Every day we receive calls from our clients regarding the pros and cons of varying types of phone number for their business. Time and again, an issue that keeps coming up is that if they opt for a “customer-friendly” 0800 or other freephone number, these are still charged by mobile phone operators at rates of up to a whopping 40p per minute.
As we tend to use our mobiles more than landlines this can be at best frustrating and at worst, massively expensive. We’ve received a brilliant email this week from one of our suppliers which provides an excellent solution – we’ve tested it and it works!
Simply by dialling their number, 01600 700 800 and entering the 0800 number you wish to dial, followed by #, you’ll be connected to your freephone number and the minutes used will be included in your mobile package.
We think this is a great idea and here’s the link for more info http://www.ttnc.co.uk/other-services/mobile-2-freephone
Ouch. There are times when it just doesn’t quite go to plan and this weekend was a perfect example. With just 21 days until the marathon the inevitable happened and a planned mid length run (about 15 miles) turned into more of a puffing and panting stagger round the block. Barely managing 8K, I gave up and headed for the showers feeling quite disconsolate and pretty much exhausted. Are my marathon hopes dashed? I certainly hope not but on Saturday I was definitely falling way short of the finish line and naturally, this was quite distressing!
However, jumping straight back on the horse on Monday, I managed 10K in the gym on Monday in a slightly slower than my typical average time (about 55 mins, in a 10k race would aim at sub 50) with relative ease so it appears that all is not lost! Back to the gym tonight to continue with the tapering plan (aiming at 10 miles / 90 minutes) and we’ll see how this goes.
So, what have I learned from this? One big thing was the impact of going off too fast and underestimating the time it takes to get into the rhythm, even on short runs; having done longer training runs my head clearly wasn’t in it on Saturday and motivation hit rock bottom.
If I can keep the training to plan, without too many niggles (ankle starting to play up a bit!) hopefully all will be fine. My big lesson from this weekend is that I must ease myself into the Marathon itself (all too tempting to go shooting off and ruin the whole race) and I must be 100% committed to the race plan and have the belief that I will have what it takes… so training the grey muscle between my ears is seemingly just as important as all the other ones!
I’ve been doing some research over the last week or so and was under the impression that with 4 weeks to go, I should’ve done my last BIG run… however it now appears that this should be this weekend and then it’s a case of tapering the runs down in preparation of the Marathon on 17 April. This presents me with a dilemma; I seem to be still massively struggling at 20 miles but on the other hand I don’t want the current niggles (now the knee is playing up!) to become injuries!! I’m guessing that I’m not alone in this!
There does seem to be a general consensus that the need for (high risk of injury) 20 mile plus runs is not an essential part of final training for a marathon however, as I’ve yet to run the full 26.2 miles ever, this does fill me with a fear of the unknown and the thought that it could all go terribly wrong as I hobble into the final 10k!
So here’s my plan and I’ll report back after the race on how it worked for me. To avoid the risk of a race-stopping injury, I’m going to limit my runs to 2.5 hours max between now and race day and in the last fortnight reduce this even further. I’m going to try to increase my speed on these shorter runs and also focus on increasing my general fitness and reduce weight by circuit training and also focussing on my diet (haven’t had a drop of alcohol for 2 weeks today!).
The idea behind my logic is that I arrive on race day without niggling injuries, at my physical peak (whatever that may be!) and also carbbed up to the eyeballs to help the stamina. With a hearty breakfast, banana at the start-line, gel packs, Lucozade and water on the way round and the atmosphere of the day, hopefully the dreaded wall will become a hurdle rather than a total barrier!
The training for the big day seems to be back on track (touch wood) and I managed my furthest ever distance on the road on Saturday – 2o miles. While quite elated to have achieved this milestone, there is absolutely no doubt that I was absolutely shattered at the end – could I have managed another 6.2 miles? I’m not so sure…
On the plus side, I did complete this without any serious preparation on the day, supplements and with a total of just 1.5 litres of water throughout so hopefully I’ll have some more energy reserves on the 17 April. However, I remember reading another London Marathon blog where the author mentioned hitting the wall at 2o miles and hugely struggling to get going again. So fingers crossed.
One part of my run that did add to the excitement was managing to get lost (for about an hour!) running round fields until eventually I managed to find my original point of entry and get back on the road. While this made interesting running, I’m also taking consolation in the fact that this was hard going and perhaps stole a couple of my marathon road miles!! At least that’s what I’m telling myself. If it wasn’t for the GPS (thank you Garmin), I’d probably still be running round that field!
Planning my final big run (as far as I can get in 3.5 hours) on Saturday and then the folks in the know suggest that I start to reduce my distance until race day – I quite like the sound of that advice 🙂
Marathon pack arrived yesterday and the countdown begins – it’s starting to get quite exciting although when I look at the route plan, it’s also looking quite daunting too. Am hoping that I’ll be spurred on by the crowds and the thought of what I’m running this for (Asthma UK) and all the generosity from those that have sponsored me. Thanks to you all 🙂
On the whole we do receive a rather large amount of sales calls throughout the day. These calls can easy build up and you may find yourself paying out for calls that you dont even want! Here at Best Reception we give you the opportunity to eliminate this worry by using our Sales Screening service for absolutely free!
We offer to screen out all sales calls for your company for FREE! Not only does this save you money but it also saves you time as you wont be interrupted whilst working and can get more done!
