A lot of people have heard of virtual and digital assistants. But the most common question we get is “What can digital assistants do?”. Before we jump into that, let’s take a few steps back and understand the history of digital assistants.
What is a virtual/digital assistant?
Before the internet, if you needed someone to assist you with your business admin, you hired a personal assistant. They travelled to your office and the partnership relied on face-to-face communication. Oftentimes, they only had enough time in their day to assist you with your admin (they didn’t have time for other clients), due to the time spent commuting in traffic and so forth.
When the internet came around, the nature of personal assistants started shifting and adapting to this digital revolution.
A new type of assistant was born: digital assistants (otherwise known as virtual assistants).
A virtual assistant is a person who provides support services to a business from a remote location. Remote can mean in another country, another city, or even in the same city. The point is that it no longer depends on the people having to meet face-to-face.
Thanks to the incredible communication and collaboration technologies we have at our fingertips these days, digital assistants and the businesses they serve can communicate entirely online, using tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Entire businesses can be run utilizing the power of the internet. Documents can be edited online and collaboratively, using software such as Google Docs.
On top of that, virtual assistants can enjoy a more flexible schedule. For example: if company ABC only needs a virtual assistant from 9 am – 1 pm, that same virtual assistant can offer their services to company XYZ from 2 pm – 6 pm.
Gone are the days of forcing companies to only hire full-time assistants. Companies these days can enjoy the flexibility of hiring part-time assistants, or full-time assistants, depending on their internal workload.
Human digital assistants vs AI digital assistants
Before we answer “What can virtual assistants do”, we need to first clear up a common misconception.
Have you ever heard of Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, or Bixby? They are what people refer to as artificial intelligence digital assistants. A typical conversation with them goes something like “Hey Siri, tell me the weather today.” They are remarkable computer programs and have taken the world by storm since their inception.
However, when people refer to human digital assistants, they are not referring to virtual AI assistants. A virtual assistant is normally known as a real human being. Digital AI assistants are smart computer programs, but they have clear limitations.
Human beings (for now) possess an ability to discern and decipher information in a way that artificial intelligence does not yet possess. Hiring a human virtual assistant to take care of your complex business tasks is a no-brainer. An AI digital assistant would never cope with the tasks. They wouldn’t be able to understand the bigger picture and thus be able to adapt to your specific needs.
There might come a time in the future when artificial intelligence machines catch up to humans and are able to 100% replicate the tasks that we do. But for now, thankfully, a human being is still a far superior choice as an assistant.
What can virtual/digital assistants do?
Digital assistants provide a huge number of support services to businesses. Their specific roles and responsibilities obviously depend on that business’s specific needs. However, you’ll most likely find virtual assistants taking care of the following tasks:
- coordinating schedules,
- setting up meetings,
- social media production,
- admin tasks,
- basic bookkeeping,
- answering emails and phone calls,
- content management,
- transcribing or translating documents,
- preparing letters or documents, and/or
- organizing travel arrangements.
Essentially, a virtual assistant helps you focus entirely on your core business tasks. They are there to take care of all the peripheral admin required to make sure your business is running at its peak performance.
Why choose a South African-based XDigitalSEO virtual/digital assistant?
South Africans are world-renowned for being excellent employees and rank amongst some of the most innovative thinkers in history.
The South African digital assistants that work for XDigitalSEO offer so many unique benefits to companies, that it would become a really long blog post if we were to list all of them. However, here are three of the top reasons to choose them:
- They are meticulous and driven individuals. You need a virtual assistant who is obsessed with details. That’s our virtual assistants. They take on every task with the utmost professionalism, ensuring that whatever you ask them to do is done timeously and accurately.
- They are first-language English speakers. South Africans speak excellent English as their first language. With such a warm and inviting accent, communicating with them is a breeze.
- They are cheaper than digital assistants who live in the USA and Europe. Due to the exchange rate and other economic factors, it’s much cheaper to hire a virtual assistant who lives in South Africa, compared to an equivalent virtual assistant who lives in the USA or Europe.
Our virtual and digital assistants are waiting to take care of all your business admin. Visit our digital assistants’ page for more info and to find out how we can get you started.