Apple's Siri turns a smartphone into a personal assistant that can help business professionals remember appointments, manage goals and a to-do list, make reservations and travel arrangements and find the perfect place to eat lunch with an out-of-town client. With the virtual omnipresence of iPhones and other mobile devices, an increasing number of business people rely on this automated system to manage both company and personal matters. While Siri's benefits are many, they fall short of the type of service a human virtual assistant can provide. Task and Time Organisation With a few words, Siri will schedule and remind people of meetings, business lunches and other deadlines. To-do lists, goal sheets and other organisational and motivational apps work in concert to provide a clear picture of what has to be done every day. As long as a phone is turned on, Siri informs the owner of every step. While this takes the problems of poor memory and disorganisation away from having a successful day, a human virtual assistant can offer more customisation in regard to things that Siri may not know. For one thing, Apple's iPhone helper only knows what the person using it tells it or what can be found online. It will not understand that information gathered at a 2PM meeting may change the need for a 5PM business dinner. An actual person hired to help keep track of appointments can make abstract decisions about the best schedule. Contacts and Conversations Other than face-to-face conversations in the office, the bulk of professional contact is done on mobile phones or over other mobile devices through text. Siri's capabilities include address books, contact lists, voice-activated phone calls, texts and emails among other things. While this assistance helps take care of all the interactive tasks necessary to run a business and a social life, it doesn't save the time or energy required to actually do the calling. Human virtual assistants do more than keep contacts organised and remember conversations. They can actually make the calls, send the texts and emails for the company. Hiring one frees up a lot of time and ensures prompt and professional contact whether an answer is needed, an appointment needs verification or a reminder should be given. Design, Creation and Upkeep Apple's Siri can assist with so many aspects of a business's day-to-day and long term functions. This type of digital virtual assistant offers an unfailing memory, excellent organisation skills and answers to almost any question in seconds. Although human virtual assistants cover these tasks too, they also offer so much more. Each has a particular set of skills to offer, for instance VAs who specialise in design provide eye-catching graphics, professional websites, social media headers, ebook covers and business cards, or VAs who write bespoke content fill sites, blogs, social media pages and newsletters with search engine optimised and attention-grabbing content. Many virtual assistants also handle marketing, updates and upkeep of the websites and social pages that represent any given company. A virtual assistant like Siri simply cannot offer creative benefits like these.
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