Don’t Call Her a Secretary: Executive Assistant Confidential

The Gatekeeper

Whether a Los Angeles car service is looking to bid for a large scale corporate account with a company such as Discovery communications or is seeking clients in the local business travel market, there comes a moment where each sales rep will come into contact with the mightiest of gatekeepers.  This is someone to be feared and respected: the Executive Assistant

Maintaining a large scale corporate account requires more than just a friendly rapor; it involves a strong foundation based on relationship building skills and consistent delivery of quality service.  Most executive assistants are often juggling three tasks or more at a time. What they want is consistent, hassle free car service that is completed without incident each time, every time-especially with principals of the account.  There are very few second chances for a Los Angeles mousine Service when dealing with a high stakes account.   Make no bones about it; if you make their job any harder than it needs to be, an executive assistant will see to it that you are replaced.

Building and Maintaining Relationships

Providing chauffeur driven service to a major corporate account requires the maintenance of a living, breathing relationship as opposed to just placing reservations. Whether it be a small, mid-sized or larger car service, the necessity for maintaining a transparent and freely communicative relationship cannot be understated.  This may include often include face time during lunch meetings,where performance reviews of any recent incidents can be brought to light.  Any questionable blips on the track record of a town car service can be addressed face to face and figured out together.  It’s also a chance to work on establishing fluid lines of communication; both in person and electronically.

While some assistants may prefer correspondence and bookings to be completed electronically (email, text and web portal), business boils down to individuals, and the relationships that they make and maintain

A Nation Of Assistants

There is not a single fortune 500 company on the top of their game today that could have made it without their Assistants. Irrespective of the wordplay attached to their various titles, they play a pivotal role in the corporate business world. There are numerous types of assistants, such as ExecutiveAdministrative or Personal. Their job description is simple: handle and take care of all the internal mechanisms that allows an Executive’s day to run fluidly. They are often called the “worker bees of the business hive”. You may receive an order one day from a A.A. and think that they’re  identifying as a recovered alcoholic. An Administrative Assistant-as they are often referred to- are just one of many titles that anyone in the Limo Service industry better get to know-and fast!

Personal Assistant

Handles the light work in an individual’s business, and private life; running errands, scheduling appointments for a salon, setting up a round of golf with their bosses’ clients. The job is often more personal in function, as it often delves into the non-professional needs and desires of the client that is served.

Executive (Administrative) Assistant

Work with high-level executives. They usually have a college degree and are trusted with very high stakes affairs of the executive they work for. Their tone, when spoken on behalf of the boss, reflects the voice, vision and direction of the Executives they work for. An EA is the behind the scenes guardian of an Executive’s business life. They are essentially trained to deal with anything that may impede the productivity of his day.

Office Assistant

Provides a varied level of support in the office by filing, data entry, making copies, sending faxes and answering phones. They may be tasked for light errands  in some companies, but may also be given deadlines on various short term projects

Marketing Assistant

Works in the marketing division of a company. Their job covers everything from overseeing productions timetables to managing deadlines with outside vendors. The marketing work they handle may include work with TV, video, or multi media web productions.

Production Assistant

These assistants usually reside in the film or television industry and manage the various facets of a successful production. They are often given the title of PAs and might be given the tasks of managing a certain segment of a work in progress. For example, the transportation needs of a special guest on a cooking show might be handled by a PA.  PAs also make sure guests are on time for their appearance on set.

Virtual Assistant

There are two types of virtual assistants in our modern age.  The first are the kind of virtual assistants we see on devices, such as “Siri”. Hopefully, you won’t have to book car service to the airport with Siri in the near future. The second type is a person that often works from ‘the comfort’ of their own home as an assistant to various groups and individuals that contract the assistants to answer phone lines and handle light administrative duties from a remote location. Smaller offices may employ virtual assistants to book travel arrangements.

Administrative Assistant

An Administrative assistant handles task such as filing and typing and must be thoroughly computer literate and have great phone etiquette.  While they are often in charge of booking appointments and arranging travel itineraries for a company or individual, their function is critical to many of the company’s day to day mechanics. The position was once called a “secretary,” which is now considered patronizing and “old-school.”

Ease Their Burden

Many Administrative Assistants I interviewed for this article have the tremendous responsibility of handling travel arrangements for their department.  When booking car service or hotel accommodations, they want to know that everything will go as planned and that reservations and confirmations are checked and then checked again.  Many Assistants have told me that building and maintaining a personal relationship with a Limo vendor inspires the confidence that their boss will not be let down.  And that someone they can call a “friend” from consistent and repetitive contact will have their back and ensure that no snafus will occur.

Making It Right

The truth is that the the Los Angeles Limo industry is run by humans, not robots. So when human errors do occur during travel, it’s often up to the Assistant to make it right- immediately. A serious service issue could mean the end of the relationship. Yet in a strong and well maintained relationship, two-way communication should be swift and forthcoming.  Honest and transparency should be practiced to handle any shortcomings and a new and improved system of checks and balances should be instituted post-incident.

Common Gifting Mistakes

Contrary to popular belief, sending gifts to assistants is not always the brightest idea. Some corporations forbid employees from accepting gifts that might be considered a kick-back.  Although you may be tempted to send flowers, ask before committing a faux pas. However, comping a limousine to an assistant on her anniversary could be an appropriate gesture, if allowed.  The gesture may also give the assistant a chance to see your chauffeur service from a business point of view and experience the quality of the same top tier service you give to her boss. What they really want, however is that you help make their jobs as uncomplicated as possible.

Special Thanks: Jimm Luff

Image: thecubiclerebel.wordpress.com

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