eCommerce success factors. People should feel involved and important so they will more likely to align themselves with your brand. Take Amazon’s Prime membership—it adds a level of “attachment” to its overall service.
  • Don’t make customers run in circles. Site navigation, call to actions, and checkout process should always be easy.
  • Reinforce what your business does and make your contact information visible right on your website (at the bottom or top of every page on your site).
  • Transparency builds trust. Be upfront when it comes to charges, such as extra costs for shipping and handling, as no one likes hidden fees.
  • Boost overall engagement. Use the power of social media channels to promote your e-commerce site.
  • If applicable, embed interactive content into your website like videos, animated images, games, quiz, etc.
4. Bring in quality traffic to your e-commerce store using SEO

Keyword research and web analytics are just few of the search engine optimization (SEO) methods an Ecommerce agency can help you with. Remember that your brand is also a keyword. The idea is to give searchers the most qualified results for their queries.

Average Conversion Rates:

Source: kinsta.com

Implementing SEO can help equip your content and landing pages with relevant keywords to receive a higher Google ranking. Web visitors only see whatever information is available so provide a thick description of your product pages and highlight key benefits. Content marketing and blogging can create interest in your new product line before it even launches.

43% of E-commerce traffic is coming from organic Google searches. This means that it’s essential to build your ecommerce with an SEO plan. ~Channeladvisor
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5. Have a customer support rep ready to help anytime

Nothing beats human touch. Give customers access to a human who can help them with their concerns, answer urgent questions, and give updates in real time. Even when the entire shopping experience is automated and done online, a personal contact is still essential for when things go wrong and customers would need to “talk to someone” to settle matters in minutes.

E-commerce shoppers are always looking for convenience, lower prices, free shipping, faster waiting/delivery time, transparency, and overall excellent buying experience.

Working on your Ecommerce marketing strategy? Talk to us today! Our experienced E-commerce Virtual Assistants can help you with customer support and manage your seller account, so that you can focus on truly understanding your customers’ needs, wants, and desires.

Not only that, our VAs can assist you with e-commerce operations such as Shipping and Inventory, Product Research, Product Listing, Product Reviews and Seller Feedback, Copywriting, and more. CALL US at 1-866-596-9041.


The post Top 5 Online Strategies to Grow Your E-Commerce Business appeared first on Virtual Assistant Talent.

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Every time the market and economy changes, the nature of work also evolves and companies should be able to keep up with the trends. The following are seven small business marketing ideas that entrepreneurs and small business owners will need to watch closely starting this first quarter of 2019.

“Businesses that don’t have a plan, hate marketing.”
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1. Create a realistic marketing plan

A 12-month marketing plan should be first on your running small business checklist for growth so you avoid feeling lost and overwhelmed.

• What sales benchmarks do you need to hit and when?

• What does your sales funnel or product marketing flow look like?

• Do you have project plans to support each initiative?

• What distribution channels will make it successful?

• What, events and collaborations can increase brand awareness and sales?

• What holiday sales, limited-time offers, and seasonal items can you include in your promotions?

• Do you have other product launches in mind?

2. Increase your online visibility

• Create shareable and relevant content that sparks engagement with your customers.

• Be active on social media. Create conversations, but not overly sales oriented.

• Update your SEO strategies. This can be time-consuming and confusing that’s why you should invest in educating yourself first and use a marketing virtual assistant to carry out the necessary changes.

• Reduce high webpage bounce rates by providing exceptional user experience at all touch points.

• Make sure your website is optimized for mobile use.

• Repurpose your content and other evergreen images to create stimulating and share-worthy visuals.

• Test online ads and track your spending vs. conversion.

90% of consumers say their decisions are influenced by online reviews.
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3. Offer competitive salary / compensation

Economists and industry analysts see a tight labor market in 2019, and this means that business owners will continue to compete with other employers for the best workers in their respective industries.

One key to attracting and retaining a more diverse workforce is to offer a compensation package based on what local and regional competitors are offering.

4. Remote workers are happier employees

The rise of outsourcing or remote employees is still one of the top small business marketing trends today. There has been an increasing demand to work whenever and wherever people want.

The use of laptops, smartphones and tablets has paved the way to increase our mobility, allowing us to work virtually from home or anywhere, giving us the much-needed relaxation. Even in some industries, having the option to work remotely on flexible schedules is now an employee requirement.

By 2020, nearly three-quarters of all employees are expected to be mobile employees.
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5. Technology-driven customer service support

Companies are starting to make greater investment in offering customer service through automation and chat apps. With this, your audience is given a more customized experience as they inquire for details that bring them closer to what they want and need.

Another solution is to give your customers a way for them to rent or subscribe to your products, rather than purchasing them once. Read our post about marketing strategy that leverage your business this year for more tips on customer service support.

6. Clear and consistent team communication

Creating an up-to-date and easily accessible employee handbook will benefit both management and staff. This can include a summary of important workplace guidelines and procedures and information about state and federal labor law.

A handbook is a must-have for smaller companies to avoid any employee confusion through emails and/or in-person reminders throughout the year.

This 2019, businesses will continue to lean increasingly on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to give customer support to the places where their customers gather.

