Archive for August, 2009

Administrative Tips – To Be The Best You Can Be!

August 29, 2009

Administrative Assistant/Customer Service Tips:
1. Do you have good phone etiquette? Who’s on the other end of the phone? You never know….Answer with a smile; you can hear it in your voice!
2. Always, always be on time! It shows your dedication, professionalism, and how you like to get a jump on things.
3. As I said before, be on time – even better – get in early. Get the office ready for everyone else; lights/copier on, coffee made, etc.
4. Dress professionally. People will know you are serious about your role and the positive impact you want to make on its customers.
5. Have a good, no a GREAT attitude. This will make people want to be around you, especially your boss! Makes the job easier too.
6. Keep your workspace neat and organized – this implies you are organized and ready to go in an instant!
7. Know your expectations/boundaries – ask if you aren’t 100% clear – this solves problems before they start.
8. Make suggestions on improvements – show your initiative on how you can save the company money – bosses LOVE to save money!
9. Suggest a monthly company newsletter – offer to spearhead it – perhaps have dept heads nominate employee of the month/criteria?
10. Offer to take courses in a skill that might make you more valuable to your boss, i.e., Publisher. You could create marketing materials.
11. Learn to anticipate your boss’s needs. This is a skill that takes dedication and is invaluable to a busy executive!
12. Really develop your follow-up skills. Ask your boss if/when you should follow-up on an item and be sure to do it!13. Set reminders for your bosses scheduled off-site meetings to let him know when he needs to leave – he’ll really thank you for that one!
14. Check the ground rules for when you can interrupt him during a closed door session. Define his emergency interruption criteria.
15. Get a list of people your boss wants to speak to no matter what. Conversely, find out who he wants you to take a message from.
16. Write suggested responses to your boss’s simple business correspondence – this will save him precious time.
17. Be well-versed in Microsoft Office – take online courses to perfect your skills. Check out HP- it’s FREE! –
18. Go the extra distance…when your boss rushes in for an early conference call, get him a cup of coffee or tea. He will be very grateful!
19. Make a point NEVER to run out of ANYTHING. Stock items like batteries for wireless mice or a “stash” of Post It Notes.
20. Always, always try to exceed expectations whether it’s for internal or external customers – it goes a long way in being recognized!
21. Never be afraid to ask if you can challenge your boss’s thinking – it might give him a different perspective on the issue.


How Role-Playing At Administrative Assistant & Customer Service Transformed Me Into A “Can Do” Executive Administrative Assistant!

August 9, 2009

After many years of playing boss and assistant with my younger sister, trading roles day after day, we had amassed a huge box of files for the fictitious problems we solved as well as the copiously chronicled meeting notes, final determinations, and invoices for our services. 

We had lots of time to develop the characters we morphed into when we played “office” way back then as we were always in trouble and getting grounded for weeks at a time; sequestered to the attic bedroom we shared.  You know the one without air conditioning or adequate ventilation.  To make matters worse, the walls were lined with knotty pine; a light colored wood with dark knots riddled through it in random patterns.  The biggest problem being in that room was we “saw” things in those random patterns that scared the bejesus out of us.  We had to come up with intricate games to pass the time and take our minds off of the scary details revealed to us on the walls, especially when school wasn’t in session and we had 8-12 hours of quiet time to fill. 

 I had a chance to review that box of files when my parents moved out of our original home when I was in my late teens and marveled at how intricate and complex a system we had!  We cross-referenced files under the client name as well the subject of the issue, i.e., pet-related.  This way we could do research on all pet- related and/or all particular client specific issues more easily.  We came to the conclusion we needed this redundancy as we had a heck of a time trying to research all pet-related events one day.  We were pretty darn smart even back then! 

Looking back on the entire role playing scenario, we had already defined ourselves as customer service/administrative professionals with a propensity to improve our processes as needed to increase our efficiencies way back then.  It certainly is true that necessity is the mother of invention.  And the need to increase efficiency has stayed with me all these years. 

 As a successful executive administrative assistant, you MUST be able to increase your efficiencies to expedite the time it takes you to complete your duties so you can take on more responsibility/tasks as well as increase your worth by saving the company money.  I’ve saved money for every company I’ve ever worked for by improving processes.

 It’s just that simple, especially if you want to excel!