Category Archives: Helpful Tips

CSnotepad Explains: What is a Virtual Telephone Number?

Monday, May 21st, 2018

virtual telephone number image

So what is a virtual telephone number? We’re all familiar with a telephone number, so what exactly makes a telephone number virtual? Let’s start with the the dictionary definition of virtual:

Almost or nearly as described, but not completely or according to strict definition…not physically existing as such but made to appear to do so

Ok, so perhaps that didn’t really clear matters up, but let’s look at a couple of examples of virtual numbers in action to make it all become clear…

Example 1: Sole Traders & Start-Ups
At a time when most people rely on their mobile phone and no longer use a land line, sole traders and home start-up businesses can really stand to benefit from a virtual telephone number.

Although a mobile phone offers 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 may be transient and more difficult to contact if problems arise – ultimately bringing into question the credibility of your business. A virtual telephone number can be given that has an area code, and appears to be your land line office number in your local area. This number is however virtual and has no location of its own, and calls made to it will have to be routed to another existing number of your choice, such as your mobile phone for example. Your virtual telephone number can direct calls to any phone you choose, allowing you the flexibility to move just your work related incoming calls to any phone.

Make the most of a virtual telephone number by using it with our call answering service:
CSnotepad can provide you with a virtual number that will be exclusively yours to give to your business contacts, publish on your website and use on your business cards. Our service allows all calls to your virtual number to be answered by our call agents who’ll act as though your own receptionist – further improving the professional image of your business. The call can then be patched through to your personal mobile after informing you of who the caller is, or alternatively a message and number can be taken so you can call back at a time that’s convenient, leaving you free to focus on the areas of your business that really deserve your time and attention.

Example 2: Grow Your Geographical Business Reach
Businesses know that many potential customers may be drawn to local solutions when looking for services and products. By using one or several virtual numbers, businesses can take advantage of area codes that place them in different places around the country, even though they don’t have a physical presence there. The different virtual numbers can improve visibility on online search engines when the search term is location sensitive, helping market to new audiences. Several virtual telephone numbers can also help businesses to look larger and more nationally established which may help with buyer confidence.

At CSnotepad we work with national and international businesses, offering telephone answering services that include help desk support, order taking, payment processing and diary management.

Avoid Phone Downtime: Familiarise Yourself with How to Update Your Telephone Number Details

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

update and arrow image

We’d all like to think that phone related problems wont occur, but it’s just not possible to guarantee. Often the source of the problem is something we have absolutely no control over, but unlike many of our competitors who’ll just sit back and wait it out, we’ve invested heavily in contingencies that will reroute around any problems to minimise its impact on your business. If there’s a problem with your actual number, even if it’s not supplied by us, we can give you an alternative number until the problem’s resolved. However, this is only a solution if you know how to update your number on the places where it appears…

Do you know where and how to update your contact number?

Your website should be the first place you update with your new temporary number. If you’re not able to update your website yourself, make sure you know who to contact to make an important update so that customers can continue to reach you. It might be worth considering other key places that your phone number appears, such as any online advertising. Many customers may also find you through an online search engine, so familiarising yourself with how to access and update your Google account is a worthy task.

Do you know the best way to tell your customers of a change in contact number?

If you need to get a message out to your clients, potential customers and suppliers, what’s the quickest and most effective way for you to do this? If you have a strong following on your social media sites, this could be a good place to post a message with your new temporary number. If you have an up to date mailing list in place, this could be another quick and effective method to keep your customers informed.

It’s worth putting a few notes together so that you or members of your team know exactly what should be done if you need to change to a temporary number. A few things worth including might be:

Contact details of website administrator
Log in details for your Google account
Log in details for your social media accounts
Where to locate your most recent mailing list

Starting Your Business in 2018? Benefit from Our Virtual Address

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

office in hand image

Is 2018 the year that you’re going to launch your business?

You don’t have to wait until your business is turning a comfortable profit to take steps to increase its credibility and clout within your sector. It’s likely that you’ll start your business from home, and there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s how most start, even Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon) started business from his garage! But starting a business from home and using your home address for all interactions with your customers has its downfalls. You don’t have to wait to take worthy (and cost effective!) steps to increasing your business’s standing and appeal to customers in a competitive market. Did you know that having a virtual address is an easy and stress free step to building validity for your business while you continue to run your business from home?

