Early in the piece when my virtual assistant was managing the sales follow up calls for one of my major clients, we were using Sales Force CRM to keep track of tasks and calls.
As he was busy making calls and recording the outcomes over the following weeks, I noticed that we seemed to be behind in our calls.
He was confirming his daily call numbers and these were on target but we continued to have overdue tasks.
When I investigated by delving into each call and reviewing the notes and call backs set, I understood what was happening.
When he was not getting through to the person he would set the call back for 2 or 3 days.
What I had failed to tell him was to set a call back for one week later.
In my mind I was sure that I had instructed the interval between call backs, but in his, he said I had not.
This was a crucial process which I had failed to communicate.
Lesson to be Gleaned
When things go wrong with our virtual team member and they are not doing the job to our expectations it is more helpful to ask the question: How can I improve my communication to make sure they understand what I want? This is way more helpful then blaming them and making them wrong.
The 3 steps to improve when it comes to communication:
1.Written communication e.g. emails
2.Verbal communication e.g. skype conversations and chat
3.Systems documentation e.g. step by step instructions or screen capture videos.
To make sure they have understood a process you need to make time each day in the first week and at least weekly there after to review their work and give them feedback.
It is often helpful to ask them to talk you through the process so you can iron any potential issues before they even begin.
Once the process is down pat it is still a great practise to touch base at least once a week over Skype to maintain the human touch point in the relationship.
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