28. October 2011 13:27
We hope you enjoy this amusing list of 10 ways not to answer a call. Here at the Reception Bureau we can guarantee we offer a professional impression, but if any of the following you recognise in your business, please give us a call and our friendly P.As will show you how it should be done.
1) The Snacker
The Snacker is the person who likes to answer the call whilst eating. There is a moment of swallowing panic as they try to digest their mouths contents whilst trying to convince the person on the line that they always sound slightly muffled.
2) The Bathroom
There is something very unnerving when you get through to someone who is sounding very echoey and going through a whole conversation with a grand finale of a flushing sound.
3) The conversationalist
We always worry when we get through to someone who is having several conversations all at once, a) we never know when they are talking to us or the other person and everything gets very confusing! and b) it would be nice to get their full attention
4) The Multi tasker
Although we live in a chaotic world where multi-tasking is a must but sometimes people need to stop and make a real effort to listen to the caller. The Multi-tasker is someone who juggles a project, a cup of tea or coffee, whilst addressing a meeting with a precariously positioned phone under their chin.
5) The Marathon
The phones ringing and The Marathon answerer can hear its ring from the other side of the office. They take sprint to reach it in time, dodging various office equipment and finally reaching their goal, only to find the phone rings off or they are out of puff.
6) The Sneezer
The Sneezer is the die-hard of the office. Determined not to let the hayfever or winter cold stop them in their tracks. Whilst sniffing and stifling a cough they answer the phone making the caller feel a littl
e guilty to disturb them whilst they are ill.
7) The Chainsaw
The Chainsaw is the outdoor worker who balances their various tools whilst answering the phone. Although an amazing feat, sometimes it can sound like a horror movie when you call them.
8) The Bad mood
Theres something off putting when someone answers the phone ‘What do you Want?’ or just ‘hurrumph’. It not only puts you in a mutually bad mood but isn’t doing much for customer service.
9) The Silence is Golden
Hello, hello…..hello……….hello? You can never quite tell whether you have got through to a fax machine or the number you needed and theres an unnerving quietness before the person eventually answers.
10) The Fast Talker
The Fast Talker is the enthusiastic talker who considers that talking at 100mph is a great way of getting through a call quickly. Slow down!! Its very difficult to understand what you are saying!
24. October 2011 13:59
The Young Apprentice is back for its second series starting tonight (Monday 24th October 2011) on BBC 1. Twelve candidates will battle it out over the next 8 weeks to be Lord Sugars new Apprentice. In the first episode of the series the candidates are split boys v girls in a race to come up with a range of frozen treats.
So who are the twelve candidates?
||Haya Al Dlame
You can find out a bit more about them on the BBC website www.bbc.co.uk
After tonight's show I will be making some predictions as to who might win this years Young Apprentice.
20. October 2011 15:25
In these tough economic times many people are deciding to start their own business, and what better place to start a business than online. So how can you make money online? Well there are a number of ways but I guess they could be broken down into three main categories; e-commerce, subscription services and advertising.
E-commerce as you would expect involves selling products online, this may, or may not involve substantial start-up costs, depending on the types of products you are going to offer. If you are going to be selling something like cameras online, you will need to purchase your stock in significant volume to get the discounts you will require to make a profit, this will involve a hefty investment. But not all e-commerce sites need major cash investment. In this new digital age there are many non-tangible products that can be sold online, such as e-books, MP3's, stock images, the list is practically endless.
Subscription services can provide an income from your users, by paying a fee to access the content on your site, such as a subscription to 'the Times online' for a fixed period. Or the ability to access unlimited music on demand from companies such as Spotify. Obviously the content you provide to your users must be of a very high standard, for them to want to part with their cash.
Another route that some online entrepreneurs may take is to make their money from online advertising. This can be very profitable but you will have to have very high volumes of traffic coming to your site. This can be achieved by offering excellent content (usually for free) to attract visitors, who in turn will click on your ads. A site that springs to mind that uses this business model is Facebook, now I don't expect everyone to be the next Mark Zuckerberg, but a well written blog with up-to-date content will certainly get you started. Be warned, unless your site attracts millions of visitors a month The Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising approach is probably not going to generate enough income for you to be able to quit your day job just yet.
