Monthly Archives: March 2017


How to Choose a Telephone Answering Provider: Is a Large Call Centre Right for Your Business?

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

If you’re looking to outsource your calls, or simply get a little support during your busiest times, you may be on the search for a telephone answering service. Just like most services out there, there’s a huge range to search through from the husband-and-wife team to the offshore call centres that employ hundreds of call agents. It’s important to really whittle down exactly what you need and would like from your telephone answering service; what are you looking to achieve? Keep this in mind when you’re looking at company websites and making any initial enquires. Don’t be lured in by a promise of low prices if it means that your service will be compromised and you wont be getting the outcome you’re looking for. Remember that different businesses have different call needs, for example a small family business may be looking for a more personal service from a smaller team of call agents who know their business, and even their regular customers. This type of service may come with a slightly higher price tag, but to a business built on reputation and customer service, it would be well worth it. Whereas a very large company may receive a large volume of calls and just be focused on keeping costs down with less or little focus on personal service.

call agent headset

Is a Call Centre service right for you?

Only recently the likes of Time Warner, Dell and Capital One admitted that they had outsourced all of their call operations offshore as it proved to be far more cost effective for them. If it works for them, it may well work for you, you just need to be fully aware of where and how your calls are being answered before handing them over to a call centre.

The cons of using a call centre

Be sure that you really know where in the world your calls are being answered. Low cost services may be a sign that the call centre is based outside of the UK. Don’t assume that a UK head office means that the call agents answering your calls are necessarily based there. If your calls will be answered abroad, bear in mind that there may be some linguistic barriers caused by accent and culture that potentially make clear communication with your customers more troublesome.

Limited or no knowledge of your business

Call centres can have hundreds of call agents, and the reduced prices you pay result in reduced training. Any one of their vast bank of staff could answer your call, and it’s unrealistic to think that each member of the team will be familiar with your business or even what products or services you provide. They will have no knowledge of your important or repeat customers, and unable to answer even basic questions about your business making it clear to the caller that their call has not been answered in-house.

Less control over how your calls are answered

With low prices charged by call centres often comes a ‘one-size-fits-all’ model whereby your calls will be answered to a set template by the call agent. Smaller telephone answering services allow you to form your own script which tells the call agent how you’d like your callers to be greeted., the questions you’d like asked and the information you’d like collected. Your script can be shaped to fit your business type and your customer service identity. It can be repeatedly charged as your business grows or as your needs change. Be aware that call centres may not offer you this freedom, and you may have little control over how even the most basic information is collected.

You and your business will be anonymous

It’s unlikely that with so many clients using a call centre that you’ll be assigned an account manager, or that any member of the management team will be familiar with your business. This may cause problems when resolving any concerns or enquiries regarding your account or how your calls are being handled.

Customer Service

All of the above lead to a slightly lower level of basic customer service. Remember that the lower cost of your service is reflected in the wages paid to call agents. There may be little or no incentive for call agents to offer good customer service to your callers. Call centre agents have high rates of burnout and turnover (Ameyo).

Remember that making a phone call can be your potential customer’s first interaction with you, and the company answering that call can make you a new customer or taint your customer service reputation. It’s not a minefield if you put a little time and consideration into choosing your telephone answering provider by deciding what you really need from the service.

For a personal and reliable service that works around your call needs have a look at our website: csnotepad

Get More From Your BT Phone Line by Adding Call Features

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Small problems or annoyances when it comes to your landline calls can often be solved by adding a call feature to your BT service. In this blog we highlight the available features with a little information on how to use them effectively and their cost.

landline phone

  • Ring Back – If you call an engaged number, this feature will call you back once the line becomes free. Ring Back will keep trying for 45 minutes.

Once Ring Back has been added to your account simply press 5 on your handset when the line is engaged. Listen to the confirmation message and then return the handset. The phone will ring once the line you were calling becomes available.

  • Call Waiting – adding this to your package will let you know when another caller is trying to reach you when you are already on a call. You will hear a discreet beep while the new caller will be told that you are aware they are waiting, you then have the choice to take the new call.
  • Caller Display – this feature lets you know who is calling, you can then decide whether you’d like to answer the call or not. This call feature needs compatible equipment which will allow you to view the number calling.

Caller Display costs £1.75 a month with BT Privacy. But you can sign up and get BT Privacy with Caller Display free for a year.

  • Call Sign – this feature allows you to assign numbers to a different ring tone. You’ll then know who the call is for or who is calling by the different ring tone.
  • BT Text – enables you to send text messages (SMS) from your landline to other landlines or mobiles in the UK.
  • 3-Way-Calling – have 2 other people on the same conversation, this even works for international numbers so it offers a great way to stay in touch with loved ones.
  • Reminder Call – a very useful little feature which allows you set a reminder or even a wake up call. Just press * 55 * on your handset followed by the time you’d like the reminder, this should be in 24 hour clock, followed by the #.

