"Not enough hours in the day?
Could you benefit from some office support?"

Telephone Answering

Telephone Answering with the 'personal touch'

Divert your calls to us when your office is unattended or when your main lines are in use. Your 'Virtual Secretary' will answer in your company name, giving the impression that she is part of your organisation and portraying a very professional image.

We can simply take messages or we can do much more, including taking orders or enquiries, managing your diary, booking appointments and sending out follow-up information. We can also remind you about appointments or events, both business and personal, help with conference organisation or the planning of a special event, and make hotel/travel arrangements.

Who uses our services?

We are not a call centre but an extension of your own business. Your callers won't even realise that we're in our own 'remote' virtual office and not actually in yours.

We have clients all across the UK and some who live and work abroad. We provide support for sole traders and corporate clients alike, including:

  • A counselling service based in Wakefield, for whom we take calls on two separate lines: An emergency 'helpline' (where calls are received from people who have experienced trauma and need urgent counselling or at least to talk to someone rather than speaking to a 'machine' - patience and sympathy are required at all times); Because of our 'personal contact' the principal of the business asked us to co-ordinate their 'appointments line', enabling people to book appointments for themselves or others when the booking manager or counsellors are otherwise engaged – to confirm appointments we liaise with the booking manager or counsellors direct, depending on circumstances.
  • A driver training provider. We deal with enquiries, send out follow-up information and book courses. Post-course queries are passed onto the proprietor to action.
  • A computer installation company, with support personnel who either work from their own homes or who are based at the company's own offices. We receive their weekly 'activity sheet' enabling us to patch calls through to the most appropriate support personnel as quickly as possible, wherever they are on any given day.
  • A chemicals company, with only two employees, who simply wish to portray an image that they are much bigger than they are. We act as receptionist/telephonist and patch calls through to the appropriate person, either in their office or to a mobile, depending on their appointments that day.
  • A recruitment consultant whose calls are diverted to us whenever their own phone is engaged. We pass on all messages immediately, by e-mail.
  • A domestic cleaning services company, providing cleaners throughout West Yorkshire. We receive calls on a 'hotline' number, make appointments for the managing director of the company to visit the potential customer to discuss pricing etc. (although we can give details over the phone if preferred) and take directions of the property to be visited. Appointments are logged in our 'customer diary' and full details of each appointment are emailed immediately on completion of the call.

What type of service would be more appropriate to your business?

Reception service – We can be the first point of contact, answering your phone within three rings, establishing the caller's name, company (where appropriate) and nature of call. We can then put the call through to you (by 'patching' it through to you on another land line or mobile phone) or if you don't wish to speak to that particular caller, we can take a message. Alternatively, we can take messages for every call received on your behalf, to be passed on to you at certain times of the day or at the end of each working day. If you are away for extended periods of time, we can save your messages up and email or fax them to you on your return.

Whatever your preferred service, we act intelligently; we will always establish the urgency of a call and deal with it as best we can.

Hotline service – We can receive enquiries, take orders, send out follow-up information, brochures etc.

Appointment service – We can make appointments on your behalf, or we can simply take details of your client/potential client for you to arrange an appointment as necessary. We can confirm any appointments in writing and manage your diary as required, reminding you of appointments/events in advance, as required.

How does our service work?

Our state-of-the-art telephone system allows us to allocate 'dedicated' lines to clients, who then divert their calls to the number allocated to them. This allows us to answer in a client's name or in a specific way.

If you don't have your own phone line to divert to us, an alternative would be to use a 'Freephone' (0800) or 'Non-geographical' number (i.e. not linked to any particular town or phone exchange), e.g. 0845, 0800 or 0870. We have a bank of numbers available immediately, just let us know which you would prefer (costs vary, depending on the type of number required).

How can you get the best from your Virtual Secretary?

  • Provide us with as much information about you and your company as possible. The more we know about you, the more we can help you (and become an integrated part of your 'team', even if you're actually a one-man band).
  • Let us know who your major clients, suppliers or contacts are; although we deal with all calls with integrity and professionalism, we want to ensure you don't lose any potential new business and that your existing clients can be transferred through to you if it is deemed that their call is important. Everything else can be emailed through to you as a summary at the end of each day.

What our customers say about us

Although many of our customers do not want other companies to know that they use a service like ours, all our existing customers are delighted with the service we provide and are happy to say so.

"SSB are always there for us, always friendly and they provide a great 'personal' service, with patience and understanding – a 'must' in our line of business. We are thankful for finding them to work with us."

D L, Mind Matters Counselling Service

"I've lost business in the past because I've tried to be all things to all men; taking my own calls whilst in the middle of a training course (which isn't very professional anyway), finding I don't have a pen and paper to hand to write down their requirements for future follow-up, and then forgetting to send out the brochure or quotation. I consider SSB to be an extension of my business and am very happy that the secretaries at SSB are part of my 'team'."

Professional Off-road Driving Instructor