7. Greater focus on health benefits and wellness at work

Growing your business also means taking care of your employees. Personalized health and wellness benefits, next to salary, are more important than ever. Business owners will need to focus more on how they can nurture wellbeing in the workplace, combat stress, low-morale and mental illness.

As mentioned in tip #4, flexible working is an increasingly popular arrangement in many small businesses to help retain and hire the best talent for their workforce.

Different generations might have different preferences when it comes to medical options, such as chiropractic care, vision, dental and hearing services, mindfulness classes, weight loss programs, etc.

As you begin to align your overall online marketing strategy with your business goals, consider whether there are any processes or functions you can assign to remote staff via outsourcing to save money and free up time for other important things.

Hire virtual assistant services from us! We can help you find the best talent for your workforce. If you feel you’ve been ignoring your online marketing strategy and aren’t sure where to begin, feel free to reach out.

CALL US at 1-866-596-9041 for more in-depth information on digital marketing strategies and best practices. Discover how our highly qualified and trained virtual assistants can help in your everyday tasks and objectives.

Virtual Assistant Talent is a top-notch virtual assistant staffing agency helping professionals from different industries such as the real estate, insurance, small business, coaching/consulting, and executive leadership.



The post 7-Point Checklist for Small Business Owners in 2019 appeared first on Virtual Assistant Talent.

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You don’t always need a sales pitch in all your digital marketing efforts to convince people to trust you. Using the right social media marketing strategy that grows your social media presence, you can tell your story and make a strong impression in this fast evolving social media world.

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Feel Free To Share Sales Enablement: Helping Customers Discover Your Product 1. Using social media to sell your products

Although social media is all about awareness and engagement, businesses can also promote their products and help customers in the phase of product discovery.

55% of respondents who discovered a product through social media proceeded to purchase later on. ~ Mary Meeker, Internet Trends 2018
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Source: medium.com

In this report, Facebook tops the social media channels where people find out about new products. Use this opportunity to make it easier and faster for your audience to move down your sales funnel.

Easy-to-Digest Content, Ads, and Stories 2. Omnichannel marketing

Omni, which means ‘all or every’ is about managing customer experience in all channels whether offline or online. The idea is that the customer’s journey may start in one channel and move to another seamlessly towards the end point—your product or service.

With the help of a Social Media Virtual Assistant, you can reach and interact with your audience anytime through the use of email marketing, online advertising, social networking, and other platforms because nobody today shops exclusively through a single medium.

3. 24-hour stories impacts how people consume content

Stories are visual content in a vertical format that lasts for a day and first became popular on Snapchat and later on copied by Instagram and Facebook.

These stories are easy to create, fun, engaging, authentic, and don’t last long so there’s that sense of urgency to consume them before they’re gone.

Source: bufferapp.com

This means more and more brands will use this in-the-moment style content vs. overly produced, pre-packed content.

Currently, 400 million people are consuming Stories on Instagram on a daily basis, while Facebook is trying to integrate Stories to our daily routines.
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4. Growing social media ad spend across marketers

One of every four Facebook Pages now use paid advertising as part of their social media marketing strategy.

But always consider not relying too much on one platform, either for organic or paid growth. One recommended way to do this is to just boost your top performing organic content.

Marketers increased social ad budgets up to 32% in 2018. Facebook accounts for 23% of total U.S. digital ad spending.
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5. Invest some time in creating great content

In our blog Why you need to hire a social media manager for your business, we discussed how a social media VA can help you increase conversions by sharing your content on social media.

Source: bufferapp.com 6. Join more communities through LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn is already making a huge push toward becoming a connection nurturing network among executives and younger demographics entering the workforce. It’s also constantly updating its groups in an aim to drive more community.

LinkedIn reports that likes, comments, and shares on the network increased more than 50%.
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Engagement and Influencer Marketing 7. Love and care about your social community

Connecting with your audience, responding quickly to customer inquiries/requests, and addressing issues are just few of the reasons for using social media marketing.

Businesses that monitor and participate in conversations with their followers and potential customers can expect more loyalty form their fans and develop deeper and longer relationships.

8. Working with influencers and micro-influencers

Working with the best influencers can be expensive so this is where micro-influencers (ordinary digital citizens) come in. Try tools like Mavrck, Neoreach, and Traackr to find key micro-influencers so you can test the waters of influencer marketing on a budget.

Source: medium.com

Example: a food brand may see better results by using a rising food blogger (micro-influencer) with 30k followers than a celebrity chef who may ask for 20x of the budget.

Facebook Groups are a hot spot for engagement and a place to focus social media efforts in 2019.
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Social Media TV, Videos, Podcasts, and Live Streaming 9. Highlighting video content marketing

More on social media tips for business – The launch of IGTV by Instagram was one of the biggest social media trends of 2018. And according to Statista, more than 50% of digital videos are now viewed on mobile in vertical video format.

Among the top picks of marketers are: Live video or live streaming, interactive video, short videos, and vertical videos.

Source: medium.com
10. Share authentic stories and important moments

“Stories create a more transparent and meaningful relationship. That means less of static updates and more behind-the-scenes, raw, and intimate stories.” – Anna Crowe, Assistant Editor of Search Engine Journal

Business owners will need to tell more stories and moments that matter to the people, and not their brand. You can take your best-performing posts and evergreen web content and create one-minute videos or convert them to blog posts.