Why you might want a virtual address…
A residential address doesn’t give the best first impression to potential customers, however professional you and your business may be, you can’t blame customers for feeling a little uneasy when they search your address on Google Maps and see you’re based from your front room! How will a residential address look on your business cards? Perhaps you think it doesn’t matter, but imagine you are your target audience who are inundated with other businesses offering similar products or services. A residential address does little to offer reassurance that you’re well established, successful within your sector, professional and easily contactable if problems should arise. You should avoid giving your potential customers such an easily avoidable reason to look elsewhere.

As well as thinking about the affect using your home address may have or the credibility of your business, you’d do well to also consider the possible implications for you and your family. You might experience a lack of privacy and feel uneasy giving out your home details, particularly as your database of contacts starts to grow. Depending on the nature of your business, you may find it inconvenient receiving business supplies and deliveries to your home address too.

A virtual address is an easy and affordable solution…
At CSnotepad we offer a virtual address service. We can provide you with our Brighton and Hove address – this address will become your own to use as you wish, print it on your business cards, use it for your invoicing and even use it for all correspondence and deliveries. Get the credibility you and your business deserves by having a Brighton and Hove business address, while benefiting from a valuable separation between work and home communications. All post that arrives for your business can either be forwarded onto your home address, or you can collect it at your convenience. Letters can even be scanned and emailed over to you for speed and ease if this is your preference.

Talk to us today about having a virtual address and giving your new business the best start while keeping your costs low. Call us on 01273 741400.

How to Add a User to Your Paypal Business Account & Control Their Access

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

paypal cart image

If you’re thinking of using our order taking service, you may be a little apprehensive about how we process payments via your business PayPal account, how secure your sensitive information is and how to limit what we can access.

With our order taking service, our priority is taking your customer orders and processing each payment securely. To achieve this we recommend that you make us an additional user of your PayPal account. Don’t worry, we will only have the ability to put money in not out, and you have full control over the information we see.

This blog takes you step by step through how to add a new user to your PayPal account.

As the primary holder of your PayPal account you automatically have full access to all areas and functions of your account, but this doesn’t have to be the case for any additional users you give access to. Controlling what a new user can see and do is called ‘account privileges’ and includes the ability to:

Edit your profile
View your account balance
Send payments
Make refunds
Withdraw funds
Cancel payments
Discuss the account with customer services

Your users can be given permission to access all of these privileges or none of them. Their access is fully manageable and can be adjusted at any time.

How to add a new user:

1) Log in to your PayPal account.

2) Click on your business profile and select ‘Profile & Settings’

3) Choose ‘My Settings’

4) Click ‘Get Started’ next to “Manage Users” ( please note – only the primary holder can access this, your additional users cannot add new users)

5) Click ‘Add Users’ (please note – you may be asked to enter your account or credit card number to verify your identity)

6) Enter the name of the user you’d like to add then create them a username and password

7) Click which account privileges you’d like your new user to have – click save.

Give the username and password that you created to us. These are the only details that we’ll need to sign into your PayPal account. We won’t be logging in as you, and rest assured that you’re still able to access your PayPal account even when we’re processing payments for you.

You can add up to 200 separate users, all with their own selection of user privileges in line with their role and responsibilities within your business.

We Will Always Recruit Great Candidates – Even if We’re Not Advertising!

Monday, September 25th, 2017

recruitment magnifying glass image

Don’t wait for us to advertise a position, get in touch, we are always recruiting if you’re the right kind of person – we know how valuable you are!

We offer full training for any position within our company, but from our experience we know that some things we just can’t train. We’re always on the lookout for people that have the right mindset to be a real credit to our team. A positive ‘can-do’ attitude, a willingness to offer great service as standard, a dedication to the role and appreciation for the important part you play within the bigger team are key traits we look for. It’s people like you that enable us to continue the great customer service we offer and maintain a positive and enjoyable working environment. It may sound simple, but a smiling and optimistic team member has a positive affect all round! If you’re keen to progress, we’re always keen to promote from within, and we’re quick to acknowledge and reward hard work and a pro-active approach.

If you don’t see a job advert for current openings, or feel you have a strong skill-set that slightly differs from the role we’ve advertised, get in touch, we’d love to hear from you:

Calling All Start-Up Businesses – We’re Here to Help You Grow

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Calling all new start-ups – we just want you to know we’re here if you need us! Starting a business doesn’t have to be a single handed struggle, you’re not alone and you definitely don’t have to juggle it all. When you’re ready there’s so many ways a virtual receptionist service like ours can help you without the high financial burden of hiring your own staff. Find out more about our services in this short blog.

