Having a good relationship with your virtual assistant can be such a huge source of relief. Tasks that you no longer want to take care of yourself can simply be handed off with confidence that they’ll get done the way you want them done.

How do you make your relationship with your VA one that will last? Here are a few tips.

=> Give Crystal Clear Directions

Vague descriptions like “Clear my schedule” or “Book an appointment with X” can be very easy to mess up. Instead, make sure you provide crystal clear directions, including what your criteria is for a job well done.

For example, for booking appointments, you might tell your assistant:

“Please book me an appointment between 9am and 5pm with Jill. Prefer a restaurant meet rather than in my office. Let her choose what kind of food, I like all kinds. If she doesn’t have a recommendation, just pick a high rated place for us from Yelp. Please email me the date once it’s booked and also send me a text reminder the day of.”

Clear directions make it easy for VAs to follow and leave little to chance.

=> Create Process Documents for Repetitive Tasks

For repetitive tasks like checking email, booking travel, setting appointments and so on, create process documents that outline how you want the process accomplished.

For example, with booking travel, the process document might say something like:

1 – Please book all travels on my MasterCard ending in 5479.

2 – Please send the receipt to receipts@mydomain.com

3 – Please check Expedia, Kayak and Orbitz for the best price before booking the ticket.

4 – Please also check two days before and after the date I specified for the best price, unless I specify that the flight has to be on a certain date.

5 – Please email me telling me when the flight is booked. Add it to my Google Calendar. Please also send me a reminder two days before my trip.

Once you have your process document set up, you can just send your VA a message like “Please book me a flight to New York around Nov 2nd” and know that it’ll be taken care of exactly the way you want it.

=> Tell Them When They’re Doing Things Right

Make sure you tell your VA when they’re doing things right. So many bosses make the mistake of only correcting their employees, which gives them the impression that they’re not doing their job right.

Creating the sense that they’re a great assistant will make it a self-fulfilling prophecy. Someone who feels like they’re doing a great job is much more likely to do a great job. Showing appreciation for a job well done can go a long way.

Managing your VAs well is the key to having a long-lasting relationship with your assistant. Remove potential friction points by making all your assignments crystal clear. Lay out process documents for repetitive tasks. Make sure you let your assistants know when they’re doing a good job.