Top Tips for choosing a Telephone Answering Service

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When choosing a telephone answering service there are many factors you should consider to help you find the best one for your company.

Ask for a free trial, any respectable answering service will offer you a free no obligation trial. This will allow you to try out the service before making any commitment to sign up.
Make a visit into the office. You need to feel confident that the people answering on behalf of your company are professional and friendly.
Ask to do test calls. Most reputable companies will suggest you do this, as they will be confident that their virtual receptionists will impress you. You also need to ensure they sound as if they are a part of your organisation, so ask as many questions possible.
Ensure that they make a conscious effort to learn the ins and outs of your company, including your company history and the services you provide.
You should feel free to give them as much information as needed to ensure they are handling your calls to the highest standards.
Your chosen telephone answering service must be flexible to the needs of your company and able to deal with any bespoke requirements your business requests.

 

By following all of the above tips you will be able to outsource your reception and feel comfortable your calls are being handled by the best receptionists available. Here at Best reception we make sure our service delivers all of the above and plenty more.

Benefits of a Telephone Answering Service.

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Any business owner will agree that running a company can be very stressful and time consuming. By outsourcing your calls to us at Best Reception your day to day work load can be minimised, leaving your day less stressful. If you have a small business it can be hard to ensure every call is answered, but many new clients will hang up if greeted by a busy tone or voicemail. By diverting your calls to us we will ensure you never miss out on any potential new business and can guarantee that every call will be answered in a polite and professional manner. We will also act familiar with your existing clients to ensure they remain happy with your service. Our reception service is so seamless that your callers will expect us to be sitting at the front desk of your company.

            Larger companies, who use our telephone answering service as a switchboard, have found this to be extremely beneficial to the management of a large amount of calls. Not only can we guarantee that calls are promptly answered, but outsourcing a large call volume is extremely cost effective. Hiring an in house receptionist to accommodate a large call volume can be a great expense! We can handle your calls in any way you require, for example calls can be put it through to as many different departments and people as needed. We also offer free sales screening so any cold callers will be dealt with and you will not be charged for these calls. This will stop your valuable time being consumed on irrelevant matters.

            Further more our large clientele get the opportunity to share an online diary with us. This enables us to know your work schedules and advise callers on your availability. If you had a meeting you could add this to your diary, which would be visible to us, and we would inform callers of this and let them know when they are likely to get a response. In addition to this according to the information you provide us with we can deal with some of your calls for you, including directions and prices. Therefore by outsourcing your switchboard to Best Reception you are left with more time to efficiently manage your company.

My First Week

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After my first week working as a virtual receptionist, I have started to find my footing and have become more and more confident in my role. I have undergone further training by learning some of our clients with more difficult call handling. For example, I have been learning how we book appointments for one of our clients, who are an osteopathic clinics based in Leytonstone. Using a free online diary system, we book in his existing patients for half an hour and his new clients for an hour. In addition to this, I have learnt various details of his clinic so I can accurately help his callers. For example, I can now advise them on prices of appointments, directions to the clinic and clinic opening hours.

            Now I am getting to grips with the basics, I have begun to perform more day to day tasks. These tasks involve checking the diaries for daily movements of our clients and updating the scripts to ensure these movements are acknowledged. To help me organise my day to day tasks, I have my own weekplan. On my week plan there are jobs that I need do and things that I need to remember. In addition to these tasks, I have regular reviews with my team leader and office manager, which are very useful as I can discuss how I feel I am progressing and any questions I may have.

            All in all I feel I am learning more and more everyday and keen to see what the next few weeks will entail.

Case Study – Ordering Service

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Here at Best Reception we can take orders from your callers by using online payment systems, your personal websites or by taking the details for you and sending them securely in two messages for safety. There is no need to use up you precious time taking orders, or paying an expensive sales team when Best Reception can make sure all orders are handled in the best way possible for a fraction of the price. Make sure you do not loose out on any clients who may try to call whilst you are in meetings, or who may be too afraid to place orders online by giving them the option to call through to a team of friendly receptionists.