start up image

When you start a business no one tells you that you’ll have to think on your feet and become competent in every element of business management if you want to get your start-up off the ground with minimal overheads; from customer service, marketing, website, SEO, graphic design, and accounting, the list goes on! Getting a handle on all components of running a successful business requires a great deal of time, focus and determination. You should never believe that your business needs to be pulling in huge sums of money before you can justify paying for a helping hand. We’re not suggesting you hire staff, that’s too costly, time consuming and frankly unnecessary for most start-ups. Instead we recommend you turn to the varied and professional services offered by a virtual receptionist company. A team of staff, trained on your business are there when you need them, affordable and reliable. Use a virtual receptionist company to take some of the load and provide you with the time to focus on the areas of your business that really need you. At CSnotepad we can even supply you with a virtual phone number and virtual address to help you appear more established to your potential clients. This is particularly helpful if you’re running your business from home, it can help you to manage the separation between your home and work life (for more information on this read our blog ‘Create a Professional Guise’).

Send the time consuming tasks our way – that’s what we’re here for. Let us take your incoming calls, let us handle your general enquiries, let us book in your appointments, we’ll even process your orders. If we took all these tasks off your hands, think about the possibilities, suddenly you’re free to focus on the areas of your business that really need you.

With CSnotepad we shape our services to fit your needs. We know that every business is different so we aim to provide help where you need it most, when you need it most. Talk to one of our team on 01273 741400.

Now is an Expensive Time to be Hiring – Get to Grips with the Real Cost of Staffing

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

As your business grows the need for staff becomes more urgent, and although you may have factored in a new salary into your expenses, have you really thought through the overall cost of hiring staff- it’s higher than you think?!

hiring image

Have you gotten to grips with the true cost of hiring a new staff member? Having a clear and accurate view of your financial obligations when it comes to hiring is essential if you’re not to overstretch yourself and put unnecessary strain on your business.

There’s the obvious initial costs such as advertising your new role, training, office space and new equipment, then ongoing costs such as maternity, sick days and holiday. However, until you hire your first member of staff you may not be aware of additional costs imposed by the government for employers.

As an employer you are obligated to pay National Insurance for each member of staff you employ, Class 1 National Insurance standard rate is currently at 13.8% of their wage, this has to also include any bonuses or overtime.

As part of the newly introduced pensions scheme, all employees are now automatically enrolled in a company pensions scheme. As an employer you now have to pay 1% of your employee’s monthly wage into a pension. From April 2018 your contribution will increase to 2% and then 3% in April 2019. All staff (unless they are self-employed) will be automatically enrolled into this new workplace pensions scheme if they are over 22 and earning over £10,000, even if they only work part time for you. Also be aware that those earning under £10,00 have the right to opt in too!

A great little article from the Undercover Recruiter states that if you budget for the UK average salary of £27,600 for a new recruit, you’ll actually end up paying something closer to £50,000!

Daunted by the prospect of hiring, it’s worth considering a virtual receptionist service which allows you to benefit from a team of trained staff without worrying about the financial obligations beyond a simple and predictable monthly subscription cost. No hiring and training stresses, sickness and holiday hurdles or costly employer obligations.

Our professional team is based in Brighton, we can handle your incoming calls, make simple outgoing calls on your behalf, manage your diary and even take payments and process orders. We’re a helping hand when you need it most – without the financial strain.

To find out how our service can help your business call one of our team on 01273 741400.

What Does ‘Call Handling’ Actually Mean?

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Many companies offer call handling services, but what is it all about?

telephone image

Simply put, call handling is the management of phone calls, these can be incoming or outgoing calls.

Incoming calls are those that come into your business from customers, suppliers and other contacts.

Outbound calls can range from telemarketing and telesales to customer care programmes or debt chasing.

Who would benefit from a call handling service?
Call handling services would benefit any company looking for help answering their phone calls. Use a call handling service to help build your business without hiring more staff and reclaim time by outsourcing your phonecalls, freeing up your resources.

At CSnotepad we specialise in offering inbound call handling services to a wide variety of clients, from sole-traders to national charities. We manage clients phone calls as either a helping hand – acting as an overflow service when call volumes take you by surprise. Or we can handle all incoming calls dealing with each call accordingly, taking messages, patching calls to members of your team, or processing orders – just as your own in-house receptionist would.

We have a professional team of call agents that will be fully trained on your business and ready to take your calls as though members of your own in-house team. We are also available to make simple outgoing calls on your behalf which are included in a call subscription with us.

For more information and to find out how we can support your business, call us on 01273 741400.

