Monthly Archives: January 2017

So You Think You Can Multitask?! Eliminate Distractions with a Virtual Receptionist

Monday, January 30th, 2017

How many times have you said on your CV or in an interview that you’re a good multitasker? Perhaps you truly consider yourself someone that can juggle tasks well. Being able to multitask is seen as a key skill, a sign that you can give many things your attention resulting in a high and varied work output. But why is this skill so highly sought after, can anyone really give their all to more than one task simultaneously?

man juggling multiple=

The interesting and bestselling book by John Medina called ‘Brain Rules’ has a simple answer to this question…no! Multitasking isn’t breathing and walking at the same time, we’re talking about our ability to concentrate and focus on more than one thing. “To put it bluntly, research shows that we can’t multitask. We are biologically incapable of processing attention-rich inputs simultaneously”.

Let’s put Medina’s research and findings into the context of our working day.

We’re at our desk and tackle the first important task of the day – to email a supplier regarding an important issue.

Step 1 in our brain a search query begins to find the neurons capable of executing the writing task.

Step 2 the brain encodes a command that will activate the neurons, once discovered. This process is called “rule activation,” and it takes several tenths of a second to accomplish. We begin to write the important email.

While we’re busy typing our sensory system is triggered as we hear an alert and see a pop-up window notifying us of a new message in our inbox.

Step 1, the rules for reading a new message are different to the rules initiated for writing an email. Our brain must disengage from the email-writing rules before we can read the new email. The brain is alerted that another shift in attention is about to happen.

Step 2, another two-part message seeking the rule-activation protocols for reading an email is now deployed. As before, the first is a command to find the reading-email rules, and the second is the activation command. As before, it takes several tenths of a second simply to perform the switch.

Incredibly, these four steps must occur in sequence every time we make a swap from one task to another. It is time-consuming, and it is ordered, there are no shortcuts and is why we often find ourselves asking “now where was I?” each time we swap between tasks.

Studies also show that when interrupted we can take 50 percent longer to accomplish a task. Not only that, we can make up to 50 percent more errors than if we completed the task without interruption.

Businesses and schools praise multitasking, yet research clearly shows that multitasking will lead to reduced productivity and increased errors – can your business afford for this to happen?

Best selling author John Medina advises that we try to create a zone that is free from disturbances during the day. This doesn’t mean simply ignoring interruptions, setting your phone to voicemail wont stop the ringing phone from breaking your concentration, and not looking at your inbox wont stop the distraction of seeing the new message notification pop-up. So how do you go about really freeing yourself from the distractions that stop you from being focused, productive and efficient, and ensuring that your business really gets the best from you?

Using a virtual receptionist such as CSnotepad gives you the space and freedom to manage your day free from distractions such as phone and email enquiries. With CSnotepad you can rest assured that while you focus on areas of your business that need your attention, all your enquiries are being dealt with promptly and professionally by trained agents who are familiar with your business and act seamlessly as members of your own in-house team. You have control over how much and how often we support you. We can answer your calls, take messages on your behalf, even process orders and take payments via your own online platform. We can deal with mail enquiries, even managing your diary and scheduling your meetings and appointments. Just talk to us about how you feel we can help, and how best we can minimise your distractions.

For more information call us today on 01273 741400 or visit our website

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3 Things to Consider When Choosing a Telephone Answering Provider

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

So you’ve decided that a telephone answering service is the right step for you and your business, but how do you decide which provider to choose? You’re looking to have your calls answered on your behalf, so any provider will do right?…WRONG! In this blog we outline our top 3 things to consider when choosing a telephone answering provider.

One way or another way street sign

1) Really consider what you need from a provider. Don’t allow yourself to be pushed into services or a plan that doesn’t really suit your needs. Have a clear idea of the support and positive changes you want a telephone answering service to offer your business. Some providers only offer a name and short message service, but be aware that the scope of services available can vary widely between providers. Many can process phone orders, take payments through your own online system, forward calls to your mobile, manage your diary, arrange despatch of your goods, offer a virtual telephone number and more.

2) How personal are you wanting the service to be? Most telephone services have no way (or interest) in recognising your regular callers and will answer each call as a new enquiry, asking the same questions, extracting the same details each and every time – this could be frustrating to your regular and valued customers. At CS notepad we invest in the very best systems and technology to be able to offer (as standard) caller recognition to all our clients. This means that we know when one of your valued customers is calling, we wont need to ask then the same repetitive questions, take up their time with recording their details, and we can treat them with the same recognition that you would.

3) Don’t be afraid to ask how big the team is that will be handling your calls. The bigger the call team, the less likely they are to appear as members of your on in-house team. At CS notepad we typically train and assign 4 call agents to each account, this allows them to become familiar with your business, they become familiar to your callers and knowledgeable in your products and services. We even provide you with an account manager, you can turn to them for advice or help amending your script and fine tuning the service to really meet your needs.