One-minute videos get 400 – 500% more reach on LinkedIn compared to Facebook.
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Messaging Apps, Automation, Chatbots 11. AI and automated messaging for customers

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automated messengers for customer service support means that the expectations about the response time are increasing. Huffington Post reported that 60% of the Millennial population are the quickest adaptors of chatbot-based customer experiences.

12. Understanding how people use messaging apps

People widely use private messaging, whether it’s simply about reaching their families or staying in touch with their favorite brands. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, and WeChat hold a large percentage of the messaging market.

Source: medium.com
13. Personalized, Private messaging, and chatbots

Facebook Messenger and chatbots are one of the most effective ways to reach and build audience engagement—it’s email blasting done via messenger.

“Businesses that market via Messenger earn 60 to 80 percent open rates within the first 60 minutes.” ~ Kristi Kellogg, Founder & CEO of Dazzling Digital

Many experts predict that by 2020, more than 80% of all customer service interactions will be powered by AI bots.
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The Importance of Trust and Transparency in Social Media Marketing 14. Making customers comfortable in sharing their data

Because of recent data breaches on some platforms, building trust with your audience is now more important than ever. Be transparent and prompt enough to update your customers on a recent change or admitting your mistakes and working on to resolve issues.

15. Earn and keep the trust of your followers

Finally, always aim to capture the trust and confidence of your customers every single day. With all the fake news and privacy disasters this past year, it’s imperative that you ensure people that their personal online privacy is in good hands.

Interested to start working on how to improve social media for your business? Reach out to us and we can discuss your social media marketing strategy and overall business objectives.

Our experienced social media virtual assistants (VA) can help you with sharing posts, lead generation, increasing your followers, customer support, and promoting your brand so you can continue to thrive online and make an impact this 2019.

Virtual Assistant Talent is a top-notch virtual assistant staffing agency helping professionals from different industries such as the real estate, insurance, small business, coaching/consulting, and executive leadership.

CALL US at 1-866-596-9041 and discover how our highly qualified and trained virtual assistants can help in your everyday tasks and objectives.


The post 15 Social Media Marketing Tips: How to Make A Strong Impression appeared first on Virtual Assistant Talent.

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According to NewVoiceMedia, USA companies lose $75 billion annually because of poor customer service.

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This brings us to the fact that it’s not only product and price that businesses must compete on, but customer experience as well. We rounded up 35 secrets on how to improve customer service skills in the workplace and implement an excellent customer support as a vital ingredient of your business.

You don’t earn loyalty in a day. You earn it day-by-day.” – Jeffrey Gitomer
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3 Golden Rules of Customer Service 1. Serve better by putting yourself in your customer’s place

Always understand your customers first by knowing who they are, what industry/line of work they are in, their pain points, their past relationship with you (for returning customers), and their goals.

2. Hire the right customer support team

Find the ideal customer service virtual assistant with industry experience and time management skills. Great customer service representatives are empathetic, knowledgeable, tech-savvy, and 100% focused on customer satisfaction.

3. Create and implement a standardized process

Have your best practices and systems organized for incoming customer queries, complaints, and issues. Make sure your CS team adheres to the policy.

“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow.” - Marissa Mayer
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Customer Service Tips Over the Phone

  1. Take control of initial interactions – First impressions carry a lot of weight. What can your business do to be more inviting? How can your customer support team communicate without being too pushy?
  2. Always watch your tone – When talking on the phone or replying to an email or online chat, pay attention to your tone and choice of words. Do your best to keep your cool and maintain a friendly tone for the entire confrontation.
  3. Demonstrate empathy – Whether the problem is big or small and even if you can’t fix the caller’s problem, just apologizing will make them feel good. People want assurance that your company cares about them.
  4. Be upfront about expectations – Be eager enough to inform clients and ensure they understand exactly what they sign up for, along with what result they are getting.
  5. Leaving a lasting impression – Resist the hurry to move on to the next deal especially when you have just completed a sale. End the call properly.
  6. Use personal touch – Always make your clients/customers feel that they are a priority. Personalize your interactions: Learn their name, use it repeatedly, and show that you’re listening, and mention something they said earlier.

What is necessary is to listen to your customers: understand their needs, expectations, and job to be done, and design an experience that meets those needs.” - Annette Franz
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Handling Customer Inquiries

  1. Answer promptly – Showing up early and quickly replying to a customer’s message. If the problem is easy to fix, then do it right away and avoid putting it off. You could miss out on making another sale right then and there.
  2. Build a community – Increase brand loyalty by hiring virtual assistant staff. The VA can help you easily build a community forum or write articles on tips or FAQs on how to use your products or services.
  3. Practice active listening – People want to be heard, so give them that attention and avoid appearing distracted. Paraphrasing what they have said shows that you are capable of assisting and understanding them.
  4. Fast and efficient service – Whether selling a product or helping a customer with an issue. Being swift and proactive shows customers that you are on top of it and that you value and respect their time.
  5. Be honest if you don’t know the answer – Not every issue such as a high-pressure situation can be solved right away, and it’s okay to admit that to your customers. Replace “I have no idea,” with “I don’t know, sorry. But let me take down your name and phone number and find out from an expert on my team.”

