Category Archives: Uncategorized

Six Top Tips to Telephone Answering

At some point or other, whatever your job title, your phone is going to ring and you’re going to have to answer it. For some people, answering the phone comes naturally, and they sound so pleased to hear from you. For others, it is a complete nuisance, and you can hear the reluctance in their voice. However you feel about it, the telephone remains one of the best ways to stay connected to your clients, even in this digital age of emails and social media. Therefore, the way in which you answer the phone can make or break your business.

I just want to speak to a human!

So why is telephone communication still so prevalent today despite the popularity of the internet and the rise in other forms of communication? For me personally, as much as I love the ease of doing business online, sometimes I just want – need – to speak to someone. It’s all well and good for a chat bot to pop up while I’m on an organisation’s website, offering to help me with whatever query I might have today. But it really can’t compare to that one-to-one personal interaction you get with another human being.

And this is where you come in: the human that can solve all of your clients’ problems and make everything better.

But, like any form of communication, there’s a preferred way and, well, a less than ideal way to answer the telephone. Let’s take a look.

Focus, focus, focus

First off, when the phone rings, drop everything you’re doing and shift your focus. This might be easier said than done, what with your ever growing to-do list and overflowing in-tray. It seems that every time you get settled into tackling that job that was due last week, the phone rings, rupturing your concentration, rudely and without apology. At this point, it can be hugely tempting to continue what you’re doing and answer the phone at the same time. But I guarantee that the caller will sense your distraction, and most likely will not be reassured by it.

I am guilty of multitasking while on the telephone. And I can attest to barely remembering a single word of what was said during those conversations. Being on the other end of that call isn’t fun either. Have you ever called a business, and had a mounting sense of dread as you spoke to the person on the line? The sense that they were so preoccupied, they didn’t hear a word you said?

So, as fun as juggling is, please, take a breath, shift your focus, and only then should you answer the phone.

A garbled message

As our workloads have swelled, we are now more likely to eat at our desk while multitasking. This can prove tricky if you find yourself chewing into a sandwich when the phone suddenly rings. Do you gobble it down quickly, risking possible choking, or tuck the offending morsel into your cheek? Needless to say, you want the caller to be able to understand you, and a mouthful of food can seriously impact on that goal. So chew wisely.

Three strikes and you’re out

How quickly you answer the phone is also an important consideration. Answer on the first ring, and you risk startling your customer. Take your sweet time, and you could lose your customer altogether. Everyone’s time is precious, and no one wants to sit on the phone listening to it ring out. So what’s a happy medium?

The three-ring rule seems to be an agreed business standard. Three rings gives you enough time to compose yourself, while allowing the caller to collect their thoughts.

What if you’re on the opposite side of the room when the phone rings, and you need to make a mad dash to get to it within three rings? In these cases, it might be best to take a few moments to catch your breath before picking up the phone, even if it means the phone rings four, five or six times. You don’t want your customer misinterpreting your heavy breathing.

Manners are cool

So you’ve finally picked up the phone. Obviously, you, as the person being called, should speak first. It might be a bit creepy if you were to answer the phone and then sit there silently. But what to say?

Even if caller ID lets you know who is calling, it’s best to pretend otherwise. Answering with a “Howdy Tom, how’s it hangin’?” might be a bit too familiar, even if you’re best buddies with your client.

So err on the side of caution. No matter who your clients are, they want to be spoken to with respect. Manners never go out of style.

Keep it simple on Telephone Answering

Like any form of communication, simplicity and clarity are key.

Begin with a simple greeting like “hello”. “Good morning” and “good afternoon” work well too.

In this moment, you are your organisation’s ambassador, so it’s good to identify the name of your business. Follow this up by stating your name, and perhaps even an offer of assistance.

A good example might be:

“Good morning, ABC Workspace. This is Jane. How may I help you?”

Here we have all the elements of a polite and respectful greeting that tells the caller who they’re talking to, and explicitly lets them know that you’re ready and willing to help.

Tone it down

The final point to consider when answering the phone is how you say it. On the phone, and in the absence of all other non-verbal cues, your tone of voice can give the whole game away.

One of the easiest ways to sound friendly and approachable is to smile as you pick up the phone. As cheesy as it sounds, it really does work. Because when you smile, your voice changes. It’s hard to sound snarky when you’re smiling (unless, of course, you’re smiling through gritted teeth).

And that’s all there is to it: breathe, swallow, wait three rings, smile, and say hello.

