intelligent virtual assistants

Deciding Between Virtual Assistants and Intelligent Virtual Assistants

With the Internet as vast as it is today, it can be difficult to know what information is correct, and what’s not. For instance, many people are misinformed about intelligent virtual assistants and virtual assistants.

Although people have been led to believe that intelligent virtual assistants and virtual assistants are one and the same, the truth is that the two are distinct.

Intelligent Virtual Assistants

PCMag defines an intelligent virtual assistant as “an application that lets people ask questions by speaking in their natural language and listening to verbal answers.”

In short, intelligent virtual assistants refer to automated virtual assistants. Siri, Alexa, and Cortana are among the most popular intelligent virtual assistants today. Although these applications can schedule appointments, perform research, and set alarms, they are mostly for personal usage. For example, such assistants cannot take a phone call for you when you are in an important meeting.

Virtual Assistants 

PCMag.com  defines a virtual assistant  as “an individual who works at home performing administrative functions for clients.”

Put simply, virtual assistants are people. They are the people found on websites like Fivver, Upwork, Craigslist, and through independent agencies.

Human virtual assistants are usually freelance workers, who are able to perform a variety of tasks. From scheduling appointments to running research for various employers, they perform key support services. They are able to step in on short notice company and fill gaps in any business.

Finding Middle Ground 

There is one key problem with intelligent virtual assistants: they cannot work with other people at the same time.

X.ai , however, is a company that works around this problem. X.ai uses the AI personal assistants “Amy” and “Andrew”. They sound human-like, and can correspond with multiple parties via email.

Here  is a video showing how Amy helped Harry Wallop, a feature writer for The Telegraph, go through his day.

Now that you know the differences between virtual assistants and intelligent virtual assistants, which type would help you run your business? Find more details on our  FAQ  page, so you can make an informed decision.

Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Photo by Fabian Hurnaus from Pexels

 

Comparing Assistants: Executive, Administrative, Personal, and Virtual

All businesses need assistants, and at VEPAA, we know this well. 

Are you looking for someone to answer phone calls? Follow-up on leads? Or make key decisions that will impact the future of your company? With that in mind, extra hands on deck are always useful.

But choosing the right type of assistant requires research. Thus, understanding the differences amongst varying types of assistants can help small businesses to a great extent.

In order to help you make your decision, here are the major differences amongst different categories of assistants:

Executive Assistant 

Executive assistants can make decisions on behalf of the executive or owner. Their work involves managing communications between the executive, and internal and external parties. They may also be called upon to stand in for the executive at meetings and industry events.

An executive assistant should have superior business thinking. In addition, they should have at least five years of experience in an administrative assistant role. Notably, top earners in this category make over $75,000 annually. 

Administrative Assistant 

An administrative assistant may support one person, or multiple people on various teams. Standard tasks include managing the inventory of office supplies, handling any incoming or outgoing mail and packages, coordinating meeting logistics, and organizing files.

In a corporate environment, administrative assistants often report to the executive assistant.

As a result, two years of experience is usually enough, with a salary around $38,000 annually. 

Personal Assistant  

Are you in search of someone to pick up your kids from baseball practice? Take your pets to the vet? Prepare your meals, or tidy your home? In that case, you’re looking for a personal assistant.

In other words, personal assistants are an integral part of ensuring your daily personal affairs are in order.

They earn up to $15 an hour. Corporate experience is not necessary for this role.  

Virtual Assistant 

A virtual assistant (VA) supports business owners from an offsite location. Through email, web-conferencing, and platforms such as Dropbox and Basecamp, VAs stay connected around the clock.

As a result, VAs perform various tasks. They can do work ranging from managing calendars and bookkeeping, to designing brand materials, and writing for company blogs.

In addition, they are typically self-employed. This means that they pay for their own resources. However, they can work from anywhere in the world.

Fee schedules for VAs differ greatly. They tend to have varying levels of expertise in their respective backgrounds. In addition, most VAs should have experience assisting in non-virtual settings as well. 

In conclusion, all assistants have an important role to play. They help you keep your business operations in order. In addition, they ensure that your work and personal life stay balanced.

Each type of assistant offers useful knowledge and skills. However, it is important to take some time to decide which kind of assistant fits you and your company needs best. 

 

Do you have any details to add to the explanations above? Comment below.