“How you solve the problem is more important than the problem itself – so always think positively.” - Norman Vincent Peale, Author - Power of Positive Thinking
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Empowering Your Customer Service Support Team

  1. Reward exceptional service – Give incentives to your employees who work towards goals. They should be properly motivated to do the best work they can.
  2. Allow your staff to exercise power – For customer service reps who can offer real solutions, new discounts or credits that aren’t significantly costly to your bottom line.
  3. Do. Win. Repeat. – If your business does something well, then capitalize on it! Remember, it’s better to have repeat customers/clients than try to bring in new ones.
  4. Share information and collaborate – Having important discussions and disseminating information throughout the organization.

“Leadership is the ability to guide other without force into a direction or decision that leaves them still feeling empowered and accomplished.” -Lisa Cash Hanson, Snuggwugg
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Using Online Marketing and New Technology

  1. CS software/tools – Invest on a good working customer service program or tools to produce proactive support and address potential issues.
  2. Utilize new technology – Another key to good customer service is to always adapt to the change of more advanced technologies that produce happier customers and reduces support costs.
  3. Multiple ways to reach you – Your customer support strategy should span website, mobile, live chat, email, and social media pages so that people will be able to access you where, when, and how they prefer.
  4. Use email marketing for special events/occasions – Put the personal data of your customers to good use like a reference for a happy birthday email, happy holidays, membership anniversary dates, along with a discount or offer to make them feel valued.

“Be dramatically willing to focus on the customer at all costs.” - Scott D. Cook, Founder, Inuit
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  1. Leverage your social media presence – Assign a customer service VA to monitor people’s comments, mentions, questions, etc. Especially if millennials represent a large portion of your customer base, as social media is extremely popular among them.
  2. Reach out to old customers – For those who haven’t purchased from you or used your service in a while, a simple message such as “I hope you have enjoyed product X. If you’re interested in Y service, give us a call any time!” will do.
  3. Use easy-to-fill-out feedback forms – To improve processes or reinforce working methods. Get customer reviews and feedback by sending emails with a link to a survey.

“Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” – Walt Disney
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Dealing with Negative Feedback

  1. A thick skin in a good way – Don’t take things personally as it’s impossible to please everyone all the time no matter how great your business is. Having thick skin allows you to remain calm and turn provoking situations around into something that benefits both parties.
  2. Address problems right away – To provide excellent customer service, your customer reps should be confident in tackling tough problems—doing follow-up calls or emails after a purchase or if problem arises.
  3. Avoid the urge to compete or argue – If the customer gets rude, hurtful, or too personal, then try to address him or her politely, but firmly. People will remember that your company doesn’t tolerate insulting behavior.
  4. Understand that every customer is different – Every buyer has his or her way to express concerns and handle issues. Take the time to acknowledge them one by one on their specific issues.
  5. Consider reputation management services – Continually be on the lookout for how your company is perceived, especially online where word spreads quickly. A good online presence is marketing that comes for free.
  6. Allow customers to vent – When they do this, you’ll learn more about the problem, and you give them a chance to exhaust their pent-up anger and energy, putting you in a better position to solve the problem.

“Getting in your last words may help you win the battle. However, even if you do win the battle, there is a good chance you will lose the war.” Kelley Robertson, Robertson Training Group
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Guiding the Customers Well

  1. Create self-service options – If your automated system is too complicated for your customers, then make it easier for them to reach a live person via phone or chat.
  2. Let customers explore and discover the product on their terms – Make it easy for them to experience your product or service and discover answers or solutions by themselves.
  3. Automate communications – Ensure that your communications are scaling with your customer base based on product usage patterns. This helps you communicate to the right users at the right time for the right purpose.
  4. Master authenticity – Know everything about your business, including its limitations. Instill your fundamental cultural values to everyone.

“This may seem simple, but you need to give customers what they want, not what you think they want. And, if you do this, people will keep coming back.” - John Ilhan
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If you would like to learn more ideas for improving customer service, talk to us and we can discuss your customer success strategy and overall business objectives. Our experienced customer service virtual assistants (VA) can help you with handling inbound/outbound phone calls, email, chat, and more.

Virtual Assistant Talent is a top-notch virtual assistant staffing agency helping professionals from different industries such as the real estate, insurance, small business, coaching/consulting, and executive leadership.

CALL US at 1-866-596-9041 and discover how our highly qualified and trained virtual assistants can help in your everyday tasks and objectives.


The post 35 Rules to Excellent Customer Service You Should Learn Right Now appeared first on Virtual Assistant Talent.

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None of us is ever certain of the things to come in every single day. Thus, as an insurance agent or broker, have you ever thought about how you can better educate people on the importance of insurance coverage in their lives?

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More importantly, do you know the latest Insurance Agency Marketing Trends to help you grow your insurance practice this year? We got these eleven tips for you…

1. First of all, lay the groundwork.

The best insurance marketing campaigns always start with a plan. It’s like a new year’s resolution that in order to move forward, your team should regroup and dedicate a time to map out marketing efforts for the whole year:

  • A meeting agenda for what should be covered
  • Get the right people – everyone who is a part of the execution or decision making aspects of your insurance business
  • Prepare the data, ideas, and resources to review

Questions that your team needs to discuss:

  • Where is your insurance agency’s marketing at a glance?
  • What do you want to achieve – what’s the purpose of your marketing?
  • What worked and did not work this past year?
2. Lead generation, lead nurturing, and list building.