So what do you need to get started, well in my next post I will discuss getting your business online. From how and where to buy your domain name, to hosting your website and choosing the right software tools and applications to turn your business dreams in to reality.
18. October 2011 12:44
Getting Started in Business
Although times are hard for businesses we have been approached a lot recently with people wanting to start up their own small business.
We thought we would help by supplying some useful places to start for advice on setting up a business, and support for those venturing into business for themselves.
There is a great leaflet available from Tax offices which guides you through the steps involved in working for yourself. Please follow the link here www.hmrc.gov.uk
You may want to start a Limited company and for that we recommend going straight to companies house. Please do not get weighed down with the forms as there are Agents and groups that can help with completing the forms for you if you prefer. The link for companies house is www.companieshouse.gov.uk which takes you straight to their Starting a Company forms.
Business link is an online resource for businesses from startups to existing companies and they can be found using this link www.businesslink.gov.uk They give practical online guides which answer most of the questions you may have.
Although information on how to start working for yourself is valuable, the importance of using local business facilities as emotional and business guidance is also a valuable tool. Do get in touch with your local Chamber of Commerce group who can offer support and networking with other local companies. Get involved locally with other local networking groups too as this really helps you meet other people who may have answers and practical advise to problems or questions you may have.
13. October 2011 11:34
Frustration of no contact?
In the last few days we have seen the importance of communication for companies when things aren’t going to plan.
One of the largest criticisms of the recent problems with Blackberry was that customers didn’t get readily available updates or had nobody to call for progress.
This can easily be rectified as we are now pleased to announce our Emergency Communications facility for companies that need a back up or point of contact for customers in the UK or worldwide at times where things don’t go to plan.
We will give you a number that you can publicise on your website for emergency use and when you need us we can act as a human point of call for your customers.
Nobody can stop things going on, but people can do something about their customer service when it does – Let us help!!!
12. October 2011 12:13
Blackberry have long since been known for their secure email, web browsing and messaging service (BBM), but what happens when it goes wrong? Well blackberry users across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India found out around 11:00am on Monday 10th October 2011. The problems then spread to Brazil, Chile and Argentina during Tuesday 12th Oct. So what caused this widespread disruption? RIM place the blame with one of their core switches failing, this on it's own wouldn't have caused widespread disruption, but when the fail-over switch failed to come online, Blackberry users were plunged into darkness.
Many of Blackberry's customers feel let down by the company who have been very sketchy about the problems and when they are likely to be resolved. This will do nothing to aid the companies battle for market share in this very competitive market. It's perfect timing however for Apple as they launch their iMessage today (Wed 12th Oct) that works just like Blackberry's messenger.
11. October 2011 14:39
We have known the annoyance of irrelevant sales calls for companies. For any company no matter what the size or industry category, sales calls can be an unwanted interruption to a business day.
We have always politely advised unwanted sales calls to send enquiries in writing or within an email so that their enquiries can be filtered and in persistent cases we take their details and politely let them know not to contact unless they are invited to do so in the future.
Lately we have had a rise in data companies calling to ‘substantiate’ company details such as names, phone numbers etc. We are always aware that giving details can open a flood gate of sales so please be careful what information you decide to make public.
The best ways to deal with sales calls (apart from signing up to us!!) is to make sure you are aware what information is listed in business directories both in paper form and on the web that people can readily access.
Always have a strategy for sales calls. For example if it’s a new enquiry let the salesperson know of an acceptable way to contact the company, such as email or in letter form but without giving extra data like contact names and positions away. We often give out an info@ or enquiries@ email if companies are happy for us to do so, but we wont give out a personal email address such as Nicola.Kent@.
When it gets to the stage that you remember or recognise a salesperson when they call, then they are probably bordering on nuisance. In these cases we tend to remind firmly but politely that if the company was interested they would have contacted them by now. We have only in very rare circumstances ‘bad listed’ a salesperson, but if it gets to that point we advise no contact at all.
