Monthly Archives: September 2011

Don’t Miss Important Calls, Use a Virtual Receptionist.

Monday, September 26th, 2011

New sources this week reported that a UK police force failed to answer 20,000 phone calls earlier this year.

Cambridge Constabulary call-handlers didn’t manage to answer over 300 non-emergency calls a day during June and July, with the majority simply being abandoned by callers before they were answered.

Managers blamed changes to non-emergency telephone lines for the ‘decline in service’ following the replacement of a switchboard with an automated answering system, amongst other changes.

Local commentators called the missed call figures ‘highly disturbing’, with one saying that that ‘It’s all very well trying to save money, but in the end the public are paying for a quality service not a second class one.’ Some even hinted that the problems were due to cutbacks in telephone answering staff.

According to newspaper reports, the 999 system is managing to achieve its target of answering ninety per cent of all emergency calls in under ten seconds, but a report to a meeting of Cambridgeshire Police Authority’s scrutiny committee showed that over fifty per cent of non-emergency calls are not answered within the thirty second target time.

A police spokesman was reported in a local paper as saying that that the force had made several business changes to its non-emergency call handling service to ensure that it reduces costs, and that:

“A decline in service was anticipated during the early stages of implementation and this will be improved through a series of developments in call automation.

They might not be emergencies, but your business calls are still important. Make sure you don’t miss any with telephone answering assistance from a CSnotepad virtual receptionist.

Could a Virtual Receptionist Improve Your Customer Service?

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

A new survey from digital publisher Econsultancy has found that nearly half of consumers find the telephone to be the most frustrating channel for customer services.

The survey of 2,000 UK consumers voted the telephone to be three times more frustrating than email, and eight times more frustrating than live chat.

Surprisingly, one in eight of the respondents said that they would be happy to pay a fee in return for a superior level of customer service.

The research was looking at consumer opinions on multichannel customer service, and Econsultancy say that it clearly shows that companies are struggling to coordinate different service channels and keep their customers happy.

Although the telephone is the most established medium for customer service, nearly two thirds of consumers found it to be an ineffective channel when trying to contact a UK brand, citing queues, automated responses and premium rate numbers as the main reasons for their frustration.

Nearly half of respondents said that they preferred to use email for customer service queries, and email was also voted the second most effective channel. However, it still came in second to the telephone as the most frustrating channel.

The survey also asked which industries provided the best customer service. Clear winner was the retail sector with 47% of the vote. Industries that didn’t do so well were banks (16%), travel (15%), automotive (10%), utilities (8%) and telecoms (4%).

If you’re struggling to coordinate your telephone customer services because you’re juggling them with email, internet and social media, why not consider getting some help from a CSnotepad virtual receptionist?

Stay Professional on the Phone with a Virtual Receptionist.

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

The first thing you learn on most time management courses is to switch on your voicemail and screen calls. But by missing that call, you risk losing business.

Most customers won’t leave a message on a machine, and even if they do, they’re likely to immediately call the next company on the list. If your rival picks up the phone – you’ve lost the deal.

Yes, being available for inbound phone calls can seem to take up a lot of your time, and even stop you from working productively sometimes, but remember that the telephone is a business tool and as such, needs to be managed effectively.

First things first, always answer the phone with a proper business greeting. Make sure you say your company name and your name clearly. This will not only confirm to your caller that they’ve reached a business number, but save a surprising amount of time on questions from them.

Try and stay professional. You might be working from home on your mobile, but a caller doesn’t need to know that. Nor do they need to know that you have two children and a dog. Make sure you can leave the room and go to a quiet place to take your business calls.

Do you really want to discuss that potential new deal in the supermarket?

If you do run a home based business you should really consider having a separate telephone number just for the company. It’s so much more professional. And at very least this number will need to have an answering machine and voicemail for the times when you can’t reasonably get to it.

Unfortunately this brings us back to the problem of missed calls. Do you risk sounding unprofessional? Or losing a customer? Not much of a choice is it.

Well there is a solution. The virtual receptionist service from CSnotepad.

Have your telephone answered by a professional and fully trained human being who will deal with the call appropriately, as per your instructions. You’ll easily recoup the cost by not missing those important calls from potential customers.

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