Monthly Archives: August 2016

Personal Calls & Business Calls: Avoid the Need for 2 Mobile Phones

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

When it comes to business, every call matters. Using your personal mobile as your business phone may seem like the perfect solution, after all, you carry you mobile with you everywhere so what better way to ensure you never miss a call. In this blog we discuss why using your personal mobile is bad for business, bad for your sanity and bad for your work life balance. Find out how a virtual receptionist can support you and eliminate the need for a second phone.

Mobile Phone Post It Note

Using your personal mobile as your business number gives you no privacy, and erodes any separation between your home-life, and your work-life. When will your work day finish? Being able to ‘leave the office’ is important, you need to be able to deal with work issues in work hours, yet when using your personal mobile as your business number you’ll struggle to escape interruption. Don’t just assume that your customers will be kind enough to only call you between the hours of 9 and 5, think again, you’ll be surprised and if you answer their call once out of your work hours, you’ll set a precedent for taking calls at unsociable times. Monitoring your incoming calls and knowing which to answer and which to leave is a minefield, how will you know who’s calling if their number isn’t already in your phone book?

How will you choose to answer calls from unknown callers, professionally or personally, with a business greeting or a friendly general greeting? If it’s a new customer enquiry wouldn’t it be best to answer with the business name and give the very best first impression? But do you really want to be answering the phone to your friends and family with a business greeting, funny perhaps, but how can you take the risk of it not being a work related phone call? Equally, consider your voicemail greeting, would this be a business message or a general polite greeting, wouldn’t work enquiries benefit from knowing they’ve reached the right number, but wouldn’t personal callers question whether they’ve reached the right person if they’re greeted unexpectedly with a business voicemail? There are so many issues to overcome that you may feel that achieving some separation between your work and your life is only possible with another phone. Buying another mobile phone and keeping this number solely for business related enquiries may seem like a great solution, there’s the obvious expense of maintaining two mobile phone contracts, but you’re also now carrying around two mobile phones, one in each pocket. One rings and you reach for the wrong pocket, looking hard at the phone you take a moment to remember which phone is which and stumbling on how to answer….then there’s remembering to charge both phones at night! So it’s a solution, but not a solution without a string of inconveniences. Consider that although a mobile phone offers you the flexibility to never miss a call wherever you are, having a mobile number as your only business contact may look unprofessional to potential clients. It signifies that you do not have a land line and therefore no office base, that you my be transient and more difficult to contact if problems arise – ultimately bringing into question the credibility of your business.

Using a telephone answering service offers an easy solution and avoids the need for a second mobile phone. A telephone answering service can answer your calls on your behalf with a professional business greeting, seamlessly acting as a member of your own in-house team. A telephone answering service can provide you with a land line number that will be exclusively yours to give to your business contacts and use on your business cards. All calls to this number can be answered by the call agents, and then patched through to your personal mobile after informing you of who the caller is, or alternatively a message and number can be taken (and sent to you by SMS or email) for you to call back at a time that’s convenient.

A telephone answering service avoids the need to carry around a second mobile phone, they provide you with a land line number, ensure that a call is never missed, and provide you with the professional guise of having your own in house receptionists!

To find out more visit our website, or contact us on 01273 741400.

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Tips for the Perfect Voicemail Greeting Message

Monday, August 15th, 2016

Don’t ignore the importance of a voicemail greeting message, this might be a potential customers first opinion of your business, get it wrong and they might decide not to leave a message and instead call your competitor. In this blog we offer 4 great tips for recording the perfect message.

telephone contact us post it note

Let’s first be clear on what a voicemail greeting message is, this may sound silly but you’d be astounded how often businesses get their message so very wrong.

