Master These 8 Unexpected Virtual Assistant Soft Skills To Build Stronger Client Relationships

Do you know which Virtual Assistant soft skills you need to be even more successful? I see many questions on Social Media related to hard skills, but the importance of soft skills is often overlooked. Today we’re going to change that!

What Are Virtual Assistant Soft Skills + Why Do You Need Them?

What I call “Virtual Assistant soft skills” are your people skills. The online dictionary defines soft skills as “the personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.”

They are the soft skills every VA needs to master. Remember, the VA Industry is a service-based industry, where we work one on one with clients. It’s all about building and maintaining strong relationships with our clients. 

What Are Hard Skills?

Hard skills are expertise-based skills, such as:

  • WordPress
  • Email Marketing
  • Digital Marketing

If you’re looking to learn hard skills, please check out Techie U or my WP Services Made Simple courses.

Please don’t get me wrong. Hard skills are a MUST, but so are Virtual Assistant soft skills, which seem to be overlooked. These are the skills you need to master to become a service professional.

You can have the “hard skills,” but if you don’t have the soft skills, it’s hard to keep clients! So… let’s dive into the top 8 Virtual Assistant soft skills you need to embrace and master.

The Top 8 Soft Skills Every VA Needs To Develop

  1. Honesty and Integrity
  2. Communication
  3. Teamwork
  4. Problem Solving
  5. Flexibility
  6. Time Management
  7. Customer Service
  8. Ethics

Let’s break them down one at a time.

#1 – Honesty And Integrity

Having integrity and being honest is number #1 on my list. The VA industry is a relationship-based business. Who wants to do business with somebody dishonest or someone with no integrity? Not me! It’s even more important since we work virtually!

To me, it’s simple. Be honest if you make a mistake – own it! Then fix it. Don’t make excuses; apologize, then take care of it. 

Be transparent about your abilities. If you don’t know how to do something, say so. Let your clients know you’re willing to learn. But please don’t take on a task because you want to learn on the fly or because you need the money.

I’ve heard too many horror stories from clients about how a VA promises the moon and then falls off the earth’s face with their money because they can’t deliver. It’s what causes trust issues for so many people. 

Be accountable. If you’re going to miss a deadline – say so. Have integrity in your work and how you represent the VA Industry. It makes a difference for all of us.

#2 – Communication

It’s the most important soft skill for a virtual assistant to master. If you can’t communicate effectively, it’s hard to meet your client’s deadlines and expectations, especially since we’re virtual.

It’s important to ask questions so you fully understand what you’re doing for clients. If you don’t understand, ask. There are no stupid questions except the ones you don’t ask. Don’t worry about looking silly for asking questions—it means you’re listening and trying to gain an understanding.

Since we’re virtual, we communicate in different ways. Know what the best method of communication is for you. Let your clients know. Remember.. communicating clearly involves listening and speaking, be sure you’re doing both.

And always be honest if you make a mistake. We all make them; the worst thing you can do is try to cover it up instead of owning up to it.

#3 – Teamwork

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to know how to work well with others. Realize that you might need a combination of soft skills to be effective at teamwork, especially if you don’t experience being part of a team. It’s essential to listen to others and inspire your clients and team to work together for the best results.

It also means you need to do your own part. Recognizing your role in the team and acknowledging others’ contributions is important. You are part of your client’s team, even if it’s just the two of you.

#4 – Problem Solving

You need to be okay when it comes to dealing with unexpected issues or problems – it’s going to happen. You can’t freak out – well, you can, but don’t let your client know <grin>. Problems and issues are just part of life and business.

The best thing is to know they’re going to happen from time to time and, if possible, have a plan B. Technology is a blessing and a curse; sometimes, things blow up or don’t work as expected. It’s just part of having an online business. You have to be ready to solve any problems that come your way.

This requires creativity and good analytical skills. When it comes to problem-solving, you should be able to analyze the situation and look at it from different angles. Plus, it’s crucial to find other, sometimes out-of-the-box solutions to problems.

It’s where you can reach out to team members or even your clients to find the best solutions. Problem-solving is one of the best Virtual Assistant soft skills you can have if you’re looking to be more than just an assistant.

#5 – Flexibility

Are you able to change direction and think fast on your feet? Are you willing to try new things? Flexibility is a skill that can help you survive as an entrepreneur and a Virtual Assistant.

Business changes, technology changes. Change is part of life – you need to embrace it or at least be willing to bend. With this skill, you are more likely to be open to learning new things and moving forward.

If one thing doesn’t work (or stops working), you need to be flexible enough to try something else. Your ability to have an agile mind and thought process could pave the way to success.

#6 – Time Management

This is a BIG one. If you want to be successful, you need to know how to manage your time. Time management is key to success in this business. We complete tasks or projects for clients, and they want them delivered on time.

Understand which tasks are vital to your business and which you can do later or delegate. Revenue-generating tasks are the ones you should spend 80% of your time on—because that’s what pays the bills. The other 20% should be spent on your own business—the day-to-day stuff that keeps your business running.

Knowing how to use your time—and developing the discipline to stick to a timetable—can help you make better decisions and maximize your work. I use a combination of tools to ensure I get what I need to. All of my client tasks go into my Task Management system (Teamwork), and I use a planner to keep track of my daily to-dos. This system works for me—find one that works for you!

#7 – Customer Service

This one relates directly to honesty and integrity. I come from a school where customers are always right. You do whatever it takes to make your clients happy, do what you say you’ll do, make them feel understood and appreciated, and treat them with kindness and respect.

If you screw up, you own it. You say, “I messed up. Here’s what I did, and I’m going to fix it for you.” And you don’t charge them for the fix because it’s your mistake. Everybody makes mistakes. The worst thing you can do is try to hide it or blame it on somebody else. Stand up, say you did it, take ownership, be accountable, and fix it. Be grateful for your clients – without them, you wouldn’t have a business. Strive to make your clients happy, and they’ll stick around.

#8 – Ethics

This one goes hand in hand with all the soft skills I’ve covered. It’s part of having integrity and being honest. Be ethical. It’s simple – don’t cheat, lie, or steal from your clients or anyone, for that matter. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Don’t take on work that you know you can’t do. Remember, what you do affects the whole VA Industry.

Virtual Assistant soft skills are essential to the success of your business. When you develop them, you have the chance to push yourself to the next level. They will help you stand out as a professional in the industry.

What do you think? Do you have experience with these soft skills? I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to post below and let me know what action you’re taking to improve your Virtual Assistant soft skills. All comments and questions are welcome.

Thanks for reading – Susan

PS: Ready to embark on the journey of building a freedom-based business? Join me in Techie Biz in a Box, your comprehensive guide to leveraging systems, automation, and tech. Discover how to streamline your processes and reclaim precious time for the things you love. 

Susan Mershon
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