You already know a lead is anyone who has shown interest in your insurance services. It could be requesting a quote or asking more about what you can offer. Thus, lead generation and nurturing is a systematic process of attracting and converting prospects into sales.

The purpose of this list building activity is to develop relationships with your leads at every step of the client journey. This will also help the prospects to be ready to buy insurance plans from you.

Clients who receive two or more proactive contacts from their agency per year are 10% more likely to stick with their current agency.
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3. Analyze your winning capacity.

No one wants his or her business to flunk no matter what. The types of people who will win and achieve their goals are those who are willing to research, listen, invest, and try new things. Working with an Insurance Agent Virtual Assistant allows you to do just like that.

You don’t have to be a digital marketing expert in this new generation because a VA can assist you with finding the right prospects and creating a custom experience for your clients. You just have to be willing to go full speed ahead and put in the work.

4. Proactively seek marketing touchpoints with your clients.

If you constantly search for insurance marketing ideas, you will need to come up with techniques to engage more with your audience. To demonstrate the value and advocacy you provide as an insurance agent, connect with your clients often times rather than just before policy renewal periods.

Insurance Agents who average two or more contacts per year with their customers are growing 55% more than their counterparts who are not making contact with their customers.
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5. Videos and SEO are important for online presence

Many marketers recognize Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as one of the most regularly updating components of digital marketing. And video is still dominating the social media sphere.

You need this all to grow and maintain strong organic traffic and page ranking results. But what if you find it hard to get down the nitty-gritty of SEO algorithms and processes? That’s where an SEO Virtual Assistant comes in.

An SEO VA can optimize your website pages to have quality content, equipped with the most significant and relevant keywords, backlinks, and improve your search ranking.

72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service, and 81% have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video. ~ Wyzowl survey
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6. Excellent customer experience must be a priority.

How can insurance agents adapt when many are expecting 24/7 access to service? There are two huge resources available to you: outsourcing to customer service centers and digital self-service options.

The majority of customer transactions are billing and inquiry related. Thus, through customer service support agents and online apps, clients can easily view policy documents online, report a claim, or pay their dues.

7. People do pay attention to the weight of testimonials.

The majority of these insurance trends revolve around trust and authenticity—two of the most reliable factors you should develop in order to succeed in the industry.

Online reviews and testimonials are so powerful that prospects will effortlessly trust others’ feedback than the information displayed by your agency.

8. Be a widespread insurance resource through valuable content.

Blog articles are key to effective content marketing if you wish to grow from simply an insurance agent to a proven expert on insurance-specific issues. But if you think you can’t just set aside time to write blogs, then hire a freelance content writer.

Have him or her research and write about what you know best, but keep in mind that the objective is how to create value for your audience and not selling your services just yet. Make your clients participate in the topics and give them what they need.

9. Selectively and strategically partner with carriers.

Insurance agents who are more strategic about their carrier partners and work with fewer than seven carriers have a growth rate 53% higher than agents with more than seven carriers.
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They also experience higher retention rates, higher average account premium and improved account rounding. Those agencies that go for select carriers that are committed to customer and agency needs experience greater satisfaction and results.

10. Collecting and studying social media data for future campaigns.

Conduct an A/B testing or create an Insurance Agency sample marketing plan to track, measure, and implement new findings for your social presence.

For both insurance agencies and brokers, social media can be the way to show a more caring and human side. A more personalized customer service by being accessible for clients on Facebook or LinkedIn, and answering promptly if someone sends you a question.

ComScore claims that close to 50% of all searches will be made through voice search by 2020.
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11. Deep understanding of your performance.

The Hanover is able to conduct a multi-year analysis for independent agent partners in several key areas such as perspective on how they are performing, the execution of their strategy (many agents are surprised that their operations are not performing as they would expect), and benchmarks against their peer agents that are best in class in their revenue category.

Working on your insurance selling strategies to meet your 2019 goals can be easier and more effective if you leverage the right tools and resources. As always, move forward with the action items and let others talk about how great you are—so you will establish trust with your clients and eventually grow your practice/agency.

Our Insurance Agents Virtual Assistants (VA) can help with appointment setting, prospecting, telemarketing, and customer service so you can focus more time on growth, while your clients are receiving the support they need and are taken care of including nights and weekends.

Virtual Assistant Talent is the leading VA for hire services provider since 2009, helping professionals from different industries such as the real estate, insurance, small business, coaching/consulting, and executive leadership.

    CALL US at 1-866-596-9041 and discover how our highly qualified and trained virtual assistants can help in your everyday tasks and objectives.


    The post 11 Competitive Action Items For Insurance Agents This New Year appeared first on Virtual Assistant Talent.

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    Whether you are selling a property, an insurance plan, or any kind of service, you know that when you book more appointments, you generate more business.

    So now you ask yourself, how do I become a successful appointment setter if I don’t have the time and patience in setting appointments? Well, let’s get on with these nine appointment-setting tips.

