Things your Answering Service need to know about your company…

May 7th, 2010

If you’re thinking about using a Telephone Answering Service to answer your calls, it is important to remember that they are only going to be as good as the information they are given.

Your answering service will get you to fill out a standard form when you are signing up for the service, but remember this will only be the basic outline of your business, so feel free to send them additional information that will help them to answer your calls more effectively.

If you have a good answering service, they will encourage you to update them regularly with your movements and employee details, but you can also ask them to do more.

1)       If you have a list of your regular callers or very important clients, then share this with your account manager. You’d be surprised about how quickly your answering service will remember the names and match them up to the voice. The rapport between your important clients and your virtual receptionist will speak volumes for your company.

2)       Update your product list and prices as and when they change. If you sell a product, it is important that the operator has the most up-to-date information about it, as your callers will expect anyone who answers the phone at your office to know. It’s easy to forget to inform your answering service if you’ve done all the updates online, but remember they don’t visit your website when they answer your call.

3)       If you offer a new service or have any special offers running, let your answering service know! It’s not a good sign when the caller is telling the operator about a good deal they’ve seen, and the operator is asking them for details!

4)       How much you charge for P&P is a regular question we’re asked and also how long delivery will take. These are questions we should be able to answer quickly, but if we have not been told, we have to take a message and pass it back to you! This costs you money and time!

5)       Directions to your office/ warehouse/ shop. This is a very common question, asked probably hundreds of times per week and there is nothing worse than being asked this and not being able to answer! The caller will not understand if you tell them you’re not sure! Also delivery van drivers often call rather than use a map!

6)       Employees’ position in the company and all contact details. Sometimes the caller won’t remember the name of the person they were speaking to, but they sure expect us to! If they say “oh.. you know the guy in marketing” and we say.. “erm no not really”, it does not bode well. But don’t worry, we’re very good at spotting a genuine call from a sales call.

7)      A brief description of what the company does, not just one word like “consultancy” or “computing”. We should be able to confidently tell the caller about the company if they ask. A list of your Unique Selling Points would be handy!

8)      If you are super organised, why not send an email first thing Monday morning to your answering service and let them know your general diary for the forthcoming week. This way they can let callers know why you’re not available, or confirm that you will be attending a seminar or meeting etc. This also helps us with the instruction of your call; for example if you let us know that on Tuesday morning you’re in your office, but after 2 you’ll be in a meeting, we can patch calls to you up until 2 and then take messages thereafter.

The most important thing is to keep your instructions and details up-to-date.  Your answering service is your first point of contact with your customer, so a well-informed virtual assistant is someone that is going to give the best possible telephone experience to your clients!

8 Top Tips to take the pressure off working from home

May 7th, 2010

Having your own business and working from home can be stressful. Trying to create a balance between a Zen home life and a bustling business from your living room is no easy feat. Particularly if you have children and are trying to also juggle the school runs and play dates.

Here are our top tips from some successful home workers.

Tip 1:

Create a distinction between work time and home time.

Just as if you were working a normal 9-5, divide up your day and stick to it. Make sure that everyone in the household knows these hours and be strict with it. Not just for the sake of your business, but also your home life. If you say that work finishes at 5pm, then make sure you don’t even look at a fax or email that comes in after this time. Your family will appreciate the focus.

Tip 2:

Have a room dedicated to your business, or a divider up, and contain everything in it. Don’t let your work life “spill” over into other rooms as this creates not just a physical encroaching, but also a mental one. If you have dossiers to read beside the stove, then chances are that you will read them where you stand and you’ll have some hungry children pulling at your apron tails.

Tip 3:

No PJ’s! Just because you’re at home, it doesn’t mean that you can remain unwashed and be un-presentable. Dress as if you were really going to work, and it will put you in the right frame of mind to be as productive as possible. You don’t have to wear a three-piece suit everyday, but perhaps a general dress code of a “dress down Friday” is suitable!

Tip 4:

Keep all personal tasks, phone calls and email to a minimum, use your lunch breaks or make up the time “after work”. This will make sure that you use your time effectively and will remove most distractions.

