The beauty of a web-based business is that you have complete control over how you present yourself to the rest of the world. Your website is your shop front and with a little thought, you can make even the smallest business look like a serious contender — but how about the service? How about the communication? When customers interact with your business, are you able to maintain the professionalism to match your online image?

There is no reason to disclose who works for you, how many people or indeed, any other numbers associated with your business; instead, it is the quality of service and attention to the details of customer interaction that will tell people how big, or how successful, your company really is.

It’s every small business owner’s dream to be able to employ a marketing department, a sales department, a design department, a customer service department – all producing impressive revenue generating material, converting prospects, and keeping customers happy. This isn’t an unattainable dream, but for a small business, it takes an innovative approach to stay on budget.

At Boldly we handle the back-end processes for numerous clients, from ecommerce order management and customer service, to live-chat, to email marketing and design – so we know a thing or two about helping small businesses maintain a professional image. It is entirely possible for a small business owner to pull in the resources they need with a virtual team – the key is that the team be an integral part of your business so that from the customer’s perspective it is seamless. When you work with a team that is committed to the success of your business, your customers should have no reason to suspect that anyone they interact with at your company isn’t a full-time employee.

Here are 3 tips:

1) When you hire virtual resources that will be communicating with your customers directly, make sure that they are able to represent your brand professionally, and deliver a quality of service that leaves your customers impressed. Don’t cut corners on direct customer contact. If you are on a very tight budget and can’t afford a premium assistant, then opt for email and live chat support rather than phone support.

2) Set up auto-responders on your contact forms to let customers know that you have received their message, and when they can expect a reply. There is nothing worse than feeling as though an email or a contact form submission has disappeared into a dark hole.

3) Choose a virtual assistant company that can offer a range of services – a dedicated assistant for admin, customer-service, or marketing and social media activities, and an expanded team for design, web development and other specialist functions. By selecting a company that you work with closely, who can support you with multiple functions, and who’s team really gets to know your business, it will allow your virtual team to become a seamless extension of your business.