Monthly Archives: October 2016

Maximise Your Christmas Telephone Sales with a Telephone Answering Service

Monday, October 31st, 2016

However much you may not want to think about it, Christmas is fast approaching and if you’re in e-retail, this is one of your busiest times of the year. Be prepared, be organised and you’ll be in a position to make the very most of the buying season!

christmas shopping trolley and christmas figures

As you walk around the shopping centres you’ll no doubt be seeing signs in shop windows advertising for additional Christmas staff. As we head into November, stores start to plan their method of attack, lengthening their opening hours, increasing their staff numbers both behind the tills and restocking the shop floors. But what preparations do you need to be putting in place if you’re an e-retailer? How have you prepared yourself for a spike in telephone enquiries? How will you ensure you don’t lose money through dropped calls when your telephone orders sky rocket?

Don’t expect your potential customers to wait patiently on hold or call back when they reach an engaged tone. The internet has made it too easy for your potential customers to turn to a better prepared competitor to spend their money. In the Christmas shopping frenzy customers want their buying experience to be made simple and fast, relying on the attributes of your product over the products of competitors, or even past customer loyalty isn’t going to save the day.

So what’s the answer? If you follow the high street model, you could recruit more staff to help you answer your calls. But before you recruit, consider whether you have the space for them to work and do you have the time to train them? Do you really know when your call numbers are going to spike, will you know when and how many staff to have ready to answer them? What if your phone line is busy with an order or enquiry, how many other callers are reaching an engaged tone and hanging up? The solution would be to have multiple phone lines, but do you have time to install them and do you really want the cost of additional phone lines every month when you only need them at peak shopping times?

All of the above solutions cost a lot of money to instigate and to maintain, it’s also a risk to sign yourself up to these additional outgoings when the size and timing of your call spikes may be unpredictable.

A simple, fast and cost effective solution is closer than you think. A telephone answering service is available to support you if and when you need it. Their team of call agents are on hand to manage your multiple incoming calls, each will be answered by call agents assigned to your account who know your business and will answer each call as though a member of your own in house team. A telephone answering service works with you to understand your needs, ensuring that the way each call is handled matches your customer care model. Trained call agents can even process orders via your own online order system, or collect details for you to process an order, or return a call at your convenience. Whether you expect 5 calls or 500 calls a day, your needs can be met and adjusted, giving you the confidence to know that your business wont miss out as Christmas approaches.

Call csnotepad today on 01273 741400 to discuss how we can help you to maximise your Christmas telephone sales, never miss an enquiry, and offer you a reassuring safety net during your busiest times.

How to Run a Business & Travel the World: Tips & Considerations

Friday, October 28th, 2016

You can travel the world and still run your business, in our last blog we covered a few key ways of tackling communication while you’re away. Each country offers its own challenges and this blog will offer a few tips and things to consider when choosing your destination.

sand dunes in Namibia

What will the time difference be between you and your customers? Being in a different time zone doesn’t have to be a problem, you may just have to consider shifting your working day to accommodate for it. It’s important to engage with your customers, to make calls or to respond to their emails at a time when they’re in a position to respond. Conversations that suffer hours of silence between responses are unlikely to get the outcome you’re looking for, deals lose momentum and the stream of conversation can be lost almost completely. Starting your day earlier, or working later will combat all but the most extreme time differences, ensuring that the bulk of your working day is in line with working hours in the UK and closely mirrors the hours your customers expect you to be contactable.

Simple steps can stop the time difference from being a hindrance, think about keeping your computer on UK time so that your emails still send with a logical time stamp. This will avoid questions being asked when your emails appear to be sent in the early hours of the morning, or late at night, and ensure that they filter into your customers inbox in the right order. Keeping your computer on the UK time also helps you to better plan your working day, making it easier to note when your contacts might be on their lunch break or when to call to catch them before they leave off for the day.

Running your business from outside the UK doesn’t mean you’re chained to wifi hotspots, and it doesn’t mean you’ll simply have to stomach high data roaming charges. Look into getting a local SIM card which offers a meaty amount of data, you can then keep an eye on your inbox from your phone whenever you’re away from your wifi connection.

When working away from the UK you’ll come to rely on your laptop more than ever, it becomes the gateway to your business and your tool for communication. Be prepared – some hotels may only have wifi in common areas, or you may wish to work while travelling, think about taking (and fully charging!) a spare battery for your laptop so that you can continue working without searching for a power socket. Computer issues are a stress no matter when or where they happen, but to decrease the time you’re out of action, know where your closest computer repair shop is and be sure to frequently back up your documents. If your laptop is lost or stolen, know that you’re able to quickly get a replacement, do your research, how long would it take for Dell or Amazon to dispatch and deliver, do they keep the model you need in stock, and will they definitely deliver to the country you’re in? Checking all of this information in advance can drastically reduce the time and stress it takes for you to be back working.

Finally it’s worth using the services of a virtual receptionist in the UK, even as a backup. A virtual receptionist service can manage your incoming calls, ensuring that each and every call is answered professionally and promptly by trained call agents assigned to your account, seamlessly acting as though members of your own team. You have full control of the way your calls are handled, they can either be patched through to you on a mobile or landline, or they can be answered on your behalf. It’s a simple and cost effective way of relieving the pressure as you travel, offering you peace of mind at the times you need it most, and helping you to maintain your excellent customer service, wherever you are in the world.

How to Run a Business and Travel the World

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? If that’s your first thought then you need to begin by thinking outside of the box and allow yourself to focus on the solutions, rather than the problems that would make this lifestyle unobtainable.

