Back in June of
In my 2010 article, my concerns with the term had everything to do with how the media and the general public were interpreting the term Virtual Assistant.
Back then, when people thought virtual assistant they immediately equated it to low-cost, personal assistant type services. It was putting those of us providing specialized and executive level services at a disadvantage. Today, while we still battle the same thing to a certain extent, there is a new element that is the final straw for the term Virtual Assistant as services professionals have used it.
The rise in AI assistants like Siri and Alexa have further diluted the term significantly. In fact, check out this Wikipedia entry for Virtual Assistant, which defines it as a software agent. Say the term virtual assistant and at least half the people in the room are going to be thinking Alexa, not business services. Instead of becoming less confusing, the term has become more ambiguous.
This is why I think it’s time for those of us who provide business to business services remotely to stop using the term to describe what we do.
I stopped using it several years ago, although one or two of my clients still refer to me as ‘their virtual assistant’. I found a term that fit my services and was easier for people to understand. When I tell them I’m an online technology consultant or assistant, they know that I’m here to help businesses adopt things online tech related.
But what about our industry as a whole?
I think the industry should start moving away from the term as well. In fact, I think that the term virtual services provider or remote services provider is far more accurate than the term virtual assistant. Both options give businesses and potential clients a clearer picture of what we provide. It also would separate us from Siri, Alexa and the $4 hour virtual assistants.
What do you think?
Let’s talk about it in the comments or on my Facebook page!