Make sure you get clear answers to your questions before signing up with a telephone answering provider, will you be charged for cold calls or wrong numbers for example? Ensure that the answers to any questions your ask are transparent, don’t allow them to hide important information amongst technical terminology. Choosing the wrong provider can not only be stressful and expensive, but damaging to the customer service reputation you’ve worked so hard to build.

The bigger the call team handling your calls, the less likely they are to appear as members of your on in-house team.

Turn Customer Complaints Into Something Positive – Customer Complaints Can Be Your Opportunity to Shine

Monday, January 16th, 2017

Practically every industry is overwhelmed by competition, and finding your unique selling point, that single thing that makes you stand out can be difficult. Seizing your opportunity to shine can be a battle when you’re up against your competitors in tempting a potential customer. Turn a negative into a positive and use every opportunity you get – even customer complaints

customer service handshake

It’s understandable that you will dread having unhappy customers, no business owner wants to hear that their persistent hard work results in any dissatisfied customers, but unfortunately to some extent it’s inevitable. The good news is that how you choose to confront any complaints can encourage customer loyalty and strengthen your reputation for fabulous customer service.

You may feel wholeheartedly that your business offers great customer service, you may believe you’ve put the right people in place to manage disgruntled customers, the right scripts in place to empower your team to handle any complaint, and the right steps in place to ensure that a resolution is always possible. But how will you know that it really does its job unless this path is truly tested? Learn to view complaints as a live test for your customer service model, see it as an opportunity to train your staff and improve your handling. Well handled complaints can transform customers into loyal customers, the competency of your business to deal with issues professionally and successfully can gain customers for life.

A customer that complains is looking to be heard, to have their complaint understood, for a resolution and for empathy for their situation. A complaint that’s resolved well is likely to make a lasting impression. This is an opportunity to make your business memorable to your customer in a positive way. Should they require your products or services in the future, why would they consider going elsewhere if they felt they were dealt with appropriately in the light of what could have been a difficult situation.

Learn not to panic, learn to trust your customer service model, and in times where your customer service model fails, learn to see it as your opportunity to improve. Don’t be afraid to admit to a customer that their complaint wasn’t handled in the best possible way, but be honest and tell them that improvements are already being made in light of this to aid other customers.

We Build Our Business Around Your Needs – Why We’re the Missing Piece to Your Business Jigsaw

Friday, January 6th, 2017

Unlike most service providers, we understand that your business isn’t like other businesses and that your needs are unlikely to fit into predefined service templates.

puzzle pieces

At CSnotepad we start with you, when you show an interest in our services we never try to mold your needs to fit our plans, instead we shape our services to meet your needs. We wont trick you into taking services you don’t need just to supply you with the services you do need.

Through our website and downloadable guide we outline a selection of the ways our services are most commonly used to support our customers. This gives you an indication of what our skilled agents can do to assist you and your team, but these are simply suggestions and we encourage you to talk to us about your support needs, however small or large scale, however bespoke you might consider your needs to be.

Here are a few examples of the ways we help our existing customers to run their business, grow their business, improve customer service and better manage their time.

Run an online business – you can use us to handle all of your phone orders or simply use us as overflow during your busiest times when your call agents are unable to handle the call volume. Our call agents can take your calls, seamlessly acting as members of your own team, even processing orders and taking payments through your own online system.

Self-employed sole trader – hairdresser/decorator/consultant for example, focus on what you do best and leave us to take you calls while you’re out working. Don’t juggle calls while you’re on a job, let us answer as your personal receptionist, not only ensuring that you never miss a possible job, but that you appear more professional and established to anyone enquiring. Not only can we answer your calls but we can manage your diary, scheduling in meetings and appointments directly into your online diary.

Starting a new business from home – desperate to produce a professional image but you’re relying on your mobile phone and having to give your residential address to clients and suppliers. Use the services of a virtual receptionist like CSnotepad to mask that your business is based at home. We can provide you with a virtual landline number which is exclusively yours, you can use it on your business cards and give to your clients. This number can be answered on your behalf by our call agents, or diverted straight through to your mobile for you to answer. No more using just your mobile number which may make you look transient and less professional. We can also register your business at our business centre address, allowing you to use the address as your own, you can collect your post or have it forwarded to your home address.

An example of just a few of the ways we support the wide variety of businesses that use us, no matter their size or complexity. Talk to us about your needs, where you feel we could make a real difference to your business, and let us work with you to supply you with the best solution. You can work with your personal account manager, we’re even happy to form tailored services to make your plan with us as unique as your business.

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Call 01273 741400 or email
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 - 5:00pm
  • CSnotepad
  • Gemini House
  • 136-140 Old Shoreham Road
  • Brighton
  • East Sussex
  • BN3 7BD