Monthly Archives: December 2016

How a Strong Business Person Should Tackle Complaints

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

As much as you may dread receiving complaints, it is inevitable as your business grows, and how you choose to handle complaints can make or break your customer service model. There’s no perfect way to handle complaints or tricky customers, but in this blog we offer a few tips to holding your nerve, believing in your business and dealing with things head on…

trouble signs

If you receive a complaint about the cost of your product or service be confident about your business and equip your staff with the same confidence. Acknowledge that your service/product is indeed more expensive, but then outline reasons why your product/service warrants the price tag. People are logical; agreeing with their complaint rather than battling it is a crucial first step. It’s important to show belief in your business, not to be defensive or argumentative, simply factual. Being apologetic is important, “sorry” is a powerful tool in your arsenal but be apologetic for your customers concerns but not for the cost of your products. Pre written scripts will empower your staff to deal with complaints for your business, but ensure that their communication is human to human and delivered naturally, nobody likes to feel that they aren’t being listened to and just given the same spiel as everyone else!

Make sure you respond promptly to any complaints. Whether it’s due to being busy or deliberately avoiding responding as you’re not sure how to tackle the issue, be sure to tackle it head on. Delay will only exacerbate the dissatisfaction of your customer. A prompt response shows that you’re reachable and always offering good customer service, no matter the issue.

The personal approach can be very powerful. As much as you may train and trust your team, however many scripts you put in place to deal with each and every conceivable complaint, sometimes a call from you the business owner after an issue has been resolved can be extremely powerful. It shows that the customer’s complaint was taken seriously, that it was not just dealt with and forgotten about, but escalated because each customer matters. Taking the time to call a customer, to acknowledge their complaint, to check that they’re truly happy with the way it was resolved, and to learn more about their issue may prove extremely useful to the growth and improvement of your business.

A strong business owner should know when to walk away. Some people cannot be helped. Some customers will sadly adsorb far too much of your time and the time of your staff, and it far out ways their value to your business. Knowing when to advise a complaining customer to use a competitor and take their business elsewhere is a brave but empowering move. You’re better off directing your time and energy into finding a new customer than pandering to a customer that is hell-bent on not seeking a resolution.

Let CSnotepad Help You to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Monday, December 26th, 2016

Well it’s nearly that time of year, time to reflect on the past 12 months and put in place resolutions for the 12 months ahead. Will any of these be featuring on your resolutions list?

  • Get a better work life balance
  • Spend more time with family
  • Save money
  • Organise finances
  • Get fit
  • Manage stress better

2017 sign

Where will you be looking to instigate change in your life? What steps will you be taking to put this type of resolution in place, how do you even know where to begin?

There’s one change you can make in your work life that can have a huge impact on your productivity, your time, your stress levels, your freedom and your clear headedness – outsource your phone calls to a telephone answering service and regain some control.

A telephone answering service like ours answers your calls here in the UK, never abroad (we’re based in Brighton). All our call agents are trained on your business, ensuring that they answer your calls seamlessly as though a member of your own team. You have full control over how and when we answer your calls. You can use us as overflow during your busiest times, diverting your incoming calls to us to handle on your behalf. Or rely on us completely; confident that we can answer your calls reliably, promptly and politely with the level of professionalism that you’d expect from training your own staff.

We can not only take a message and details for you to return a call at your convenience, but we can process your orders via your own online system, take payments, and even manage your diary.

The result – more time to focus on the areas that matter, whether this is growing your business, spending time with your family or spending time at the gym. It’s your time to spend as you choose rather than chained to your phone, dealing with calls that may not even warrant your attention. Eliminating the ringing phone not only frees up your valuable time, but it also gives your space to think, to focus and to make decisions without constant disturbance.

Using a telephone answering service can also help you to grow your business without the need for additional staff and the escalating overheads that come with supporting a larger team.

Start 2017 with a positive step and call us to see how we can help on 01273 741400. Get organised by making CSnotepad part of your New Year’s Resolutions for 2017.

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Which Hollywood Star is Also One of America’s Richest Business Women?

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

Donald Trump may be criticised for his past comments and actions towards women, and his recent vote for presidency has riled feminists across the globe. Many were hoping that Hilary Clinton could make a landmark step and become the first female president of the United States. We’re continually flooded by the successes of American men, reeling off the rich list each year, but running through America’s female self-made rich list is something rather special (Forbes List).

hollywood sign on hill

As rather expected you’ll find some much loved brand owners on the top 50 richest self-made women list, such as Spanx’s Sara Blakely and Gap’s Doris F. Fisher and the lesser known business moguls that have made their fortune in property, then we have the celebrity household names such as Oprah Winfrey and Madonna. But when we scan the list of America’s richest self made women, there’s one that’s of particular interest. Unlike Taylor Swift and Beyonce who have made their money from a career in the spotlight of the music industry and associated product endorsements this surprise A-lister has reached the list through her business acumen. Unlike Barbara Streisand (age 74) and Danielle Steel (age 69) this surprise entry is aged just 34 and worth a staggering $340 million!