One of our clients have provided us with an online payment system which allows us to place orders in an efficient and secure way. Not only this but we can also track orders, change order details and cancel orders. This helps save our client a huge amount of time as we are able to provide all the information that callers need and help them with any order queries.

We can also log onto your website and place the order for the caller. This can be very useful as people may not feel they can do the order online themselves or may feel a lot more comfortable talking to a person on reception.

For another of our clients we take payment by entering all the card details into a simple message. This may be useful if you don’t have a payment system or website. These details are quickly emailed over to you in two messages for security.

Make sure you save your own time and do not miss out on valuable sales whilst otherwise occupied by having Best Reception take your orders, helping increase your own revenue.

Telephone Answering for IT support Companies.

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Here at Best reception, we have a large client base which consists of IT support companies. We offer a variety of services to all of these companies, from call answering right through to booking callouts and management of support issues.

            For one of our clients, who are an IT support centre based in Essex, we not only act as their reception service, we also manage the running of their helpdesk. When their clients email their support team, we receive emails and deal with them accordingly. For example, if one of their clients is raising a new support issue, we will then log onto the helpdesk system and create a new case for the engineers to deal with. If the issue is urgent we can also prioritise it as such. Alternatively, if their clients email in updates on existing issues, we can update the helpdesk accordingly. After logging this we send a message to the client informing them of the details of the problem and the action we have taken.

            Another way their customers can contact support is by phoning in; this support line gets diverted to us. We answer the calls in their company name, and depending on what department in support they need, we put the call through to the relevant person in the technical team who will be able to help. If we do no get through to their lines then we inform the caller the technical team are currently unavailable but will call them back as soon as possible.

            For this IT Company we also get personal calls asking for a specific member of the team. For these call we can transfer the caller through to the person they wish to speak with directly or if requested take a message. We also have access their diary, which allows us to see their movements throughout the day. This means that we are able to inform callers when they are likely to get a call back.

            With this company and many others in this industry, our outsourced reception service works so well as it is so seamlessly done, that your clients will be none the wiser that we are not based with your company. With all of our clients, we strive to prove that in many ways an outsourced reception works just as well as, or even better than, an in house reception.

More than just an answering service

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Here at Best Reception many of our clients enjoy the benefits of our service being so much more than just a telephone answering service. An outsourced reception can help you effectively manage your time by relieving more of the day to day pressures of running a business as well as answering your calls. 

Our call handling software allows us to access vast amounts of information about your company, enabling us to answer any common question or queries your customers may have. For example one of our companies we take orders for sell fruit baskets. We get asked for prices, opening times , methods of payment and many other general queries they may have which we are able to answer. We can also answer questions about the products themselves for example how fresh the fruit is, what fruit is used and how long will it last for. With any urgent enquiries we can patch to you so you can speak to them directly. Having all this information makes the callers feel like they are talking to someone within the company.

Another example of Best Reception being more than just an answering service is the booking service we provide for many of our clients. Having an outsourced reception to handle your booking not only saves money but also allows you to never miss out on potential business and manage your time effectively. For example one of our clients who run a natural drug free remedy clinic for respiratory problems have clinics based all over the world. They have provided us with logins to access their diary remotely, where we can book their appointments for two of their clinics and we also have lots of information sheets with session times, directions, what to wear, massage therapy and much more.  This greatly helps the running of their clinic as client needs are catered to quickly and efficiently by prompt appointment booking and question answering.

My First Day as a Virtual Receptionist

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In the role of a virtual receptionist, the first few days can be extremely daunting. Not only starting a new job, but every call you take is like working for a different company…

One of the most vital aspects of my first day was being trained to the high standards expected of the company. To achieve this I received training in many different aspects of what it takes to become a top virtual receptionist. One of these aspects was how to use our call answering software. I was shown how the system works to answer calls; how it is tailor made to suit each of our clients and how messages are effectively taken.

