What We’ve Been Doing This Week – Business Support For A Driving School

This is the first in a new series of blog posts talking about what we actually do during the week.  Each week we will pick one client to talk about and we will tell you about the type of work we do for them.

We are starting off with a very busy, Yorkshire based driving school who we have worked with for just over two years now.  We work with the owner of the driving school to coordinate the diaries of the whole team and deal with customer enquiries.  Although we’re not geographically close to this client, working virtually means that our clients can be based anywhere in the UK or even the world.

As the driving instructors are busy and unable to answer their phones throughout the day we provide a telephone answering service for them.  The majority of calls that we take are new business enquiries, people calling to make bookings for driving lessons and to make general enquiries about the price of lessons and availability and so forth.

As we answer the calls we capture the callers’ details, establish the geographic location that they are based in and then book them in with the appropriate driving instructor to a central Google calendar which we share access to with all of the instructors.  Instructors can also add their own appointments in the calendar.  This system allows the owner of the driving school to see at a glance what is happening with all of the driving instructors.  As no calls are missed the diary fills up very quickly, so much so that we also now manage a waiting list for this business.

Callers ring through on a local number, which is then diverted to us, as far as the callers are concerned, it sounds as though they are speaking to someone in the office in Yorkshire, not Bury St Edmunds!

Answering the telephones for a driving school is always busy, often there are urgent messages to get to driving instructors, from students who could need to cancel a lesson, or maybe change the pickup location, so it’s vital that we get messages to instructors quickly so that they don’t waste time and petrol by being in the wrong location.  Having a dedicated team here in the office means that we can continue trying to get hold of instructors, by phone, text and email to ensure they get the messages.

There are also times when instructors may need to liaise between themselves, for example to maybe see if another instructor may be able to take a particular student and often the instructors find that using Virtual Head Office means that they don’t need to have to keep on trying to call as we will do that for them.

This week, the owner of the driving school has been away on holiday, so we have been providing some additional support for her.  We have been dealing with the email enquiries that come through the website and again capturing details of all enquirers.  As the school is currently so busy that they are full we have been responding to enquiries, either by email or phone to see whether they would like to join the waiting list.  Customer service is top priority so it’s important to make everyone who makes an enquiry feel valued, even if they are not able to start driving lessons just yet.

All of this means that the owner of the driving school has been able to relax and take a proper break from the business, knowing that when she returns next week that she will receive a full report of every telephone call and email we have deal with whilst she has been away, the diary is completely full and that had there been any really urgent enquiries that she absolutely had to deal with personally, that we would have contacted her, filtering everything else out.

Enabling people to take proper holidays is probably one of the most satisfying things that we do, so we’ve particularly providing extra help and support to this driving school this week.

Save Time & Get More Done

Find more ways to save time during the working day

Find more ways to save time during the working day

September is here, the summer holidays are over and it’s back to business.  For most business owners time is an extremely precious resource that there is simply not enough of.  Using your time wisely can help you achieve more throughout the business day and stay focused on your objectives.

Here are some quick tips that you can adapt in to your daily working life to help you make the most of your time in your working day.

  1. Write a To Do List.  You probably all know that you should be writing a To Do List, but do you actually do it?  Make notes of everything you need to achieve during the day and then tick the items off as you achieve them. You will find that throughout the day things will be added to the list and equally you will probably also find that things get carried over from one day to another.  If there is something that continues to be carried over ask yourself why you keep putting it off.  Is it not important or just that you don’t want to do it?  If it’s not important then cross it off the list, there’s no point cluttering your list and your mind with things that are not important.  If it is important but you either don’t have the skills to do it yourself or you simply don’t enjoy doing it then delegate to a colleague or outsource the task.
  2. Carry out similar tasks in blocks.  For example, make all of your telephone calls in one go and block out time to respond to your emails all together as opposed to when they come in.  Performing similar tasks in a row means that you get in to a rhythm and actually perform the tasks quicker.  It also means that, for example you are not spending time logging in to different social media platforms multiple times when you could do it just once a week.
  3. Use only one calendar for everything.  Most people will have a work diary that is fairly up to date (if you don’t you should), but then sometimes you may find that you have another diary for personal life.  Combining the two, ideally colour coded so that you can see at a glance what is personal and what is business ensures that you can see everything at a glance so if you need to make an appointment you know straight away if you are free and don’t need to spend time comparing the two.  Google calendar is a useful free tool that I use and you can also share this with others.
  4. Use cloud based systems for sharing and storing files.  Tools such as Dropbox enable you to share files easily without the need to email or print off ensuring everyone has all the information that they need instantly.  You also know that information stored there is secure and backed up, therefore minimising your risk of losing important information.
  5. Keep your desk tidy.  Organise your desk with trays so that you know exactly where everything is.  Only keep things on your desk that you are actually working on.  Keeping your desk clutter free helps you stay focused and minimises your stress levels.  At the end of each day have a quick tidy of your desk so that when you come in to work the next morning you are starting with a clean desk, which will help you get the day off to a positive start.

You will find that these steps are quick and easy to implement and make a surprising amount of difference to your productivity levels so give them a go and see how you get on.

If you have any interesting and useful tips that you’d like to share we’d love to hear them.
Have a great September!