For example, if you would like a wake up call at 7:30am, press * 55 * 0730 #

To cancel the reminder press # 55 #

To check the reminder time press *# 55 #

  • Call Divert – divert your calls to any number, even a mobile. For more on this particular feature read our blog on Call Diverting
  • Call Barring – gives you control over the calls that can be made from your landline, or numbers that are incoming. This is an effective way of managing your phone bill. For example you can bar calling from your landline to mobile numbers, international numbers or premium numbers.
  • BT 1471 – by pressing 1471 you will be told the last number to call your phone.
  • BT 1571 – this is a personal voicemail service allowing callers to leave you a message if you’re unable to take their call.

How much do call features cost…

  • One Calling Feature – £4.25 a month
  • Two to four Calling Features – £8.50 a month
  • Five or more Calling Features – £11.50 a month

Know Your Service: CSnotepad Offers More Than Just Message Taking

Monday, March 13th, 2017

When it comes to answering calls, a great number of telephone answering services just offer a name, number and message service. Although this simple service can prove perfectly adequate for many businesses, did you know that there’s more options, more personalisation and more possibilities with CSnotepad?

telephone pen and message pad

Choose a virtual receptionist not just a human answering machine!

If you choose to use our service, there’s plenty of options for you to take advantage of. Once we’ve answered your call with your personalised business greeting, we can patch the call through to you. Call patching is when one of our trained agents will take some basic details from your caller, place the caller on hold, then contact you on the number you have specified and ask if you’d like to take the call. We can patch all calls through to any mobile or land line number, or we can patch just calls that meet the criteria you’ve set – such as new enquiries or important customers, ensuring that you are never disturbed unnecessarily. You can choose to take the call if it’s something you wish to deal with, or alternatively you can use the caller details we will forward on to you to return the call at your convenience.

We can be a personalised switch board as well as a receptionist.

After answering a call, we can patch it through to the best member of your team to deal with it. We can work with you to produce simple criteria; perhaps you would like one member of your team to take any calls associated with new enquiries, while another should take any complaints or order queries. This will ensure each call is dealt with efficiently without disturbing you or members of your team that aren’t in a position to assist. You may want us to put in place a sequence of 2 or even 3 people you’d like us to try patching calls through to if you or other members of your team are busy.

These possibilities add another level of support to your business and drastically improve your customer satisfaction. You can use us as a trusted handler of your calls every day, or divert to us during your busiest times or when you’re on holiday. You’ll be assigned an account manager who will be happy to listen to your needs and discuss the best ways in which we can support you and your business.

For more information on these services and others offered by csnotepad visit our website here.

How to Set Up a Call Divert on Your iPhone

Monday, March 6th, 2017

Forwarding calls from your iphone to another number can be a very useful feature. There may be times when you wish to divert to a telephone answering service like ours, or to another number when you are busy or away on holiday for example.

iphone

Be aware that not all carriers allow call forwarding, and some may charge so it’s worth checking with your carrier first. If you try the instructions below and the call forwarding doesn’t work or wont activate, it may be a carrier issue and not something you’re doing wrong!

How to set up your divert:

  • Tap the ‘Settings’ icon on your home screen
  • Scroll down until you find ‘phone’ – tap
  • Look down the list and select ‘Call Forwarding’
  • Tap the icon switch on the right of the screen, it will turn from white to green once activated, it may take a few moments to activate.
  • ‘Forward To’ will appear below – tap
  • Now enter the phone number that you would like your incoming calls to be diverted to, don’t forget to include the area code if this is a land line. Once completed, tap ‘Call Forwarding’ at the top left of the screen.

Make sure that you enter the number correctly. Your phone will not tell you if the number does not exist, callers will simply not get through to your mobile or the diverted number.

There aren’t any further settings here to edit such to only divert when engaged but it’s a simple on-or-off feature which can prove very useful.

Useful tip:

To know whether your calls are being diverted at a glance, look to the top right of your phone at any time – beside the battery charged percentage icon you should see a small phone and arrow icon if call divert is active.

If you have previously set-up a call divert but want to change the number:

  • Tap the ‘x’ to the right of the number once you are in the call forwarding menu. You can now enter the new number that you wish to divert to and once completed tap ‘Call Forwarding’.

Switching off your call divert:

  • Tap the ‘Settings’ icon on your home screen
  • Scroll down until you find ‘phone’ – tap
  • Look down the list and select ‘Call Forwarding’
  • Tap the icon on the right of the screen to deactivate call forwarding, it will change from green to white once deactivated, it may take a few moments.

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Call 01273 741400 or email info@csnotepad.co.uk
Opening Hours *Telephone answering is available for customers 24/7
  • Monday 8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Tuesday 8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Wednesday 8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Thursday 8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Friday 8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Saturday 9:00am - 3:00pm
  • CSnotepad
  • Gemini House
  • 136-140 Old Shoreham Road
  • Brighton
  • East Sussex
  • BN3 7BD