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  • Writer's pictureKristen Herring-Asleson

"Just a Secretary"? Really?


Recently, an email was received in a client’s inbox from an angry potential customer who demanded that she speak with the owner of the company, refused to understand the owner of the company was exactly that and not a consultant.  And, proceeded to tell me that I was “just a secretary”.  While my client does have her doctorate in Traditional Chinese Medicine, we do have staff on the team that are also very well-versed in the fertility program she created as well as myself, who can answer just about any question posed.  In addition to this, we always make it clear that her education and expertise is in TCM, not western medicine, therefore, she does not answer nor give advice surrounding western medicine.

 

Here are snippets from said angry potential customer:

 

Email 1: You cannot answer my question because what I want to ask her is a medical question. It’s like asking the front desk secretary at a doctor’s office a medical question rather than the doctor. Going through you to ask her question is not only ridiculous but an invasion of medical privacy. Have you guys heard of HIPPA?!?! It’s insane that she would charge $1500 for a program and you she won’t even speak to her client. I have never heard of such thing. if she won’t speak to me then I am not purchasing her program. I am not going to just hand her $1500 for a self-guided online tutorial without personal guidance. That’s ridiculous.

 

Email 2: I am not asking for medical advice because she is  NOT a doctor. But if she has the audacity to charge $1500 for her “service/program” then she should be available to directly speak to her customers if one has questions. You are not the one who made the program, so you don’t know anything about the ins and out of it. That is what I am saying and making a comparison to a fertility doctor. If a patients have questions regarding its method of fertility then patients should be able to speak to the doctor not her secretary which is who you are

 

For a brief moment I was offended at that remark and other questions and statements within the email, but quickly got over it after a quick eyeroll and smirk.  While that may sound flippant, it was then that I realized my worth and value to each and every one of my clients.

 

And, although the words secretary, executive assistant, administrative coordinator, office coordinator, administrative assistant, etc., do describe what I do, it is a much broader type of service that a VIRTUAL ASSISTANT provides.

 

Let’s start with this, no matter your title or whether you work on-site or virtually, our role requires strong organization, communication and multitasking skills.  We are as vital to a company as any other position, top to bottom.  We are crucial, we all play a part in the success of a company, and frankly, we are proud to do what we do.  We are the backbone to many.

 

Virtual assistants are remote professionals who provide not only administrative support, but we also extend technical support, organizational and strategic advice, operational processes and procedures ideas and manuals, creative assistance, and so much more.

 

The list is endless!

 

·      Email and calendar management (wildly popular and a huge timesaver to clients)

·      Data entry, correspondence, document production, database management

·      Travel arrangements, flower orders, gift purchasing

·      Customer support

·      Social media and content management

·      Bookkeeping

·      Research – market and product

 

How do we help businesses?

·      Increased productivity

·      Cost-effective

·      Flexibility

·      Expertise

·      Time management

·      Operational efficiency

 

Lastly, we can provide emotional support and an ear to business owners.  In fact, I have one client who sometimes needs encouragement to get out of bed, and I am that person to her.

 

Overall, we are a valuable asset that helps businesses run more smoothly, efficient and cost-effectively.  We are MORE than “just a secretary.”

 

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