Here at holdeverything we pride ourselves on always answering your business calls with professionalism so you can be sure that your clients always get the right impression.

Author note:  David Miller blogs on a range of business and social topics.

 

4 reasons to choose a Virtual Office on Regent Street

  1. Prestigious Central London Presence

Regent Street is one of the busiest and well-known streets in the United Kingdom, possibly even the World.  It provides a variety of services, from gyms, galleries, clothes and toy shops to restaurants, cafes and bars, as well as office and business spaces.

Major worldwide known brands such as Apple, Hamleys, Armani, Ralph Lauren and Burberry  reside on Regent Street. These can be your neighbours if you use the services of Hold-Everything.com.

Their names and reputation speak volumes and will bring yours up too! To be portrayed as a business on that level of standing is an extreme positive. It shows that not only are you a high standing business but you are able to afford an office space on the most exclusive street in London.

Not only does Hold Everything provide mail forwarding and a telephone service it also has a meeting room which can be used at your disposal. The fact that this meeting room is on Regent Street means you can meet with your clients in a well-known and easily accessible place. Regent Street is within a few minutes walk to: Oxford Circus with Bond Street,  Green Park and Piccadilly Circus, all within a five minute walk. Mainline stations such as  Victoria, Charing Cross, Euston plus Kings Cross and St Pancras are all easily accessed from these stations.  Meaning you can meet up with your clients who are not based in London easily too.

  1. Stability

Using a virtual office in London provides stability for your company that you may not get with a physical office space. Start-up companies who are likely to be smaller and move around more, due to their financial instability and the fact they may not have two feet fully on the business ground yet, will not want to waste their valuable profit margin on renting the office space in Central London.

Renting in Central London and getting onto the property ladder costs a fortune, it is worth the while to let someone else worry about those overheads and not you!  This saves you; business rates, rent, insurances and commuting costs.

By doing this you will have more faith in your company that it will survive and can invest time and money into various other aspects of the business. Utilising a virtual office means that moving home or even city or even so far as the country doesn’t impact your business: you do not have to let your employees and clientele know that the registered business address is changing as by using the Regent Street office that we provide your business address is fixed to one central location.

  1. Credibility & professionalism

A virtual office in Regent Street provides your business with credibility. It does this by giving a great first impression. Your business is tied to London: one of the major business hubs in Europe and therefore portrays a professional, prestigious and honourable business.

Thus, giving potential clients confidence in your firm. Additionally, it allows you to operate like a big corporation even if you are not. Through telephone answering by a live real human and not a robotic answering machine it shows your clients you are committed to them, willing to listen, and give them contentment that their voices are being heard and issues are being dealt with.

Another way in which using a Regent Street office boosts your professionalism is through your website. Your new address and phone number can be put on your ‘contact us’ page and this is necessary to look like a legitimate business.

 

  1. Search engine rankings

Google is a vital tool and important source of enquires and clients for micro businesses. Prospective clients may search ‘law firm Regent Street’ or even ‘law firm London’ into google and your business stands a better chance of appearing.

It is this way that you are much more likely to gain new clientele because people will not search ‘law firm (and your home address)’ unless you are neighbours or they know of you personally. And if they do they can go to google street view and see your residential area. Which not only downgrades your corporate business appearance but invades your privacy.

Google ranks its results according to relevance and popularity. So, searching for example ‘Virtual Office Regent Street’ Hold Everything is the second link (excluding the advertised ones and based on the day I wrote this, the first is one of our resellers of our address) and the first one on the google maps. This is because we are highly relevant to what you are searching, and popularity is based on how successful the business is.

Blog written by Mollie Churney, Virtual Office Assistant

Identity Theft – What is it & Ways to prevent it

 

What is identity theft?

With increased public awareness in the area of identity theft we look at what is actually involved, how it can affect you, and what you can do the prevent it.

Identity theft involves another person stealing your personal information and using it without consent and for their own personal gain. This could involve, for example, credit card fraud, cyber-crimes, and even entering a country illegally. This could unfortunately, leave you, the victim, with many issues and consequences.   Serious problems may arise such as low  credit rating , being rejected for mortgages and loans and even being refused a phone contract.  Even though you are the innocent victim your personal credit may be impaired for up to 6 years.

identity-theft-3

 

Ways to prevent identity theft?