Tip 5:

Use a Virtual Office as your registered address.

This way, you won’t have random people turning up at your house expecting you to give them a consultation. You don’t want the neighbours to start talking! You can have all your mail sent there, and you can either pick it up yourself, or have them send it on to you. This is a relatively cheap service for what you get and for the impression it gives to your clients. It’s all above board too, nothing to be shy about disclaiming. At some locations you can even hold meetings there, which in itself opens up more opportunities and puts you in a more professional arena to conduct your business from. 78 York Street in Marylebone, W1 offer discounts on their meeting room bookings to clients that have a registered address, and on block bookings in advance.

Tip 6:

Have a Telephone Answering Service answer your calls!

This is an invaluable service for any home worker, as especially during busy periods you can’t be on more than one call at one time! Let a virtual assistant answer your calls in your company name and they can screen those annoying sales calls (for free!) and transfer genuine enquiries straight to your mobile/ home phone. Your callers will think that your receptionist has answered the phone. A fraction of the cost of hiring one! This will also mean that your calls are always answered professionally for those school runs and toilet breaks you’ve scheduled!

Tip 7:

Log what you do throughout the day. Put times next to the task completed so that you can review it later and see how your day went. This will give you a sense of achievement when you can actually track what you’ve done. It will motivate you for the next day to achieve just as much if not more. Not having a boss looking over your shoulder might seem like a blessing, but at least it got you working! Now you’re your own boss… look over your own shoulder! (Not like a dog chasing its tail, but you know what I mean!)

Tip 8:

Join other home workers on forums and blogs to keep you sane!

Even though you may work from home, alone.. there are millions of people doing the same thing. Keep social by airing your views, frustrations and helpful tips on a blog and you’ll soon feel part of a community of entrepreneurs all striving to be successful!!

Welcome Back Freedah & Bon Voyage Michelle

April 19th, 2010

You probably have already started receiving  messages and taking calls from her…but we’d like to welcome back Freedah to the Messagemail Team! We’re so pleased to have you back with us! Sadly we’re losing Michelle, but we wish her all the best in the creative field!

We Want You!

April 19th, 2010

We would love to feature our clients in our Newsletters; perhaps special offers, interesting news, amazing achievements, so if you have something you want to shout about let us know!

Meeting Room Launch at York Street

April 19th, 2010
Our versatile meeting space in Marylebone, W1

Our versatile meeting space in Marylebone, W1

February saw the launch of our new “versatile meeting space” at 78 York Street and we just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to all those that popped down to our champagne reception evenings. We were so pleased with the turn out and feel like we’ve really gotten off to a great start with bookings and new introductions.

Click here to visit our sister site dedicated to our services at 78 York Street.

Partnership with long standing client Depositit

April 19th, 2010
Depositit - Backing up you Business

Our Partnership with Depositit has creative an exclusive offer for our clients

We’ve teamed up with one of our beloved clients Depositit to offer an exclusive Data Backup package to all our clients old and new!

The Solution is very easy to set up, and backs up your computer files from your PC, laptop, and server every day automatically.

This service costs just £99 + VAT a year in our offer, a saving of £150!

For more information please visit

We’ve joined the Twitter Revolution!

March 10th, 2010

Everyone is doing it, everyone is asking you to join it, so we finally caved in and are now Twits! Follow us so we can feel popular!

Our Newly Refurbished Meeting Room in W1!

March 10th, 2010

We’re very pleased to announce the opening of our Marylebone Meeting/ Board room. Our clients get special discounts and privileges so let us know if you would like to book an hour /day.We’ll soon be inviting you to our champagne reception for you to have a look round!

Happy New Year from all at Messagemail Ltd

January 1st, 2010


This is our first Newsletter of the year, so we wanted to wish you well for 2010, and hope everyone is coping with everything getting back to normal!

Due to the success of our Christmas offer which gave away 3 free months of telephone service for recommending us, we’ve

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Seasons greetings from messagemail

December 10th, 2009

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