fbpx

This Belizean Virtual Assistant Is Bridging Borders Through Exceptional Service

by | Dec 20, 2023 | 0 comments

Image description: Kachiri smiling into the camera, wearing a colourful blouse.

In this student spotlight series, we are highlighting some of our wonderful Virtual Excellence Academy members to share their journeys.

All the ups, downs and surprises on the way to building their dream business. Giving you a realistic insight into where this career path can take you and how it can impact multiple areas of your life! Today, we’re interviewing Kachiri Flores, a member of the VEA since May 2021, who has caught the attention of many for her keen attention to detail in both admin and customer support.

With over ten years of customer service experience and over seven years in professional administration, Kachiri was well equipped to strategically transition that extensive knowledge and experience into the VA space to make waves.

A proud mother of two, she embraces how her new career gives her more opportunities to spend precious time with her family, all while she continues to pave the way for remote entrepreneurs in Belize. Let’s dive into her story!

Hi Kachiri! Let’s start with an introduction: who are you, and what do you do? 

My name is Kachiri Flores and I assist online business owners with their backend administrative, technical, and general tasks. This is so the business owner can have the time they need to focus on bigger tasks or simply spend time with loved ones.

Tell us more about yourself, where you are, and what’s piqued your interest lately.

I’m a single mom of 2 boys and became a full-time virtual assistant in March 2023. I live in Lord’s Bank Village in Belize. Belize is a part of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and shares borders with Mexico and Guatemala. I have 10+ years of customer service experience, 7+ years of professional administrative experience, and 3+ years of virtual assistance experience. Currently, I focus on my business and spending time with my family, but I do love sitting down with a good book.

Why did you decide to become a VA, and how did your lifestyle change after pursuing this career?

Becoming a VA started as a way to earn an extra income while I worked a full-time job. Eventually, I fell in love with the VA work and decided that I would like to do it full-time. It took me 3 years, but I’m glad that I have the VEA community and my accountability buddy, Denesha Robinson, to encourage me on my journey. Now that I’m a full-time VA I noticed that I have more time for my loved ones, freedom to choose when I work and how much I charge, and being able to help out my family in ways I couldn’t before.

As a mother of two, has working as a VA given you more freedom to spend time with your sons?

Working as a virtual assistant has indeed given me the flexibility to spend more time with my sons. As a VA, I can manage my work schedule to align with their school events and other activities. This means I can be there for important moments in their lives and provide the support and presence that they need. It’s been a great benefit of the virtual assistant lifestyle, allowing me to balance work and family life more effectively.

In your home country of Belize, is freelancing/remote working a popular career path? And are potential clients familiar with what Virtual Assistants are?

I am aware of a few Belizeans who do freelancing/remote work for international clients. However, there are still many people and businesses who are not aware of virtual assistants/freelancers or how to work with them. I believe that with more awareness about remote/freelancing work and how businesses can benefit from it, could open a path for more Belizeans to consider remote/freelancing work.

Are you ready…

… for BIG change?

You have a very in-depth administrative skillset – what drew you to the particular niches you serve?

My approach to administrative work has always been rooted in versatility and adaptability. Instead of focusing on a single niche, I chose to work with clients based on their values and needs. I believe that administrative skills are important in all types of businesses, regardless of the industry. This broad perspective allows me to assist a diverse range of clients. By prioritizing my clients’ values over an industry-based niche, I can offer administrative solutions that fit their needs. This has proven to be effective in serving a variety of clients over the years whom I enjoy working with as we share a value system. 

Another key skill of yours is providing excellent customer experience through customer support. Did you find that your ‘offline’ work experiences were easily transferable when entering the VA space?

My first customer service job was offering phone support to US customers. Then, I moved to in-person, phone and email support later in my career. Even though I have worked in different positions and industries, offering great customer service was crucial across the board. The experience I’ve gained from this allows me to provide a smooth customer experience and assist my clients in providing great service for their customers.

Just one of the ways in which you provide top-tier customer experience is by recognizing and embracing cultural differences. What advice would you give to VAs working with clients from different countries/cultures?

First, you have to be willing to keep an open mind. Second, try to learn as much as you can about other cultures. What similarities did you discover? What differences can you learn more about so you can better serve your client?

Remember that serving clients from other countries/cultures means that you can offer something unique to the experience they have with you. Also be mindful of the cultural difference and etiquette so you can be respectful.

Image description: Kachiri smirking into the camera resting her head on her arm.

As a master of various tools with always the right one at hand, what are your top three tools that have become essential to your workflow? 

Can I really only pick three? Lol

  • Google Workspace: This suite of productivity tools is a true lifeline for me – I basically live in it. With multiple Google accounts, it’s the hub where I manage emails, calendars, documents, and collaboration with clients. The seamless integration and widespread use of Google Workspace among clients make it a central part of my everyday work.
  • Clockify: Time tracking is important as a VA, and Clockify has proven to be an efficient solution. It allows me to accurately log hours spent on client tasks, ensuring that I stay on top of billing and maintain transparency in my work process.
  • Asana: Asana is my go-to task management tool. It helps me stay organized by tracking and prioritizing tasks for each client on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. The visual layout and collaboration features make it easier to manage projects and keep everyone on the same page.

    These three tools, among others, play an important role in streamlining my workflow, enhancing productivity, and making sure I can deliver high-quality service to my clients.

    What soft skills did you come to realize were essential to your success online?

    The soft skills that help me to excel in my business are exceptional customer service for building client rapport, effective communication to prevent misunderstandings, organizational abilities to manage multiple tasks, punctuality to maintain professionalism, and a continuous willingness to learn to stay current in a constantly evolving digital space. These skills, which I developed and refined both online and offline, have been essential in my journey as a virtual assistant enabling me to build strong client relationships and have success in the virtual environment.

    Like many of our outstanding VEA alumni, you started by taking the 5 Day VA Challenge – tell us what that experience was like for you and how it impacted the course of your career.

    The 5 Day VA Challenge was an eye-opener for me. It made me realize that most of my offline work experience can be transferred to the online space. The challenge also allowed me to interact and learn about cultures around the world and how virtual assistance is viewed globally by interacting with the other participants of the challenge in the support community.

    Tell us about one struggle you’ve encountered as a VA and what you’ve done or are doing to overcome this.

    One of my main struggles as a non-US-based VA is finding clients. In every industry or career path you will encounter competition and this competitiveness can assist you in your personal and professional growth. For me to be able to stand out from the competition, I’ve put my extensive offline working experience to good use, but more specifically, customer service. Even though I am offering administrative and general virtual assistance services, which is the most common VA service, my 10+ years of customer service experience helped me to stand out. I also make lifelong learning a priority by taking online courses like the VEA to learn new skills or improve on existing ones so I can provide an even better and always up to date service.

    If you had to name a highlighting moment in your online career that you’re proud of, what would that moment be?

    There are many highlighting moments in my online career. But I’ll say my biggest moment came when my first client reached out to me. I didn’t have all the resources I needed to be a virtual assistant, but I decided to just go for it. I knew I had to start somewhere, and starting small and part-time is better than not starting at all. Or in Hannah’s words: “Imperfect Action

    Where do you see yourself and your business five years from now?

    Five years from now, I see myself with my own land and house, maybe along the coast, and growing as a  successful momprenuer. Five years from now, I see my business has expanded into an agency that hires women, specifically single moms, so they can work from home to earn an income and be there for their loved ones.

    Where can people follow you?

    Facebook: Flores Virtual Services
    Instagram: Flores Virtual Services
    LinkedIn: Kachiri Flores

    But, how?

    0 Comments

    Submit a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *