/Jamie Starbuck

About Jamie Starbuck

Jamie is the owner of Asonda Computer Systems and Services who operate the Call a Real Person service. In business since 2006 in the I.T. and Communications sector.

Do I need a Call Answering Service?

When you call most established businesses, who usually picks up the phone? Hotels, Law Firms, Building Contractors, Dealerships…most have a receptionist who knows where to direct a call or help with quick questions.

You find front of house staff at most larger businesses but we know that  it can be cost prohibitive for quite a lot of small businesses and the self employed for such a full time luxury.

This is where we step in, so if you’ve come across this article because you’ve been searching to find out if you need a virtual receptionist, here are a few good reasons to suggest that you might.


Employing a full time or even part time receptionist costs a lot, there is no denying this. Not only do you have to pay their wage, the associated intricacies such as holiday pay, time off, illness etc and also the fact that employing someone is a pretty big commitment, can be a daunting and expensive experience. The ‘real’ cost of the employee rises when you don’t have a need for a full time receptionist and you don’t have any other work for them to do.

By using our call answering service, you have your calls sorted with very little cost and none of the other possible downsides.

Flexibility and Freedom

If you’re up a ladder, in the court room or doing an impressive face to face sales pitch to a customer, there’s nothing worse than your phone ringing/going to voicemail and you can’t answer and don’t know what the incoming call is about. It’s incredibly restrictive to be burdened by being at your phones beck and call all day long when all you want to do, is grow your business and provide the service that you offer.

By transferring your calls to us, they will all get answered and messages passed through for you to deal with when you’re able. Giving you the flexibility to get your work done and the freedom you’d get by not having to answer every single call.

Time and Prioritisation

This leads us on to what most who are growing their business have told us they need more of, time. Finding yourself short of time to get things done is an incredibly good indicator that you need some assistance.

The other positive is that when you receive your messages from us, you can give priority to your callers and deal with the most pressing issues first, you won’t be held up with someone who’s wasting your time, whilst an important caller who is ready to buy from you has to wait.

Customer Service

There has never been a time where good customer service has mattered the most, even more than price. The world is a busy place, people are after products and services and there is an abundance of those who are offering them up. However, sloppy mistakes, poor communication, unprofessional resolutions to issues (caused often by poor organisation or lack of time) lead to bad reviews, poor customer retention and a fall in sales.

Make your customer experience a positive one, give your customers a point of contact that can help, assure and reassure them when needed, let them know their custom is incredibly valued.

Small team?

If you have staff but have a small team and often get busy but not enough to take on another employee, you can use our service to take your overflow calls, effectively increasing your capability at a fraction of the cost.

So is a call answering service right for you?

If you’ve noticed multiple things above and you find that you are agreeing, then we’re sure we could help.

If you are looking for some freedom, opportunity to grow your business, make your business appear larger and offer a positive customer experience, then give us a try, for free, to see what an advantage a virtual receptionist offers.

By |2019-02-14T11:29:27+00:00February 14th, 2019|Categories: Business, Call Answering Service|

Do you love your business?

We mean, really LOVE your business?

Too often, we can get caught in a trap, albeit potentially of our own making. Stuck in a job that we don’t like, dealing with customers we don’t like? perhaps the issues aren’t as broad as that, maybe smaller, more specific things like despising the time you start work in the morning, sick of customers complaining about the tiniest details, or even your choice of web browser.

Do you find yourself thinking that your business is stale, stagnant and ‘just’ ticking over…does this sound familiar at all to your relationship, with your business?

I wouldn’t blame you if it did, plenty do. Humans are creatures of habit, we like the same, regular, routine. We like the comfort of knowing what’s around the corner, in a primitive way, it’s all to do with limiting our chances of being hurt. Most people, don’t like change. Of course this is all relative, you may like to choose something new at a restaurant or try a different brand or blend of coffee for your pick me up, however staying in an industry/career/job that you’ve done forever, don’t love anymore but carry on for the sake of carrying on as it’s become routine and safe, is on another level.

So you need to sit and think about why you feel the way you do?
– Do you hate your hours/days of working?
– Do staff cause you problems?
– Do customers all have similar complaints?
– Day to day running gets you down?
– Have you taken on too much work?
– Does your business do something you love but due to the responsibilities that comes with owning your own business mean you have less and less time to do what it is you love?
– Not making enough money?

Whatever it is that makes you feel ‘off’, you probably just let it carry on and automatically ‘cope’ with it, it’s just there and it slowly gnaws away, with you never stopping to acknowledge it as a problem.