Jessica Alba, known for her roles in Sin City, Valentine’s Day and Fantastic Four to name just a few is well known for her acting in Hollywood blockbusters as well as successful TV series, but it’s her founding of ethical company The Honest Company that has earned her her place on the Forbes Women’s Rich List.

The Honest Company has a product range of 120 safe and non-toxic items such as beeswax sunscreen and plastic free tampons, which all stem from Alba’s search for a gentle and chemical free detergent to wash baby clothes. There’s a wealth of knowledge behind her products, now an expert in the field she even lobbied for reforming the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, which has allowed more than 80,000 chemicals to remain in household products untested (Forbes). The company of which Alba owns around 20% is now estimated at $1 billion. Not bad for a woman known almost exclusively around the world as a Hollywood actress!

Don’t Miss A Call – Wherever, Whenever – Learn How to Set Up a Divert on Your Landline

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

Setting up a divert on your landline is simpler than you may think. A great number of the customers that use our telephone answering service have set up a divert on their landline to enable us to manage their calls and support their business. Whether you’re looking to divert your calls to an answering service like ours, or perhaps divert your calls while you’re away or on holiday to another staff member or your mobile…we’ll tell you how!

landline telephone

Some of the businesses we deal with use us to handle all of their calls on their behalf, some use us simply during their busiest periods or as an overflow. Learning how to switch your divert on and off is important in managing your incoming calls and maintaining good customer service, it’s also crucial that you know how to check that your divert is working correctly or otherwise you may be missing out on important sales, leads and enquiries.

To divert all of your phone calls on your landline:
From the telephone line you want to divert from dial: *21*(phone number you want to divert to) #

To check whether the Call Diversion is set up dial *#21#
You will hear a confirmation message, followed by a single high pitched tone to indicate the call diversion has been set up correctly.

To cancel Call Diversion dial #21#

If instead you just want to divert calls when you’re unable to answer them, you can put in place a divert after 15 seconds:
From the telephone line you want to divert from dial: *61* (phone number you want to divert to) #

To check whether the Call Diversion is set up dial *#61#

To switch off the divert: #61#

If you’d like to divert only when you are already on a call and the caller would get an engaged tone:
From the telephone line you want to divert from dial: *67* (phone number you want to divert to) #

To check whether the Call Diversion is set up dial *#61#

To switch off a diversion you’ve set up when your phone is engaged dial: #67#

It may be that you require the ability to switch on or off a divert while you’re away and unable to access the phone line physically. You may be abroad, you may be in a meeting and away from the office. BT offer a service called Smart Divert which allows you to divert remotely. This involves an access code and PIN which are assigned to your line, allowing you to ”tap into’ your line and have full control even when you’re not there.

Why do 47% of small businesses fail to answer their phone? – Avoid interruptions without leaving the phone off the hook

Monday, December 5th, 2016

After finding that 47% of small businesses fail to answer their incoming calls, TelePA believes that small businesses aren’t seeing the importance of phone enquiries. However, could it be that small businesses are overrun by nuisance calls and desperate to reclaim their working day from constant interruptions?

desk phone

Christine Crandell gives her opinion in a Forbes article as to why the office phone may not be being answered…

After not answering her phone for a day, Christine went through her voicemails. Out of 36 voicemails she finds: 11 are from people wanting to sell her insurance etc, 10 are from companies wanting to sell her products that have no relevance to her line of business, 7 are computerised messages that are undecipherable and 4 are from sales people reading a script at top speed. Alarmingly, just 3 messages are from clients and 1 message is from a relevant company regarding a possible partnership. Now imagine if she’d answered each of those calls as they came in, not to mention incoming callers that left no message. No only would this incessant interruption rupture her day, her workflow and her productivity, but within a short spell she’d feel frustrated, irritable and understandably short when the 4 important client calls came through. Sound familiar? Well it’s really no wonder that TelePA found 47% of small businesses don’t answer their phone, many small businesses now rely heavily on email, this gives them the space to respond if and when convenient, and provides a much faster and easier way of filtering the important emails from the spam and sales emails. But how many client calls might you be missing, how many clients deem your unanswered phone as a sign of unavailability and poor customer service, neither are a positive start to any potential business relationship.

So what’s the solution – have you considered using a telephone answering service to handle your calls? You can focus on managing your business without the constant interruption of the ringing phone but with the confidence of knowing that each call is being answered professionally. TelePA also found that 36% of calls being answered by a business were not being answered with a polite greeting, 37% didn’t even use the company name! A telephone answering service will ensure that each call is answered by call agents that are trained on your account, answering calls in a manner that suits your business and your customer service model, the caller would never know they hadn’t reached a member of your own in house team. A telephone answering service will answer all your calls, but will only make you aware of callers that are genuinely enquiring about your products and services, no cold calls, no unrelated sales calls – in fact at csnotepad we never charge for the cold calls you might receive so you can rest assured that they wont be costing you.

To find out more about freeing up your time without leaving the phone off the hook, call us on 01273 741400.

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