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The Best Way To Take Telephone Messages in 2017

In 2017 telephone calls are tending to take a back seat to make way for instant online chat and social media messages. Because of this it is more important than ever to make sure that your telephone answering and message taking is efficient and positive.

We’ve put together this quick blog with some easy to follow tips to help you take telephone calls for your business as quickly, professionally and efficiently as possible.

1. First impressions matter

A good idea is to ensure that there are no loud noises or distractions before you answer. You should also take one or two deep breaths when the phone starts ringing. To make sure you answer clearly and don’t have the dreaded voice break as you start to speak.

The moment you answer the telephone in your place of work you are immediately representing that particular company or organisation. The first few words after answering a call must be appropriate, clear and professional. For example, if you’re answering on behalf of a colleague you should aim to make this clear quickly. You could answer with something similar to –

“Good morning, Ms Smith’s phone, Joe Bloggs speaking. How can I help?”

2. Get your tone right

It’s important to come across as friendly and helpful when answering a professional telephone call, but be aware of the dangers of too much small talk. Too much chat risks wasting everyone’s time.

3. Take messages accurately

When taking telephone messages there is a minimum set of information you will need to make note of:

Caller’s name and business name (if applicable)

A contact number for the caller

A brief message to outline the purpose of the call

Date and time the call was received

Getting these details right, and making note of them correctly is crucial. If there’s an issue such as a bad phone line, take the extra time to check the information you’re taking down is correct. Repeat all elements back for clarification.

4. Recording the message efficiently

Prepare yourself for how you are going to take down messages. This could be with a notepad and pen kept by the phone, or there are apps that can help make sure that no information is lost. Set this up in advance of taking your first call. You should also aim to standardise the way you record information. This will help to stop anything being missed.

5. Passing messages on

You should aim to pass the details of the message on to the appropriate person as soon as you can. This might mean waiting for someone to return from lunch or a meeting, or it could be chasing someone up immediately.

If your business would rather automate these scenarios, then it’s very easy to set up a free trial with Message Direct.

99% of new customers stay with Message Direct at the end of the trial period. We’re able to offer reliable call handling services, as if we are your own receptionist or PA, from as little as 60p per day.

Using Social Media for a competitive edge for your small business in 2017

It’s no secret that social media has kicked up a storm for the marketing industry over the past two decades- and it’s no wonder businesses are using it today as a platform to leverage themselves against their competitors.

So what impact does social media have as a tool for small businesses in 2017? Here we explore the reasons why social media is useful for your small business and ways in which you can use it to advance your business.

Firstly, Social media is not only free- but it’s an ideal way to get prime engagement from current and potential audiences without spending extensive amounts. Unlike costly traditional marketing techniques, social media can be used to communicate directly with customers. Although typically businesses will use paid forms of advertising, they can vary from as little as £1 per advert or ‘boost’, perfect for small or start-up companies looking to save when marketing their new business. Although advertising can become costly, the audiences that you may reach by using social media are far wider than those of traditional marketing techniques meaning you are able to connect with audiences far and wide that may take an interest in your business.

Not only is it cost effective, social media encourages an authentic relationship between you, (the business) and the customer. By creating posts that are relatable to the audience, you engage with those you are targeting -prompting a trusting and more personal customer relationship.

Social media is direct. With the use of clever tools such as analytics, social media cuts straight to the audience your small business is marketing to, based on a person’s profile on each network. If you’re targeting a specific age, gender or area, Facebook smartly does the hard work for you by narrowing the fields, giving you that competitive edge against similar companies.

It allows you to analyse your success or failures. What could take hours with traditional marketing takes a simple few clicks with social media when it comes to analysing the success of your marketing campaign efforts. With an extensive review of traffic, clicks or likes on your campaigns, social media can analyse what works and doesn’t work for the audience to get the best results. Whether it’s posting humorous content, asking questions to the audience, or simply updating information, Facebook can tell you what’s worked or hasn’t that month, giving you the opportunity to figure out the best social media strategy for your small business. As well as this, you are also able to review insights into what is being talked about most in your particular industry.

Conversion Rates. Whether you own a small shop, provide a service or run a website- social media can undoubtedly convert traffic to sales. If a business is providing its audience with engaging content, it could see an increase of its sales and/or traffic to its website.

Of course, Social media doesn’t come without its downfalls. If you’re a service based company be prepared to receive public reviews on your Facebook or Twitter pages that are honest and direct and understand how to handle them. This can give you the competitive advantage against similar companies to you.

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When you’re seeking to grow your business, it’s essential that you have a robust marketing strategy that employs a multichannel promotional mix.

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Short term summer holiday business phone cover

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Phone boxes: a thing of the past

Traditionally seen on most high streets, phone boxes have become increasingly rare in recent years. Whilst people once relied heavily on public phone boxes, the widespread use of mobile technology has rendered them largely obsolete.

Although some smaller villages throughout the UK still feature the iconic red phone box, many of the handsets in towns and cities have been removed or replaced with wireless hubs and hot spots.

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