The call answering professionals: Over 23 years of virtual receptionist experience

Virtual Assistants: Why they are different from virtual receptionists and how to choose

By Nick East

October 5, 2020

Virtual services can be highly cost-effective and, in a world where remote working is here to stay, can be critical to keeping your business operating as normal. Virtual services can cover anything from accountancy to marketing, but there are two services that are frequently confused: virtual assistants (VAs) and virtual receptionists (VRs). 

A virtual receptionist service like Verbatim offers an excellent ‘front of house’ service while assistants provide quality ‘behind the scenes’ work. At Verbatim, our virtual receptionists handle sales calls, providing information to callers, and take messages. A good virtual receptionist needs to be available whenever needed to answer your calls.

A virtual assistant might, on the other hand, be focused on ensuring the gears of your business are constantly turning. They can organise events, complete inbox management and even conduct market research to ensure you stay abreast of the latest market trends. Tasks which are business critical, but don’t require a VA to be always available to answer a call

There are three options to consider when you are looking for a virtual assistant:

Option 1: Hire a VA company

Outsourcing your administrative tasks to a company rather than an individual has a number of  benefits, the main one being if your virtual assistant is unwell or unavailable for any reason, there’s a team right there to take over any time critical tasks. In addition a company. A great example of a company offering virtual assistant services is Virtalent. After taking time to understand your business they will match you with a PA who has the specific skills needed for your specific situation. 

Option 2: Hiring an individual

At the other end of the spectrum, you could hire an individual. When you hire an individual, you’re hiring someone who is a virtual assistant specialist. They have most likely spent years, decades even, perfecting their craft. If you’re looking for that extra personal touch, hiring an individual might be right for you. Finally, it can be more cost-effective than hiring an individual over a company. When looking for an individual, make sure to ask how they manage their availability and who covers for them when they’re on holiday or unwell to minimize disruption.



Hiring a virtual assistant is cost effective, but make sure you don’t compromise quality during the process. Photo by Viktoria Goda from Pexels

Option 3: Hiring from a talent platform 

Talent platforms such as UpWork or Worksome provide a seemingly infinite pool of skilled professionals including virtual assistants, web developers, writers and many, many more. This endless range of different professionals is a talent platform’s biggest strength and also their biggest problem. With so many professionals to choose from, it can be difficult to pick the right person.

At Verbatim we recognise the benefits of using a virtual team to support your business and for different jobs you need different skills.

When it comes to creating that perfect initial impression, whether by directing a call or taking an order we are second to none.


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