A voicemail greeting is:
An opportunity to supply your customers with useful information such as business opening hours
An opportunity to create a great first impression through a polite and professional message

A voicemail greeting is not:
A generic impersonal message
A robotic pre-recorded message
An opportunity to upsell your products and services

Here are our top 4 tips for getting it right…

  • Think about background noise
    Find somewhere quiet away from car horns, chatting staff, fans and radios. Avoid recording your message in an echoey room and be sure to listen back to your message paying attention to any shutting doors or rustling papers that you may have unexpectedly recorded.
  • Keep it short and ask for the information you’d like.
    Use your voice message greeting to inform the caller that they have reached the right place. Tell them what you’d ideally like, maybe it’s simply to leave a message, call back during your opening hours or perhaps you’d prefer them to email you. Maybe you’d like to include an email address, you website address or your opening hour details. However, this is not your opportunity to tell them about your newest products, or upsell your services.
    Would knowing the reason for the call help? Could you then ask the best person in your team to call them back, ensuring that their enquiry is dealt with efficiently, rather than requiring multiple calls. Knowing the nature of the call may allow you to have the necessary information to hand (such as an invoice or email) when returning the call. If the caller can only answer your return call during their lunch hour or work hours, this might be helpful to know thus avoiding the frustrating backwards and forwards of left voicemail messages.
  • Keep your message sounding positive.
    Don’t use words like “I’m sorry” “unfortunately” or “sadly” instead use phrases such as “we’re looking forward to hearing from you during our opening times…” If you’re asking people to leave you a message, be positive, say that you “will” call them back, not “try” to call them back. Remember to smile while recording your message, it really does come through in your voice and sound far more upbeat and pleasant to listen to.
  • Practice
    Write a script; you may decide not to read from the script you’ve written, but initially it helps you to create a concise and informative message. Writing a script allows to plan where you want to take a breath. Do a practice recording so you can check the background noise and relax into your script, check that you’re not hurrying it or speaking too slowly.
  • telephone post it note

Time Vampires & How to Beat Them

Monday, August 8th, 2016

A time vampire is anything that sucks the time from your day stopping you from completing the tasks that need your attention, hindering you from maximising your productivity.

Time vampires can be anything from Facebook to talkative colleagues; read our blog to help you pinpoint your own time vampires and possible ways to combat them.


Your colleagues can be your worst time-vampires. Resist the urge to be pulled into office gossip and unnecessary coffee breaks at peoples desks. Keep a close eye on colleagues who approach you mid task and whisper “have you got a minute…”. Talking to others and helping them fulfil their daily tasks not only distracts you from addressing your own priorities while you help them, it also takes more of your time as you struggle to get back into the swing of the task you were absorbed in before the interruption – it’s a time sucker! Set clear guidelines for when you can be disturbed, ensure that your colleagues are aware and respect the time slots you assign to not being disturbed.

Don’t tick boxes – doing things for the sake of it is a poor use of your time and doesn’t help anyone. Look at your task list and question the purpose, if you have a meeting but nothing to report consider rescheduling. A task that was relevant last month may not be relevant the next, always ensure that your time is targeted to areas that really matter, don’t simply retread a well trodden path just because it has always been your routine– you never know how much time you could free up.

Have discipline – we’re all guilty of picking and choosing the tasks we’d rather fit into our day. It’s so easy to put off the jobs we’re not looking forward to doing, but avoidance is never a good use of your time and takes your focus away from the jobs that really need your immediate attention. You need to have the self discipline to step back and analyse your workload, differentiate between urgent and non-urgent tasks and have the strength to face them rather than picking and choosing your workload. Those daunting or tedious tasks are rarely as bad as you expect, and they wont leave your to-do list until you complete them.

Avoid distractions – we can’t always blame others for distracting us, sometimes we’re our own worst enemy. Give yourself a helping hand and remove tempting distractions like Facebook and twitter from easy reach. Treat it as a reward for blitzing through your to-do list, not a crafty way of putting off doing tasks you’re not looking forward to.

Learn to delegate – have faith in your staff and delegate tasks you don’t need to be involved in. Don’t let pride get the better of you, consider who else could satisfy the needs of the jobs further down your priority list, freeing up your time to deal with matters that need your attention.

In short the key to fighting your time vampires is organisation! Organise your workload, organise your day into strict time-slots and organise your distractions to minimise them.

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