It’s very cliche but recognising the problems and accepting them as such is a great first step to turning your relationship with your work/business around. As soon as you accept that actually, yes…I don’t like starting work at 7:00am, no I don’t like that customers are always sending emails in saying it’s impossible to find certain info on your website, I am tired of that staff member coming in half an hour late most days.

Once accepted for what they are, you can then work on them. The less these issues get, the happier you and your customers will be.

At some point, you were in love with the idea of your own business and providing the product and service that you do. It’s time to get back to basics. When you started, what did you love? what were your ideas and goals for where you wanted to get to and why has that stopped?

For some it’s waking up in the morning and simply not dreading going into their job and for others it’s the potential for financial security of your own making but that’s a story for another day.

The relationship you have with your partner can mirror the traits we have with our own business’s. It’s personal. You need to continually work on the problems so that your faith, passion, excitement and drive come back. Regaining those, your motivation will increase which in turn will reflect in your business.

Not only do you need to love your work/business, you need others to love it too, so it’s time to tell others why. Customers, Staff, Associates….let THEM know why you love your business and why you love what they do for you and your business, nurturing these relationships is also vital to creating an atmosphere of happiness, engagement and inclusion, which will result in more success.

We for example, are passionate about providing great customer service, we think the best thing about a good business is those that deal with customer communication effectively. With great communication, custom is earned, nurtured, kept and repeated. At a customer level, not being able to get info you want reasonably quickly and not hearing back if a problem occurs, is incredibly frustrating, there is no love there. So doing what we do,  answering calls, giving information to your customers and often being the first port of call for customer relations, gives us great satisfaction, that in turn, gifts our clients the relief that a lot of the burden is lifted from their shoulders whilst keeping their customers happy.

If you’re not a client and have come across this article because you’ve been thinking about using a call answering service, then please get in touch to see how we can help. If you are a client, we hope you’re happy, we value you and will always do what we can to help. We’re never more than a phone call or email away.

By |2018-10-11T16:15:12+00:00October 11th, 2018|Categories: Business, Call Answering Service|

Get the most from your call answering provider.

If you’re using or thinking about using this kind of service then make sure you get the most out of it.

I’m going to give you 5  tips on how to best use a Call Answering Service. Some see it as a very rigid service, actually, it’s incredibly flexible and can work wonders for your customer service.

1.) Keep your Call Answering Service/Virtual PA up to date on everything.

Let them know when you’re popping out for a meeting or going to be handling deliveries all day. If you can’t ring customers back until after a certain time or day, tell them and they’ll update your customers accordingly. There is nothing more frustrating for all parties if the customer can’t have their expectations met so it’s bet to let the operator set those expectations using the information from yourself so that nobody is disappointed.

If a member of staff leaves, if a new one joins your team, it’s crucial to always be 100% up to date.

2.) Give them as much information as you can.

Train your call answering team so that they can handle quick enquiries and so that they can genuinely help in situations where you can’t be contacted. Call answering is a customer support service, the more we can help your customers, the happier we are. Turn around times, basic fees, access to booking forms. It all helps to create a seamless customer service experience and these days, that’s more important than price alone.

3.) When on holiday and you don’t want your customers to know.

Leave the call answering team with details of phone numbers for suppliers and delivery companies so that they can chase orders and deliveries, you’ll be surprised at how much this can take away the strain whilst you’re trying to enjoy yourself stress free.

4.) Call your customers back.

Believe it or not this is the biggest sin we experience on a daily basis.

There is only so much a virtual PA can do for you in certain situations, just like if you had your own dedicated receptionist, when orders go wrong, financial matters arise and things that only the business owner can deal with, ringing your customers back and sorting issues will not only help with better customer service reviews for your business, it’ll also keep your call answering cost down too.

5.) It needn’t be your little secret

Customers demand good customer service, they demand communication and they usually want it fast.

Call answering used to be a dirty little secret, a little trick small business’s use to fool their customers.

It needn’t be this way any more.

Our own research has shown that even people who know they are speaking to a call centre are much happier than leaving a voice mail because they know we have a great connection with who we’re servicing and have a direct link. Plus if we’ve been kept up to date as per bullets 1 and 2 above, we could even help them with their enquiry. Call Answering Services aren’t a get out clause, they’re an advantage that shows you care about your customers, you care about making sure they have the human touch and care enough to pay a real person to interact with them when normally they’d be going unanswered or to a voicemail never knowing if they’ll be called back.

For some business’s, the solution is to tell your customers you use a call answering service. Your most demanding customers have their expectations managed more efficiently and they then leave concise info and they know it’s going to get to the relevant person fast, they know not to ask technical questions and are more than happy to wait for a return call.

Customers don’t care who they speak to, as long as they receive a good quality service, good communication and get what they want.

There we go! I hope this helps.

