Thursday, 21 April 2016

Do you know the hidden cost of missed calls into your business?

Some 18 months ago, BT Business commissioned research that revealed customers will only try to call a company twice without getting through, before taking their business elsewhere.

The estimated cost of missing one customer call is about £1,200.  In essence, they calculated that UK's small and medium sized businesses could actually be losing out, by an approximate cost, of a staggering £90m, simply by not answering the phone!!

Now we don't know how BT have carried out their research or produced their figures, but analysing some of our clients call reporting when they first join us, certainly highlights some shocking results.

Call reporting is a truly remarkable tool. 

 Drilling into easy to find, data on your system can highlight problem areas on how your phones are answered.  Checking your data means that you can sharpen call answering with a few clever adjustments to your call flows and queues, meaning you can soon increase the amount of calls you capture.  Some of our clients report vastly improved call answering percentages.

Not only will the call reporting data show missed calls.  It will give you a comprehensive call history  for inbound and outbound calls, so you can monitor staff performance.  You can also check response times as to how quickly a call was answered and of course, use historial data to track productivity.  If you want to monitor your marketing, then simply set up different phone numbers for each campaign and review your response rates.

Sometimes the uplift in answered calls actually means having to employ more staff as your company gets busier!  At the very least, you should be able to see exactly when your busy times are so you can maximise the productivity of your staff. 

So, our question to you is:-

"do you actually know exactly how much business you are losing because of missed calls?"

The Merlin Team

image courtesy of artur84 @

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

The Dentistry Show NEC 22nd and 23rd of April

We are pleased to announce we will be exhibiting at The Dentistry Show NEC Birmingham on 22nd and 23rd of April (yes, really only 3 days away!) so very excited.  

If you are attending, please do come and see us for a chat.  Lots of advice and ideas on how a Merlin  telecom system can help your business become more profitable and productive.  

Check out this leaflet to give you some ideas.

We're on Stand C85!

The Merlin Team

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

8 Top Tips on how to answer your telephone calls professionally

It seems that we spend our lives on the telephone at work.  Call after call, after call.

Generally, we make loads of calls to different companies every day and usually they are answered swiftly and professionally and with great customer service in mind.  Some companies have outstanding receptionists that really come across as though they are very happy to speak to you and are incredibly helpful.  It's a positive delight to speak to them.   They shine out like a beacon and make you feel glad you rang.  You get a great impression of the company.

However, there are times when you are greeted by no more than a grunt, a sigh and a monosylabbic speech pattern that does nothing to inspire confidence that you have even reached the correct number or that they have the slightest interest in what you are saying or want to deal with your call.  Grrrrr!

Luckily we don't encounter too many of these, but maybe a little more thought before answering the phone wouldn't go amiss.

At the end of the day, if you're a receptionist, or answering the telephone for your company in any capacity, then you need to give that all important first impression.  You are an ambassador for your firm, so check out these tips to ensure you create a great first impression!

1.  Always answer the call quickly.    If this is new business, they have taken the time to look up your details and you certainly don't want them going elsewhere!

2.  A cheerful "good morning/afternoon" followed by the name of your company and your name is the best starting point, followed by "how can I help you?"

3.  Take full details from the caller. Their name and best number to ring them back on and a brief message.  Always check spellings, particularly if the caller didn't sound very clear or there are unusual names or words! Names like Sara and Sarah, Clare and Claire and make sure any e-mail addresses are correct. .com or

Learning the phonetic alphabet will also give you a professional edge.

4.  Speak clearly and with the appropriate level of decorum.  You are not talking to your mates, so cultivate a business like tone.

5.  If you are asked a question and not sure of the answer, then just say "sorry I'm not sure, can I find out and come back to you shortly?".  The caller will be pleased that you are interested and willing to help.

6. Try and give the caller an idea of when they might expect a call back and be realistic.  Never ask a client to ring back -  always, always, offer to ring them back!

7.  Goes without saying, but never chew gum or eat whilst you are talking on the phone.  Sounds disgusting and really unprofessional!

8.  Finally, JUST SMILE!  It really does make all the difference!

Image courtesy of inagerymajestic at

The Merlin Team 08008778810

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Could your business grind to a halt soon?

Image courtesy of hywards at

We all take it for granted; switching on the computer and picking up the phone, that the connections will be made and we’ll be able to use the relevant equipment.

When was the last time that you thought about your cabling and how it affects your business infrastructure?

Business data cabling is a highly specialist area, which these days keeps your company open for trade and your communication lines constantly accessible for contact.
Carrying data through a cable network is very different to carrying electricity. An electrician is concerned that there is voltage to the line and there is a passage of current, but it's completely different for a data network installer who checks to ensure that the cabling links can provide the desired and necessary transmission to support the data communication required by the user.

Data network cabling is best tested with a “Fluke Tester” which establishes that the performance is up to scratch and will give continuous, high integrity performance for your business, transmitting data and keeping the inbound and outbound flow consistent at all times.

Reliance on data is constantly increasing, so ask yourself, "is your infrastructure robust enough to carry you forward reliably?"

Having the right cabling means that your data can be transferred up to 1000x times faster - which obviously makes a huge impact on efficiency and user experience. 

If you are suffering data packet loss on your network or your computer is running slowly and often "drops out" then it may not be anything to do with your broadband speed and could well be a cabling issue.

Don't neglect your data infrastructure. It's the basis of your business, so get it tested and future proof yourself and premises now. Your business relies on it!

The Merlin Team