If we do accidentally send through a sales call to you all you need to do is let us know and we will delete the message from your monthly tally so you will not be charged. We can also add the company that you dont want to hear from to our block list so we dont mistakenly send them through to you again.
However this service is optional so if you would still like to receive calls/messages from sales calls this is no problem. Or you can even choose to screen out any irrelevant sales but keep any relevant ones that you may be interested in!
To give the illusion that we are a Front of house receptionist working solely for your company, we give you the opportunity to access a free online diary. Here you can add your daily activities for example meetings, phone calls or even lunch dates! All you need to do is block out the time that you will be unavailable on the diary and the reason why. We then add this to your script. This means that when a caller asks for you we can give them an accurate answer about your whereabouts, and can give them a time that you will be available. Your diary will be checked every half an hour so any movements that you update at the last moment will be put straight on to your script! However if the diary is not for you, you can simply call in or drop us a quick email to let us know your whereabouts and we will update your script so we can let callers know.
However saying this we do not ask for you to provide us with your daily movements if you do not want to, sometimes our clients would rather stick to our normal call handling instructions for example to always say out of the office or on the other line to callers.
To an extent we rely on you to keep us up to date with any company changes so we can make sure that your scripts is correct. This might be any new starters at the company or any new promotions we should be aware of. All you need to do is drop us a quick email with the relevant information, for example if it is a new starter you would like to add you can simply email us with their name, position, email and if required phone number. This will be set up immediately and will be active within roughly 15 minutes!
However we do as much as we can our end to keep your script up to date. For instance if anyone asks to speak to someone we do not have on our system we will contact you and ask you if you would like us to add them. Likewise if callers enquire about a service that we are not familiar with we will contact you for some more information so we can handle all enquiries to the best of our ability. Not only this but we also try to contact you from time to time just simply to go through the script we have for you and ensure that it is all up to date and relevant.
One of our clients here at Best Reception run a recycling company. When new enquiries come through we obtain the address that the caller would like recycling to be collected from. This helps saves our client time as they have all the details in front of them when they return the call and are able to give an accurate quote efficiently and promptly.
Not only this but if your company offers a similar service we can even offer you the chance to use our booking service. This means that you can use us to book in collections to save you even more time! We can do this via an online diary that we share with you.
We can also give out information to callers, whether they are asking for more information on the services you provide or about price plans etc. Therefore the service we offer helps give the illusion that we are an in-house receptionist working directly for you.
Not sure if an Answering Service is for you? Why not set up a free trial with Best Reception today and find out? We offer a two week FREE trial that gives you the chance to see how beneficial Best Reception can be to the running of your business.
A free trial also enables us to get to know your company and the call volume you will be receiving. This means that if you decide to go live with Best Reception we can then put you on the best call plan for you to ensure you are getting the most out of our service. With your own team of virtual receptionists answering calls before you sign up with Best Reception we can really get to know your company, ensuring the best quality service.
Call now for a free, non obligatory trial to see how best reception can really be the best service for your company.
Most callers will hang up when they hear an answering machine, how many of those will end up calling back another time? The percentage is not high! Say they were a potential new enquiry; they may well end up calling the next company on the list. With this is mind can you afford to miss calls?
By using Best Reception as a message taking service we ensure that your company never misses a call. Whether you are in a meeting, on the other line our out of the office your calls will always be answered professionally and politely by a team of your own virtual receptionists. This way you will never miss out on new enquiries as we will ensure that all their details will get through to you quickly and efficiently. Not only this but existing clients will be kept happier as they can speak to someone else and not just have to leave a voice mail.
We can meet your companys needs by either taking basic information from the caller such as their name, number and company or we can offer a bespoke tailor made service to suit your company. All you need to do is let us know what information you would like us to obtain from the caller and we will set this up for you! An example of this is an estate agent that we answer calls for. For their new enquiries we have forms to fill out, here we capture such information as what price ranges they are looking for, How many bedrooms and the area they are looking for. This is beneficial for your company as it is encouraging callers to give more information which saves you time finding out this information.
So as you can see here at Best Reception we meet all needs, whether you simply require a simple message taking service or a more complex bespoke service we can help!
If you run a small cleaning company have you thought about what happens to the calls you miss when you are cleaning on client sites? What happens if the calls that you miss are new enquiries? By using Best Reception as your telephone answering service you can avoid losing such valuable new enquiries as we ensure that every call is answered quickly and professionally with no call ever being missed or left in a holding queue. Not only this but if you do run a smaller cleaning firm we can give the impression on a larger enterprise.
Alternatively you may have a slightly larger company but no need for a front desk receptionist as all face to face meeting with clients will be done on their own premises. To avoid paying for a receptionist unnecessarily, we can answer your calls and obtain all the relevant information you need to help run your business smoothly.
We can save your valuable time by acquiring the appropriate information from callers. For example not only can we take a name and number but we can also take other details including the address of the premises they would like to be cleaned and the times which would be most suitable for them and anything else you may need to know!
If you are currently recruiting for new members of your team you may find it difficult to manage all the enquiries yourself. For this we can offer the perfect solution. An example of this is a client who is currently hiring and using our service to cope with the demand of vacancy enquiries. With their calls we help them by attaining information from candidates who call up including their address, cleaning experience and even if the candidates themselves are clearly spoken.
So as you can see Best reception can save you time and money by handling your calls whilst you are busy on clients sites, not only this but we can capture all the information you need so you dont have to!