There is a growing trend that customers are looking for high quality service, high quality products at often not the cheapest price around. The consumers are wising up to the old adage, buy cheap buy twice, get what you pay for attitude and are starting to realise that paying the right amount of money is the smart move as they’d much rather have the comfort of dealing with a company that values it’s customer service and retention rather than somewhere who just wants to undercut everybody.

Telephone handling is often misunderstood (or maybe there are quite a few useless ones around) and this, as above, needn’t be the case. If done correctly (like we provide) it can be an absolutely essential part of your business. To provide stellar customer service and support for your customers.

By |2018-04-24T10:29:34+00:00April 24th, 2018|Categories: Call Answering Service|

Appear Larger

When dealing in business to new clients, whether that be domestic or commercial customers, the one thing, above all else that they will require, is that they know they will be looked after. As we’ve spoken about in other articles, people will pay above average prices for a service if they see great customer care.

One of the issues self employed or small businesses face, is the majority of people would like to deal with a well established business, one that is thriving and ‘must be doing well’. It’s just natural they may avoid new start ups in a market place filled with long standing competitors as they are more of a risk.

So if you are a start up or a small business with part time workers, what better way to improve confidence in your brand/identity as a company than making yourself look like a larger business than you actually are?

If you’re the owner/M.D/Proprietor of a business and your customers always come through to you and begin to wander what happens when you get busy or if you’re ill or need to go on holiday they’ll soon start to wonder what the level of service will be like when things start to happen. Will you not be able to go on a call out to them? Will you ignore their support requests? Will you not be able to give them delivery info on demand?

Lots of questions crop up in potential and existing customers minds when they deal with very small businesses.

One way of combating this, if you hadn’t already guessed is to use a telephone handling service like ours. A fresh voice for your company appears as if you have a permanent receptionist and a permanent point of contact as a starting point to get orders completed, issues resolved and messages passed along. Hey, it’s why bigger companies do actually employ one for themselves.

Yet you can do it, at a fraction of the cost all whilst not having to worry about paying holiday pay, sick pay, maternity leave that comes with employing someone.

Appearing larger gives your customer the confidence that you’re doing well, your established and your easily contactable.

Give us a try, head on over to our free trial form, Week Free Trial to give us a go at no cost and no obligation to stay on once the trial has ended.

By |2018-04-23T13:04:03+00:00April 23rd, 2018|Categories: Call Answering Service|

What is a call answering service

It’s a rather simple question but one that a lot of people don’t actually know what a full answer entails.

The simplified answer is that when your business phone calls can’t be answered, we’ll answer them for you.


In actual fact, it is a very simple service but don’t let that fool you, it’s a simple concept alright but it’s actually incredibly useful and utilised in the correct way, immensely powerful for your business.

How it works is very easy to understand too. We give you a unique phone number that you divert your calls to. You can divert from your landlines, mobiles, VOIP systems and when you are unable to take the call, it’ll divert to us and we’ll deal with it for you.

Once we’ve dealt with your customer, in your business name, we’ll then email and/or text you with the message details. This then leaves it open for you to contact them back with their enquiry.

Simple message taking accounts to roughly 80% of our customer base. Things needn’t be complicated, with our trained telephone handlers we know just what to say to overt suspicion and get them to leave their contact details to be called back.

Can it be taken further?


Message handling like above works very well however some clients may need extra enhancements. So telephone handling like ours can incorporate many other features if our clients give us access to their systems.

Booking forms, taking orders, appointment scheduling, call patching, returning customer calls if our clients are too busy and much more.

It turns from simple messaging into a full blown virtual receptionist.

But why?

Ah, why spend money on something when people will just try you again later or leave you a voicemail?

It turns out, it’s very off putting for potential clients and existing clients if they can’t get hold of you or someone at your business. Think how frustrating it is when you try and ring a big brand and it takes forever to get through. It’s the same for your customers with you.

People want a trustworthy and reliable customer experience, if they’re getting a voicemail or no answer during the middle of a working day, it does nothing for your or your business image.

What will get a better reaction? A continuous ringing with no answer/voicemail in the middle of the day or a polite and helpful customer service representative helping your customer get the contact they need to start doing business with you?

The truth is, many people want things quickly in this day and age and by speaking to someone, they’re being dealt with.

Why let them ring elsewhere if you can now offer them the contact they need?

Is that everything?

In a nutshell yes, there are a myriad of arrangements and as you can see varying ways you can utilise such a service.

This is good for me and my business, can I try it before I buy?

Ahhhhh…glad you asked that question.

Of course you can, we offer a free trial with no strings attached so just give it a go. Set up is so quick and easy all we need are a few details to begin.