The scale and scope of the relationship are the main difference between a virtual assistant and a secretarial service. While your secretarial services are providers for typing, word processing, data entry and other office support services, a virtual assistant provide specialized services in addition to general secretarial and clerical work. Services include specialized services such as graphic design, writing, web design, event planning and bookkeeping.
There is no partnership involved. Thus, no partnership is involved between them. On the other hand a virtual assistant works in a relationship. If the relationship is ongoing, they tend to work together with the same people daily. Because of the nature of the relationship, a Virtual Assistant can only work with a relatively small number of clients.
A level of trust for a Virtual Assistant and a home based secretary differs. A Virtual Assistant becomes his right hand of the person assisted. By working together your VA gets to know more about the client, his business and his customers. She/ he become a partner in his success. Most Virtual Assistant are business owners so it is easier for them to understand the importance of client relationships. Whereas, a home based secretary does not find it necessary to know clients and their business well. As the task given is just task oriented, the level is trust does not need to be high.
A Virtual Assistant does secretarial work, but as partner, she often does much more than that, and it often crosses over into supporting the client in personal matters as well as professional where as a home based secretary provides a value, which is commodity, based through a select set of secretarial services offered.
By learning more about the client, his life, his business and his customers, a virtual assistant will be able to support his clients in a better way and can create more value. Thus, a virtual assistant creates value for his/her clients through a dynamic learning process.