    1. Find the main benefit to your listener.

    What is appointment setting? It’s all about convincing your prospects that your business has something that is valuable to them. Before you even make the call, you should know already what’s in it for the client/customer and practice your elevator pitch.

    When doing outbound calling, think of a good hook that will grab the prospect in the first 60 seconds.
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    2. Stick to the Who, What and Why principle.

    Those looking for appointment setter jobs should know the basic principle to follow after the initial “hello” greeting. This is the practice of saying WHO we are, WHAT we do and WHY we’re calling.

    The “What” should be concise. Present two or three of the main benefits rather than going on and on about how good the product or service is.

    And finally, tell the receiver “Why” the appointment is needed and promote it just as much as the product.

    3. Qualify the leads before reaching out.

    One of the proven appointment setting tips that can actually save you time and energy is to focus on individuals who best fit your product or service. Do a research or analysis to determine who your ideal customer is to achieve this step.

    4. Develop a good script structure.

    Being knowledgeable and equipped with all the information necessary is one of the secrets to appointment setting. From this, you can develop a compelling script to present the product/service to the best of your ability.

    When you’re done with the framework, do some trial calls to see how it is being received. Continue refining the script and make some final changes before roll-out.

    If it doesn’t sound right when you’re practicing it, then you have no chance when on the telephone. ~Jacqui Crawley
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    5. Hire the right appointment setter

    The back-and-forth of scheduling and managing appointments can consume valuable amounts of your day.

    Here are the benefits of outsourcing appointment setting tasks:

    [li type=”glyphicon-ok”]Reach out during “off hours.” The virtual assistant can contact your leads before or after office hours to help increase the chances of them responding to your request.[/li]
    [li type=”glyphicon-ok”]Confirm the details and schedule reminders. Make time to initiate a contact a day beforehand to avoid disappointment.[/li]
    [li type=”glyphicon-ok”]Set appointments via different communication channels. Some people prefer voicemail, social media, email, or navigating a website.[/li]
    [li type=”glyphicon-ok”]Engage with leads that have already interacted with you. The chances of success are much greater with a customer that you have a history with.[/li]
    [li type=”glyphicon-ok”]Make sure the right people are scheduled for any follow-up meetings. This can speed up the decision-making process and avoid unnecessary additional meetings.[/li]

    [li type=”glyphicon-ok”]Social selling. The VA can spend a few hours per day on social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to call, email, or connect with your audience to schedule an appointment[/li]
    [li type=”glyphicon-ok”]Create and set automated messages to be sent on preferred time.[/li]

    [li type=”glyphicon-ok”]Publish a content on your website. People will almost certainly look you up online. You can have case studies, projects, or blogs on your website.[/li]
    [li type=”glyphicon-ok”]Use helpful call-to-actions (CTA) everywhere. Spark your leads’ curiosity all the time. Every post, advertisement, blog article, brochure, or event needs to focus on a follow-up CTA, e.g. “Download our FREE Buyer’s Guide!”[/li]

    Related Article: Top 12 Benefits of Outsourcing Your Appointment Setting Task

    6. Focus on asking for the decision maker.

    Learning how to talk directly to the decision maker of your target business or company is the key on how to get appointments in sales. You are better off spending your time looking for ways of getting through the gatekeeper than pitching to the wrong person.

    Remember though, don’t be rude or pushy with receptionists and do not lie, but also, do not pitch to them either. Encourage the VA to build rapport with the gatekeepers and use statement questions to gain access, agreement, and direction.

    Make sure that you are sold before you try to convince somebody else.
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    7. Role-play, practice, refine.

    An appointment setter training involves role-playing to help build the confidence and master the flow of the call. Often times call-flows sound great when you are only reading them, but very different when spoken out loud.

    8. Acknowledge concerns and do your best to deal with objections.

    Sometimes a customer will simply decline saying that they are too busy, or that they are all set, showing no interest in developing the conversation.

    To attempt to bridge objections when trying to set appointment, you must first recognize the end user’s concerns. Let them say why they are not interested, before using empathetic words, e.g. “I completely understand that you are busy…”

    The objective here is to go from acknowledging objections to asking for the appointment again by demonstrating how the appointment can help them nonetheless.

    Finally, train your appointment setters how to “back out” gracefully and leave the call on a positive note for a future contact when the time is right.

    9. Don’t pitch the script word for word.

    Always go straight to the point and only ask relevant questions. Feel the tone and the pace of the prospect. Ask for a commitment and close quickly so you don’t waste each other’s time. Once you fully understand the product you are selling, you will find it easier to adjust to any scenario that may come up.

    In this multimedia world, there are multiple ways to succeed in appointment setting. For more expert insight on how to set more appointments, contact our team at Virtual Assistant Talent and we will help you further narrow down your prospects, and save time so that you can focus on other areas of your business.

    You can also browse through our virtual assistant services list and discover how our highly qualified and trained virtual assistants can help in your everyday tasks and objectives.

    Since 2009, Virtual Assistant Talent has been helping professionals from different industries such as the real estate, insurance, small business, coaching/consulting, and executive leadership. CALL US at 1-866-596-9041 to Learn More.


    The post The Best 9 Appointment Setting Tactics to Generate More Sales Appointments appeared first on Virtual Assistant Talent.