Please do remember that sales people can be genuine and not all annoying! But be firm if what they are offering would have no benefit to the company at all so that they don’t waste their time calling you back.
Please let us know of any stories you have regarding bizarre sales calls and if you need our assistance please yell!
6. October 2011 11:23
Wednesday the 5th October 2011 will stick in my mind as the day we lost one of the greatest innovators of our time. Steve Jobs had been at the helm of the worlds most valuable (227billion) technology giant, Apple since he started the company 35 years ago in his parent’s garage, but due to failing health he resigned as CEO in late August 2011, sadly today he lost his battle against pancreatic cancer at the age of 56.
Social media networks have been flooded with tributes to the technology guru, so much so that Twitter was struggling to cope with the number of tweets being posted; early reports indicate that Jobs is likely to break the current record of 8,868 tweets per second, it’s estimated that the figure could exceed 10,000 tweets per second!
Steve Jobs has forever changed the way we use and look at technology, he made it sexy! His innovative products such as the iPhone and iPad which have revolutionised the way we communicate today are testament to this.
Steve Jobs will be missed by many, but may his spirit live on in Apple…
5. October 2011 10:16
Following an eagerly awaited announcement at Apple HQ in Silicon Valley there was some in trepidation yesterday over the possible launch of an iphone5 that sadly didn’t come into fruition. Mr Cook made his first major debut on the worldwide stage since his former boss Steve Jobs stepped down earlier in August this year to announce the new iPhone 4S.
But is this seen as a new member of the Apple family in its own right or is it just an upgraded version of its Apple siblings? And haven’t we been here before? There has been beforehand with the launch of the iPhone3G and upgrade to the iPhone3GS.
So what are the differences between the iPhone4 and the iPhone 4S. Well, the iPhone 4S boasts a faster processor and a better camera. A faster processor will allow for faster downloading.
Probably the most exciting part of the iPhone 4S is that it is ready to go with the new iOS 5 software being launched later this month on the 12th October. The whole experience of the iOS 5 software is to provide an easily accessible social experience, making it easier for the user to keep in touch with what is happening through their social media favourites such as Twitter, Safari and YouTube.
An upgrade for all Apple users will be available to download for free and will coincide with the much awaited iCloud.
iOS 5 has given the camera app a real user friendly twist allowing users to click on their pictures without having to unlock them and allowing features such as auto focus and exposure and all other facilities that you would expect from a digital camera. The iOS 5 also has a revamped gaming app making it a much fun user experience for gamers.
We await the launch of iOS 5 next week to see how the new iOS 5 makes a difference for Apple users.
4. October 2011 10:25
Here at the Reception Bureau know the importance of keeping a clean working space but we have been known to leave the odd mouldy cup. We were quite pleased to know its not just us when we saw this article in the Telegraph yesterday.
So what are the real dangers of having a messy desk? We looked at our office spaces to see how DDS could cause problems.
For our call handlers probably the biggest problem is not necessarily desk area but more the telephones. We have anti-bacterial wipes for our call handlers to be able to clean the phones and head sets each time they start and finish work. We were impressed on how neat and tidy the desks are kept.
We have a large open plan office so we know how quickly a cold or flu bug can do the rounds, so we do encourage people to use the good old fashioned ‘use a hanky’ approach if they cough or sneeze. It tends to be the old ideas that are the most effective, with washing hands after using the toilet or eating being a simple but an effective way of keeping bugs at bay.
We ventured to the I.T. department, and yes, their desks are chaotic but rather than being messy they are full of various technical gadgets and equipment. No mouldy cups or half eaten sandwiches!
So who was the largest culprit? Well sadly that appeared to be my desk! I normally have a variety of projects on the go at once and am notorious in the office for having at least several cups of tea on the go at the same time. So what ways will I improve my working space?
I have a date with the shredder and a drawer that is long past a good clear out – so I think today a clean out is a must!