Many people create a UK Limited company automatically using their home address as the Registered Office. This will always create a situation where that information stays on the public register at Companies House and is easily accessible to the public. By using your home address you potentially leave yourself, and those who also occupy the residence, in danger and more exposed to identity theft, robberies and even stalking. Once your name is found your date of birth is not hard to detect through social media, and then access to your property title deeds is simply a few clicks away.

Preventing this is simple: register your UK Limited company with a virtual office! Your business registered office and/or correspondence address will be attached to our Regent Street virtual office. Thus ensuring this public register is one area that you have excluded your personal information from.

 

identity-theft-2

Photo www.cafecredit.com under CC 2.0

What preventative measures do Hold Everything take?

When clients sign up to our London Virtual office on Regent Street they know their identity and information is safe with us as discretion is part of our package. It is made clear in our terms and conditions that we do not disclose client information to any third parties unless served by an official government body.

Our 38-year existence is down to good teamwork and terrific client support with the aim to ensure our clients have the protection that a renowned virtual office offers. The Hold Everything owner, Richard, explains that “it takes years to build a reputation and seconds to destroy it”, and that’s why we take the whole subject very seriously and look to protect our clients details in every way possible.

We spoke to Bennett Arron, Comedian and Identity Theft Expert about this subject, he said

“I lost everything through Identity Theft, so the consequences can be devastating. Tangible items are replaceable, your name is not”. If you don’t believe me, ask Bennett Arron”

Bennett Arron, Comedian and Identity Theft Expert

Twitter: @bennettarron

Website: www.bennettarron.com

His book, a true, disturbing, yet funny account of Identity theft is available here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/HEARD-ONE-ABOUT-IDENTITY-THEFT-ebook/dp/B00TCHB5AQ

 

Hold Everything Director, Richard Cooper together with company Compliance Officer Bev Lanning have read this book and highly recommend it.

 

 

 

Why would I want to use mail forwarding services?

mail forwarding

One of the most popular packages we offer are our mail hold and mail forwarding services with clients raving about the flexible service and affordable prices which we offer.

More often than not, businesses choose to opt for a mail forwarding package to take advantage of using our prestigious registered office address on Regent Street in London. Using this as your business address on your website, in face-to-face meetings and even on your business card allows you to impress new clients from day one.

You can’t take for granted the difference a good first impression can make when it comes to presenting your business to prospective clients.

With our mail forwarding packages, you can have your mail collected, handled and sent on to your specific requirements. This means you never need to worry about missing a package if you work remotely, or having to distribute your post to various employees. You can ensure this is all done for you by our dedicated and professional team at Hold Everything.

If you are regularly in London or around the area you may simply opt for our mail hold service which means you can have all your post and packages delivered to Regent Street and held safely and securely for your collection. This service is particularly popular with our customers who choose to take advantage of our flexible meeting room service which you can hire and use to carry out those important client meetings, conveniently collecting any packages at the same time.

Finally, you could even opt for an international mail forwarding service. This is perfect for businesses who operate outside the UK but wish to retain a UK presence in London. Just choose our international package to see the full features and benefits available.

All of our mail forwarding packages are simple, easy and cost effective for your business, providing you with a professional service you can trust.

Small business, Big impressions: Taking advantage of a virtual office address

As a small business, making a good impression can seem like a feat in itself. There is something about a start-up enterprise or a family run company that can put you on the back foot with potential customers, finding yourself judged and scrutinized before you can even say hello.

This judgement is quite ironic as over the years I have become accustomed to hearing realms of praise from high flying business men and women who are often describing the warm customer service, acute attention to detail and second-to-none product knowledge that they have experienced working with a small business.

The problem is, small businesses still make people nervous. There are usually less reviews to read, fewer big name case studies to take in and in general more ‘unknowns’ compared to the big names in the market. This makes it very hard for a small business to make a good impression from the start, despite the often superior service they may be able to deliver.

Being able to sway an individual to take a chance on your company is all about confidence. Confidence that you have the capability and experience to compete with the big players.

Choosing a virtual office address allows you to use a highly desirable business address for your company. All of our clients benefit from using a Regent Street address, and impressing potential clients with their prestigious W1 postcode in London. They are also able to make use of a personalised London telephone number where our dedicated telephone assistant will answer the phone in the name of their business and send on calls as they need.

These small features can make the world of difference to the perception of a small business, giving customers the confidence to find out more about what they can offer, and as we’ve found are often pleasantly surprised at the quality of service they receive.