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    The use of 3D virtual tours, videos, and automation will only grow stronger in this year’s real estate market. However, the following are trends that should be on your 2019 top real estate marketing ideas and strategies.

    Real estate agents and realtors will need to invest in more digital marketing tactics because buyers in different generations—such as millennials and boomers—are competing for the same homes today.

    The national homeownership rate rose to 64.4% in the third quarter of 2018, largely attributed to the increase in first-time homebuyers. ~ U.S. Census Bureau
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    1. Rising mortgage interest rates will cause buyers to change strategy

    Aaron Terrazas, director of economic research for Zillow, says that in 2019, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage reaches 5.8%, giving a real impact on housing affordability and will prompt many buyers to pause and analyze their purchasing power and strategy. This means that as an agent, you’ll need to take more time to help your clients reevaluate deals and understand what their money can buy in this shifting market.

    2. Trust-based marketing promotions for your real estate business

    If someone is looking for a real estate agent in your city, do you think you can show up on the first page of their Google search? If you’re not coming up or worse, if they don’t find anything about you on Google, then you are losing opportunities.

    Most real estate professionals spend their time on closing deals with clients. But a Real Estate Virtual Assistant can help you create these trust-based marketing campaigns to stay ahead of the curve:

    • Creating and maintaining a website that provides information to potential buyers
    • Gathering online reviews and homeowners’ testimonials
    • Creating video and written interviews of your past and current clients
    • Creating an e-book that will serve as a guide to what a home buyer needs to know about your neighborhood
    • Writing blog posts about the real estate market and industry trends

    Why do 88% of first time buyers still use an agent when buying a home? Buyers want to do business with someone they can trust.
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    3. Automating operational and marketing processes

    Automation and outsourcing will be one of the top marketing tips for real estate in 2019. This is because many real estate agents are aiming to save time by working less and accomplishing more, doing things faster and more efficient.

    There are several ways you can start automating processes. One is by installing chatbots on your website and social media pages to respond and interact with visitors and answer questions that can immediately add value.

    You can also develop a text message marketing or email sequence campaign to engage with leads and move them down the sales funnel. Build your relationship with your clients by segmenting lists and following up at customized intervals.

    4. You need a virtual office to make your online presence stand out

    Next on our real estate marketing tactics is social media’s continued impact. A real estate seller’s strong online reputation will make headway to influence people’s buying decisions. This generation relies heavily on online reviews and social media presence.

    For example, you will be more appealing to millennial clients if you will showcase homes on Instagram—one of the widely used social media platform today. Stand out and provide crucial information, especially to the younger generation of first-time homebuyers.

    80% of today’s homebuyers are looking for a new home online.
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    5. Don’t be generic. Focus on the design and content of your email marketing

    Still considered the best form of marketing by many experts, email marketing is your best bet this 2019. But those generic emails blasting “just sold and just listed” don’t work anymore unless you have an established relationship with people.

    Virtual marketing assistants can work with you to design your email with relevant content. It should be formatted right (for mobile) and well spaced out. Change the design and do it over and over again until you get the right touch to develop trust in the prospect.

    Some ideas for your email newsletter are:

    • Monthly open house invites and personalized open house invites
    • Weekly/monthly deals, news and events of your local community
    • Case study of clients – what did you do to promote their property?
    • Single property blasts and why you think it’s a good investment

    6. Start using social video to generate more online shares

    One of the most effective real estate marketing ideas over the years is the use of videos. Social videos have been shown to generate far more shares on social media sites than text and images combined.

    You can use videos to create stories. Do you have clients who were thrilled with the home you sold them? That’s a great video story right there. Are there exciting new things going on in the community where you’re selling homes? Record a video and upload it to YouTube, and then include a link to that video in your email.

    7. Millennials will keep contributing to the increase in first-time buyer demand

    Odeta Kushi, senior economist for First American says, “The housing market in 2019 will be characterized by continued rising mortgage rates, making housing less affordable. But there will be a surging demand, as the largest cohort of millennials will be turning 29 this year, entering peak household formation and home-buying age.”

    Millennials will continue to make up the largest segment of buyers this year, accounting for 45% of mortgages, compared to 17% of Boomers, and 37% of Gen Xers.
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    Overall, demonstrate who you are and why you stand out among other real estate agents. Make buyers feel they can trust you and let them know how you are going to make the entire home buying process simple and efficient.

    If you need help in hiring virtual assistant, our talent pool of VAs can help with prospecting, outbound telemarketing, and putting up ad listings online. CALL US at 1-866-596-9041 and discover how our highly qualified and trained virtual assistants can help in your everyday tasks and objectives.

    Virtual Assistant Talent is a top-notch virtual assistant staffing agency helping professionals from different industries such as the real estate, insurance, small business, coaching/consulting, and executive leadership.


    The post 7 Real Estate Marketing Trends to Watch Out For in 2019 appeared first on Virtual Assistant Talent.

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    The whole Holiday season has all the profitable benefits for small business owners as consumers are expected to spend an average of $1,007 for purchases. (National Retail Federation). This means that you don’t want to miss these Holiday Marketing Strategies and statistics if you want to end the year with a successful sales campaign.

