Productivity · Startups

Have you had good (or bad) experiences with any of the virtual assistant services?

Missy Miller Head of Growth at LiveBreathRight

February 24th, 2016

Currently trying to decide which, if any, virtual assistant service to try out - Zirtual, Clara, x.ai, FancyHands, etc. Has anyone had positive or negative experiences with these or any others?

Pilar Manchón Director of Intelligent Digital Assistance & Voice at Intel Corporation

February 25th, 2016

I I think there are 2 separate conversations here. One refers to Digital Virtual Assistants, that is AI that interacts with you In order to perform a service; the other refers to human Virtual Assistant services, part-time outsourced employees that work remotely through an agency. I won't comment on the latter as I have never used these services. As to the former, the growth and advancement in these technologies in the last decade has been magnificent. We will be seeing a lot of expert Digital Assistants providing high quality services on behalf of customer-oriented providers.

Dr Jr Managing Principal at CNC Group, LLC

February 24th, 2016

I've had a very good experience with Virtual Helping Hands at 800 934-7718.

Paul Chambers Founder, Nymble Technology

February 24th, 2016

I've been using x.ai - works well for me, for the specific domain it tackles.

Other services offer considerably more breadth, but I can't justify their pricing, for my needs.

You've covered quite a spectrum with the services you've named, have you made a list of must have/nice to have capabilities?

Could you cover them with one or more specialized services, or do you need the integration only a single human being can provide?

Kristian Widjaja Founder@jonajo.com. Now hiring iOS & Android engineers, and engineering managers!

February 24th, 2016

I think Virtual Assistants could work very well as long as you set good expectations and keep good lines of communications. This holds true for any working relationship. More than 50% of my staff works remotely, so in that environment Virtual Assistants are a natural addition. Here is the company that I have been using: virtualassistants.today . They are based in the US and have assistants in US timezones, i.e. Latin America. I would highly recommend them.

For full disclosure: I helped start http://virtualassistants.today . Missy, if you need a virtual assistant now, I can match you up with one of their best assistants.

Russell Parrott Linking entrepreneurs, new and expanding businesses, investors and professionals that have or can with those that need

February 25th, 2016

As my Partner is a *true and proper* (meaning qualified etc.) Virtual Assistant we have 'lots' of knowledge and understanding. One aspect that is vitally important with any VA is continuity. A true and proper VA is and should be like your proper PA, therefore you build a relationship with him/her. With many of the VA services out there you do not have that facility as many (not all) farm work out on a 'who's available/who's available next' basis. You need to remember things like confidentaility, trust etc. That is why you should build a relationship with a dedicated VA. OK may be slightly more expensive BUT you are allowing 'them' access to the inner workings of your business. - again back to trust and ability - qualifications/certifications etc. Also have seen many VA's from 'non-native speaking' countries, particularly English who are often very inexpensive; but their overall command of language, culture and general experience is altogether very poor which means more time making corrections rather than doing 'real work'. Find the right person in the first place and over a time they will repay any cost difference you many times. Russell Parrott VeeSeeLink https://veeseelink.com Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/veeseelink Follow us on Twitter - https://twitter.com/veeseelink

James Forte International Technology Innovator - Timeshare Expert

February 25th, 2016

I'm not sure I understand how a VA would be useful. Seems like it would all require a human, and more time explaining the task than just doing it yourself. 

Shingai Samudzi

February 25th, 2016

I have had some success working with virtual assistants on Upwork. My key was to have a very strict and organized process for vetting candidates, as well as providing them with adequate guidance around work processes.

Amy Vernon Audience Development. Community, content & product. Prize-winning journalist & writer. Connector of people & ideas.

February 25th, 2016

I'm a huge, huge fan of x.ai. Been a beta user since almost the beginning. It's saved tons of time for me and has even fooled people who thought he was an A.I. (because I mentioned that in the email to them), but he was so good that they couldn't believe he wasn't "real."

The team is incredibly responsive and takes all feedback. They'll also tell you ways to work around features that haven't been built out yet.


Robert Swisher Robert Swisher is Founder of a stealth mode startup and CTO & Co-founder at FestPop. Previously CTO at Business.com.

February 25th, 2016

Fancy Hands has been great as long as you pass tasks that you're ok not being done exactly the way you might do it.