Archive for December, 2012

 

Work related learning

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Work experience is an excellent way to introduce students into the world of work. It helps them to know what will be expected of them when they go to work. It also gives them an idea of what they may or may not like to do as a career.  Having a good set of employability skills will give students an advantage when searching for a job and a work experience placement is the perfect time to discover and develop these skills.  The latest student to join us was Daniel Atkinson.  Daniel adapted to the Telcare environment very quickly, his willingness to learn was impressive, it didn’t take him long to became part of the team.  Below is Daniel’s report on his experience.

This week I have had my work experience at Telcare Ltd, which was organised through my school and the MEBP (Medway Education Business Partnerships). My first day was scary as I was entering a new environment and I didn’t know what was going to happen. However fortunately for me, everyone at Telcare Ltd was really friendly and helped me to adapt to my new surroundings.

Throughout the week I was shown the different aspects of the business and I even had a go at some of them. I especially enjoyed the accounting software ‘Sage’. At the beginning of the week I was allowed to enter some financial transactions with the account manager, however by the end of the week I was able to do this on my own. Another aspect of the business that I enjoyed was when I took apart some broken telephones and replaced the screens. I found the creative aspect of that very interesting as well as looking at all the different parts inside the phone. I also learnt about the importance of brand identity and the various ways to get the message across to the customer. Telcare use different ways to be seen such as advertising, sponsorship, exhibiting, social media and blogging.

On Friday I was writing a practise covering letter to go with the CV that I had also created, when my supervisor told me that she had spoken to their accountants inquiring if they could take a work experience student on in the summer holidays for a week. I was extremely happy and thankful to my supervisor for this, as she knew that I wanted to go into finance when I am older.

Other tasks included creating a twitter schedule. This made me feel proud because my supervisor had trusted me and given me the responsibility to do it. I researched various topics that would make interesting reading. I also managed to overcome an uncomfortable moment when I had to make a call to a client. It was my first day so I felt really nervous and not at all confident however by the end of the week I could answer the phone with more confidence having gained a little experienced.

I learnt many important skills that will help me in the future; Team working, Problem solving, Self managing, Perseverance and Communication. These skills are essential for getting a job in the future and I am extremely grateful to Telcare for giving me this opportunity. Without a doubt, I would recommend any student looking to do their work experience to work at Telcare Ltd and if needed I would definitely come back to help for another week.

Thank you Daniel, it was great experience for us too. Keep working hard on the things you do well.  We wish you all the best for a successful future.

Customer Appreciation at Telcare

Monday, December 17th, 2012

We have great customers and truly appreciate that they choose to do business with us. Saying thank you to them for their support is important to us.

As an SME we don’t have access to unlimited funds and are unable to constantly wine and dine them or take them to the latest sporting events so we have had to look for other ways in which we can show our gratitude. We’ve found that you really can show your appreciation without spending a fortune.

Here are some of the ways that have worked well for us over the years.

Customer Quarterly Draw
We hold a quarterly draw to say thanks for customer loyalty. Each quarter two customer’s names are pulled from a hat and both receive a £50 gift card. The winners are announced in our customer newsletter. We have received great feedback from the draw. We love hearing how our customer’s choose to spend their winnings. One customer was due to get married and she told us how she used her M&S gift card to buy her wedding cake. We got to see the stunning photos of the happy day including one of the cake!

Charity donations
Instead of giving random donations we try to support customers and suppliers in their various charitable efforts. This year we have supported many events from bike rides and marathons to a climb up Kilimanjaro and a sponsored chest wax – ouch!

Birthdays, babies and weddings
We always keep an ear to the ground to listen for good news. When we hear of a new arrival, a wedding or a birthday we love to respond with a message from the team.

Recommendations
Our newsletter encourages our customers to recommend our services, again offering gift cards for referrals.

Long standing customers
We keep an eye on our customer statistics and like to reward long standing customers with anything from appreciation certificates to discount vouchers and wine.

Saying thank you really matters and sometimes little gestures mean a lot.

Telephone Etiquette

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Telcare’s Guide to Telephone Etiquette

No matter what your position within a company, the way you answer and deal with a customer telephone call will reflect on the whole organisation. If you answer the phone, you really do have to remember that you are offering a service. Being professional and helpful will make the customer feel appreciated, valued - and more likely to stay with you.

On the other hand, being disinterested, rude and / or unhelpful when answering the telephone will probably drive customers away! They are obviously calling you for a reason, so do your best to help!

Of course, while it is common sense to be professional and polite on the telephone, it can often be easy to forget the “rules” - particularly so if we are distracted or busy, or if you have work experience staff in the office.

Here at Telcare we share some tips on the Do’s and Don’ts of telephone etiquette ...

  1. DO smile when you answer the telephone – it really makes a difference to how you sound to the caller
  2. When answering the telephone, always identify yourself and / or the company – saying just “Hello” means the caller will have to ask if you are such-and-such a business
  3. The above point is particularly important for people who work from home – DON’T let children answer the telephone - or get a separate work-only telephone line installed
  4. DON’T answer the telephone if you are eating / drinking / chewing – no one likes to hear munching and slurping on the other end of the phone!
  5. DON’T say that someone is in the loo / making a cup of tea / missing etc if they receive a telephone call. Say that they are in a meeting and take a message – much more professional!
  6. If the person the caller wants to speak to isn’t in the office today, DON’T ask them to call back tomorrow. If you cannot help them yourself, take their name, telephone number and a short message - and make sure you pass the details on
  7. DON’T use slang; swear; or carry on another conversation in the background
  8. DO listen – many of us are guilty of not fully focusing on a telephone call!
  9. If taking a message, DO repeat it back to the caller to make sure you have taken it down correctly
  10. DON’T let the telephone ring more than three times if possible
  11. If you need to put someone on hold, ask their permission first and thank them
  12. DON’T interrupt a caller - and never engage in an argument. Always be polite and sympathetic
  13. DO return telephone answerphone calls and messages promptly. If you are apathetic dealing with a customer, they will take their business elsewhere
  14. Finally, ensure that any new or temporary members of staff take a look at these tips before letting them loose on the phones!

We hope these reminders will be useful to you. Whether you are the receptionist or the Chief Executive, the office telephone is a shop front to your clients - so make sure you portray the most professional image possible!