    92% believe sales and promotions will be the same or better this winter Holiday season
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    1. Know what’s on your customer’s wish list

    It’s quite obvious to give out Holiday promotions to entice people but do you know which ones the consumers dig the most? NRF reported that gift cards/certificates, clothing, and books top the types of gifts people want to receive.

    Knowing the various trends that put shoppers into a spending spree will help you tailor your marketing efforts so you don’t lag behind your competition.

    2. Go for the sales and discounts that really matter

    Holiday discount hunters rank price drop, quality of merchandise, and free shipping as their top three deciding factors to shop a particular store this year.

    Brainstorm ideas with a Marketing VA to come up with something creative like this 12 Days of Christmas deals from Avon and $50 gift card from Amazon so your customers can anticipate on special treats from your business.

    Source: leadpages.net
    3. The rise of YouTube vlog, influencers, and bloggers

    One thing you can add to your arsenal of Holiday marketing ideas is to reach out and target a YouTube vlogger or blogger in your industry for gift guides. Give them a free sample of your product or a free access to an online demo if you are in the service industry.

    The goal is that after they try out your item, they might be willing to add it to a roundup of their highly recommended products of 2018 or other holiday gift guides. One sure-fire way to get your products or services highlighted by relevant influencers!

    Example: HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 2018! Gifts Under $20, $40, & $60!

    HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 2018! Gifts Under $20, $40, & $60! - YouTube

    68% still plan on shopping the week after December 25th.
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    4. Identify which platforms customers visit the most

    Is it social media, website, email, newsletter, blog posts, Facebook marketplace, etc.? Get a clear picture which channels to focus on so you can develop sales tactics for each. Where do consumers plan to purchase Holiday items? Online shopping is still at the top:

    5. Give special attention to last-minute gift shoppers

    Panic buying is more common during these months when everyone is busy preparing for family reunions and decorating their homes. Make sure to include in your holiday marketing tips to make it convenient for shoppers to grab last-minute gift items from your store before they head home, travel, or visit relatives.

    6. Make it easy for people to pay for their holiday purchases

    Whether you’re giving away extra discounts, buy-one-get-one-free deals, coupons, or vouchers—all of these are useless if customers abandon your cart. So be sure that you have updated your shopping carts and online stores to avoid losing sales.

    Credit card (46%) tops the list of payment methods preferred, followed by debit card (36%), cash (16%), and check (2%).

    On average, email frequency are increased by roughly 50% during November and December, compared to non-holiday months
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    7. Holiday email marketing and newsletter

    Email and retargeting strategies tend to have huge returns. Using a lead magnet for email capture and to fix customers’ pain points will leave them wanting for more information from you.

    To ramp up your email marketing campaigns, read our tips in creating effective newsletter.

    Example: J. Crew’s holiday gift guide email
    Source: leadpages.net

    8. Increase holiday sales with marketing in advance

    Schedule your on and off-site campaign activities ahead of time. Most marketers recommend starting off in September and October so you remain top-of-mind for prospects throughout the holiday sale season.

    Also, don’t forget to expand your marketing efforts for all the social and mobile shoppers. On Thanksgiving weekend alone, 88% of ages 18-24 used mobile devices to research and buy gift items.

    71% plan to use their smartphone or tablets to research or make a purchase
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    9. Christmas or winter theme website design

    Wow your online visitors by dressing up your website and social media pages. Give it a festive, holiday-inspired feel as this helps to heighten the emotional shopping experience, which can boost sales conversions.

    Develop Holiday landing pages for specific products and promotions—they convert much better than a regular product page. For example, you can set up a page exclusive for gift cards or certificates. Popular picks are restaurant gift cards, department stores, and entertainment.

    10. Bring out the best customer service

    Make sure you are adequately staffed for the additional customer-related workload that occurs during the holiday season. Be operationally sound in every aspect of your business processes from inventory, sales, to order processing and customer support.

    Consider adding live chat support to reduce missed opportunities and address customer concerns. Take a look at where you could concentrate your tactics:

    89% of consumers still have plenty of holiday shopping left to do in December
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    11. Keep promoting and exhaust your social media channels

    Last but not the least, implement social media campaigns like giveaways and contests can spark a ton of activity and engagement from fans. Promote in Facebook groups and invite people to like, follow, subscribe, and submit their entries for a chance to win exciting prizes.

    Post and share not just your promotions but also your Holiday activities, behind-the-scenes of your business, or pictures of employees celebrating the season of joy.

    Based on the above data, you can now focus on promotional sales tactics that work. Don’t give up just yet because you can still pull off a wonderful and effective Holiday marketing campaign! As always, gauge how your employees should be allocating resources across departments and customer touch points.

    If you need help in boosting holiday sales, our talent pool of social media virtual assistant can help with online marketing and customer service support. CALL US at 1-866-596-9041 and discover how our highly qualified and trained virtual assistants can help in your everyday tasks and objectives.

    Virtual Assistant Talent is a top-notch virtual assistant staffing agency helping professionals from different industries such as the real estate, insurance, small business, coaching/consulting, and executive leadership.

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    The post 11 Holiday Promotional Sales Tactics to End 2018 with a Bang! appeared first on Virtual Assistant Talent.

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