From Basket to Checkout – Get Your Customers Buying with the Support of a Telephone Answering Service

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

There’s no doubt that great customer service is crucial in making you stand out from your competitors, seeking to turn potential sales into money in the bank, and transforming one time buyers into loyal customers. But there’s also no doubt that top notch customer service can become a drain on your time, if it’s not your own time then it’s the time of your staff which has a substantial financial cost attached. There’s no avoiding it, but there are ways of working smart, investing in the right areas and choosing the right support. In this blog we’ll look at how a telephone answering service can help you to improve and maintain your customer service to convert your leads into sales.

questions marks

Firstly, make sure your buying procedure is planned from the point of view of the buyer. Think like a buyer and not a seller and it may dramatically affect the way you run your business. Take yourself through the buyer’s thinking process and ask yourself what obstacles stand in their way when it comes to actually parting with their money.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s all about the money for the buyer, there’s likely many sellers out there all selling a similar product at a similar price, and with the boom of the internet it’s never been easier to find them. So how does a customer choose one seller over another? The truth is that a customer relies on more than numbers, we’re not solely logical thinkers, we’re emotional thinkers, indecisive go-with-our gut thinkers too! Customers are naturally suspicious, not just of the sellers agenda when being given the sales patter, but also of the authenticity of the products on offer, the quality of the after care and even the safety of making a payment. The very public and numerous accounts of counterfeit goods, scams and fraud do little to put a buyers mind at rest. However much we may try to satisfy a customers suspicions with a snazzy website or 5 star customer reviews, sometimes it comes down to the feeling a customer gets when they engage with a company.

How easy is it for a customer to engage with your business? By using a telephone answering service to support your team, or act as the first point of contact for your potential customers, you’ve instantly made a leap to securing that sale. Using a telephone answering service ensures that calls don’t go unanswered or end up reaching your voicemail. It shows the customer that each call is important to you, that your are contactable and present should there be any problems with a product or payment. Reaching a real person on the phone who knows your business and answers questions competently and professionally could be enough to reassure a customer to make a purchase. Having their call answered promptly and politely will legitimise your business, giving it a face and displaying your dedication to great customer service.

Don’t underestimate the importance of the things you may give little consideration – the polite call agent, the prompt answering of the phone, or the competent response to queries. It’s often the reassurance that a potential customer is looking for, and is likely a rare find amongst your competitors.

Sky Talk Call Divert: How to Set Up Call Forwarding on a Sky Landline

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Are you looking to divert your landline calls to a telephone answering service, or even your mobile to ensure you never miss a call? It’s easier than you think and something you can do yourself in just a matter of minutes. In this blog we take you step-by-step through how to divert your calls if you’re with Sky Talk. You can have more control than you realise with your incoming calls; you can divert all your calls when you’re away from your landline phone, divert calls that haven’t been answered, or divert calls when your line is already engaged. Here’s how…

telephone divert image

Divert all your calls:

  • Dial * 2 1 * followed by the number you want your calls diverted to including the area code.
  • Press #. You’ll hear a confirmation message, followed by a high-pitched tone.
  • Check which number you’ve set calls to divert to by dialing * # 2 1 # from your landline anytime.
  • To cancel diverting all calls, dial # 2 1 # from your landline.

Divert unanswered calls:

  • Dial * 6 1 * followed by the number you want your unanswered calls diverted to including the area code.
  • Press #. You’ll hear a confirmation message, followed by a high-pitched tone.
  • Check which number you’ve set unanswered calls to divert to by dialing * # 6 1 # from your landline any time.
  • To cancel diverting unanswered calls, dial # 6 1 # from your landline.

Divert engaged calls:

  • Dial * 6 7 * followed by the number you want your calls diverted to including the area code.
  • Press #. You’ll hear a confirmation message, followed by a high-pitched tone.
  • Check which number you’ve set engaged calls to divert to by dialing * # 6 7 # from your landline any time.
  • To cancel diverting engaged calls, dial # 6 7 # from your landline.

How will you be charged?

A monthly fee of £2.50 will be added to your Sky Talk bill for using the call divert feature. The person calling you will only pay the rate they are charged by their provider for calling a landline number, they will not be charged for the diverted part of the call. The diverted part of the call is charged to you the customer at your standard Sky Talk rate depending on the type of phone you have chosen to divert to, e.g. mobile, which may be included depending on your Sky Talk package.

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Call 01273 741400 or email
Opening Hours *Telephone answering is available for customers 24/7
  • Monday 8:30am - 6:00pm
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  • Friday 8:30am - 6:00pm
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  • CSnotepad
  • Gemini House
  • 136-140 Old Shoreham Road
  • Brighton
  • East Sussex
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