Effective Communication with Your Virtual Assistant

Maximizing the benefits of offshoring requires effective communication with your virtual assistant (VA). Drawing from our experience, we have identified key considerations and best practices for communicating with your VA.

  1. English as a Second Language

Although English is widely spoken in the Philippines and is an official language, it remains a second language for many. When communicating with your VA, speak slowly, clearly, and avoid using jargon or complex business language. Be patient as your VA adapts to your communication style and be prepared to explain concepts in granular detail. Breaking down complex processes into smaller parts can improve understanding. Over time, your VA's comprehension will improve as your relationship develops.

  1. Cultural Considerations

Filipinos are known for their graciousness and respectfulness, often avoiding confrontation. If your VA doesn't understand something, they may agree in the moment, which could lead to unexpected outcomes. To mitigate this risk, ask your VA to repeat your instructions in their own words to ensure mutual understanding.

Filipino VAs may be hesitant to provide constructive feedback or suggest changes. Encourage open communication by creating a regular forum for them to share their thoughts on processes and improvements. This approach will yield valuable insights over time.

  1. Balancing Written and Verbal Communication

VAs typically comprehend written instructions better than verbal ones, but they may communicate more effectively verbally. Don't hesitate to schedule regular video conference meetings or use Zoom calls for clarification. This approach ensures clear expectations and prompt issue resolution.

  1. Messenger Chat vs. Email

Filipinos often prefer messaging platforms over email for day-to-day communication. We recommend using Slack for its reliability, ease of use, and informality. Slack facilitates instant communication and complements email use. Most clients find a combination of email and Slack effective for communicating with their teams.

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