Swiss Lake

New advancements in technology namely the smartphone and improvements to wifi strength and coverage are weakening our chains to the office. No longer is a 9-5 working day in the office, sat between the phone and the computer, the only way to do business.

Our next couple of blogs will cover key ways of running your business from abroad, with a focus on managing and maintaining your communication with customers and/or workforce back in the UK.

If you’re looking to run your business while travelling there’s no obvious reason to inform your customers. No one needs to hear that you’re working from a terrace overlooking vineyards in Italy, or working from a lofty hotel room with views of New York! As impressive as that may sound, your detachment from your office may concern your customers who (perhaps naively) feel that you are now unobtainable should they have a need to contact you urgently. They may choose not to contact you because they’ll assume you’re on holiday, even if you stress to them that you’re still working, they’ll be reluctant to bother you, or unconvinced that you’re really in a position to help them. There may also be an understandable concern that calling you while you’re abroad will cost them an extortionate sum.

Communication can feel the biggest hurdle to overcome when you’re working from another country, but knowing what options are available to you can help you to work seamlessly from almost anywhere while still appearing to be in the UK. Using Skype for your calls is the obvious solution to eliminating eye-wateringly expensive phone bills. With a relatively cheap Skype monthly subscription you can call UK landlines and/or mobiles with unlimited minutes via wifi. Skype even allows you to purchase a Skype number for the UK selecting your area code (01273 Brighton for example) and having a Skype landline number which connects straight to you via the Skype software on your computer, or the Skype app on your mobile phone whenever you have wifi. Your customers would have no idea that they weren’t calling you on your direct line at your office in the UK, and the cost for them calling you on your Skype UK landline number is the same as any landline number, and you’ve instantly eliminated that tell-tale international dialing tone. For more information on getting yourself a UK Skype number this page may be very useful: Getting A Skype Number.

A lot of phone networks now offer add-ons which provide you with a bulk number of minutes to use to call the UK, both landline and mobiles. These can provide a reassuring backup for times when you encounter wifi strength issues, or wish to stay in touch while on the move. It may be worth researching different network options before you travel to see which offer the best priced phone minutes for the particular area you wish to travel to. Phone charges within the EU and the USA can be very competitive among the main network providers.

East Sussex Businesses: Consider an East Sussex Solution to Handling Your Phonecalls

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

East Sussex – an incredible place to live and work, but it can be expensive for businesses. Read our blog for a local solution to freeing up your time and saving your business money.

sussex signpost

East Sussex has some of the most beautiful scenery in the UK, with rolling hills, iconic piers, beach walks, historic towns, quaint village pubs as well as some of the longest daylight hours in the country. It’s also a great place to start your business, with some of the highest disposable income amongst residents, and superb transport links with London as well as the continent – but spiraling office rents can make it costly to grow your business within the East Sussex area. Rather than focusing on the physical growth of you business, consider using a local, professional and experienced virtual receptionist to help supply you with a virtual workforce. Our call agents can help free up your time, eliminating the costly step of employing more staff and taking on the financial demands of a bigger office space.

We understand that it takes confidence to hand your customer calls over to a another company, and we work hard to reassure potential users of our service with approachable and knowledgeable staff, passionate customer reviews and glowing user testimonials. We know that one size doesn’t fit all, we listen to your needs and select and shape our services to match. We never send your calls half way around the world, our trained call agents all work from our East Sussex office and live in the local area – further reassuring you that our staff will seamlessly appear to be your own in-house staff to those that call. You’ll have your own account manager who you’ll know by name, and even have agents assigned to your calls that your frequent customers will come to recognise. Csnotepad is an East Sussex business, based solely in East Sussex, hiring local staff to bring you an approachable, reliable and professional local service.

Phone Sweet Phone: The 2016 Smartphone Consumer Survey is Out

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

The annual Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey 2016 has been released and it turns out we love our smartphones, in fact we’ve never been more besotted!

love and a mobile

It’s worth remembering that as far as technology is concerned, our smartphones are still rather new and we’ve yet to wear out the novelty of using our handheld pals. The Deloitte Survey found that many consumers have yet to learn how best to run their lives with smartphones – rather than by their smartphones!

Do you feel that your smartphone may be getting more quality time with you than perhaps your loved ones? One in three UK adults has argued with their partner about using their mobile phone too much according to Deloitte.

It’s so easy to get absorbed by the capabilities of our smartphones and the ease at which we can contact loved ones and stay in touch no matter the time or the distance that we’re apart. However, it’s important to remember how our interaction with our smartphones impact on others. The Deloitte Survey found that 34% of people check their smartphone in the middle of the night, and 32% check their smartphone within 5 minutes of waking up. Although our devices may feel utterly personal, Deloitte found that over a tenth of people use their phones ‘always’ or ‘very often’ when eating at home, or eating out with family or friends for example, causing friction with our nearest and dearest!

The smartphone has revolutionised the way we communicate and has been undoubtedly the most successful consumer electronics device of all time. But according to the Deloitte Survey, they believe that the market may well have hit its peak with smartphone designers and innovators having to trump the previous model with new and engaging features that enrich the users life, and continue to create the same buzz in the shops. But does this mean that the novelty will wear thin and we’ll be able to wean ourselves away from our smartphones in the coming years? With about 1.5 billion smartphones likely to ship in 2016, a volume greater than PCs, tablets, televisions and games consoles put together, only time will tell…

Direct Link: Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey 2016

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