After this, I spent the afternoon with my Team Leader looking through companies, learning what they do and how we manage their calls. I learnt that familiarity is essential to not only provide an exceptional service to both the customers and our clients, but to also help me become a positive and friendly receptionist and to overcome any nerves I may have when answering the phone.

Another part of my day was learning about Best Reception as a company and how everything works in the offices. All of our clients are allocated a team of receptionists who answer their calls. I have gained a valuable insight into the benefits of teams in our company. Not only does it benefit our receptionists by giving them specific clients to work with and take the time to learn, but also our clients because it gives them a first class reception service, with all receptionists having the knowledge to handle their calls. It also gives our clients’ customer’s familiarity with “their reception”.

In each team, there is a team leader and an assistant team leader, these ensure that everyday tasks are regularly carried out such as checking the diaries, checking the emails and making sure each company’s notes are up to date.

All in all, I learnt a lot on my first day and I’m looking forward to my time ahead with the company.

A day at Best Reception

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A day at Best Reception starts with the important duty of all the morning checks. Here we run line tests to ensure that there will be no chance of any disruption to your line. Likewise we send test messages and check our system to ensure that email and SMS messages are being sent to you quickly and efficiently, so we get your messages to you without fail.

 At Best Reception we give you the opportunity to use a free online diary so you can update your movements on there. First thing each morning we check all client diaries to make sure that any movements that are entered by you are added to your script before the start of the day so we can inform callers of your whereabouts.  However we continue to regularly check the diaries throughout the day to ensure that any movements that are updated at the last minute are put on to the script promptly. 

 Each morning the team sit down for a morning meeting that is taken by either an office manager or Team Leader. Here is a great opportunity to brief the team on any new issues that were raised the previous day that they need to be aware of. It is also an excellent chance to introduce the team to any new clients that are due to start and make all receptionists fully aware of how to manage their calls before any are taken.

 From the moment our lines are officially live to the moment we close you have a dedicated team of virtual receptionists answering your calls. We are delighted to take such a variety of calls ranging from message taking and transferring calls to placing orders and booking appointments. With such a varied client base no call is ever the same, this makes our day all the more interesting.

 Not only do we take all the incoming calls throughout the day but our day is also filled with all different types of tasks. Throughout the day we can also make outbound calls for you too, for example we can re-arrange appointments for you or give out delivery information to customers or even just pass on messages to your clients! Not only this but we also spend our day updating your company information with any details you give us to make sure that all information we have for you is correct and up to date. So as you can imagine we are always kept busy!

Holiday Cover

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Don’t get the holiday blues over missed calls…..

With our excellent call handling system no call needn’t go a miss. Whether you are an existing client or a new client, if you give us the dates you are away and how you would like us to handle your calls, you can relax in the sun with the stress of missing calls at the back off your mind! Here at Best Reception we offer many different packages for new clients looking for holiday cover for exceptional value, we will answer your calls Monday – Friday 8.30am – 6pm, keep your eyes on this blog though as of July 2011 our opening times will be changing, we will be working Monday – Friday 8.30 am 8 pm and Saturday 8:30 am – 5.30 pm.

 We also offer a voice mail system so we will return your calls if you wish. No company is too big or to small for us and with our dedicated team we will handle your calls in a polite and professional manner.

Getting to know your small business

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If you are currently running a small business you may find it hard to juggle all the tasks of running a successful company and dealing with new enquiries. This is where Best Reception can help, you can choose to simply divert your phones to us when you are too busy trying to do something else and we can take a message from anyone who calls. If you prefer we could even call you when we have one of your clients, and if you are too busy to take the call we can take a message. With your telephones taken care of you will have more time to deal with other business needs.

We make sure we know every company’s needs and functions to provide the best service for you, if you only have a small company we will get to know you and your team closely and therefore get to know your clients for a seamless result.

So save precious business time and make sure you have a telephone answering service that will not only be able to develop a relationship with your staff, but also with your clients.