Call Answering Services For Your Business

At Armchair, we're here to take care of your business calls. Our highly trained team of receptionists are available to answer your calls as a cost-effective and professional front of house solution.

With over 15 years experience and more than 1000 clients, Armchair Call Handling has a great reputation for quality and delivering results.

Busy Office

A busy business means you often can't get to the phone. Missed calls can lead to lost opportunities.

Divert to Armchair

Seamlessly divert your phone line to our Armchair receptionists when you can't get to the phone.

Expert Receptionist

Every call is answered professionally in your company name by one of our expert receptionists.

Happy Customers

Deliver consistently great customer service and never miss another important call again.

All calls answered

We can act as a permanent reception, answering all your business calls.

Overflow reception

Here when you need us, we can answer the calls that you might miss.

Your company name

Every call answered in your company name, as if based in your office.

Messages taken

A message is taken from every call and sent immediately via email or SMS.

Extended hours

We're open from early until late. Extend your business opening hours.

No fixed contract

No long term tie-ins, all tariffs are monthly rolling. Complete flexiblity.

The perfect solution  

Armchair Call Handling is here to handle your business calls, no matter the size. Our professional receptionists are given extensive training and take pride in always delivering fantastic customer service.

A telephone answering service means that you'll never miss another call. Important sales leads aren't lost and your customer service levels will remain consistently high.

We are a more cost-effective solution than an in-house receptionist and have a great reputation with our clients.

Numbers Talk

16

Years of Experience

1,500,000

Calls Handled
Last Year

1000

Happy Clients

Testimonials  

Latest from the Armchair Blog

Abby Gowing

Self Service vs. Phone

Self service is now one of the most popular forms of processing an order or enquiry. In the current digital era, is there still a place for the phone?

Self-service has become a huge part of everyday life. It’s fast, simple and keeps us in control. From self serve checkouts at the supermarket to automated calls with your energy supplier - the option for self service is everywhere.

Strengths of self service

The most obvious attraction to self service is the speed in which we can process our own transactions and enquiries. Time is valuable and it’s natural for us to want to speed up often arduous tasks. Most of us would choose the quick self service queue at the supermarket, as opposed to the long queue for a sales assistant.

The act of self service is relatively simple and stops us relying on anyone else. It also means fewer explanations and less repeating ourselves; instead just getting the job done straight away.

From a company point of view, it can also be a great cost-saving strategy. Fewer staff need to be employed at one time if a substantial majority of customers can serve themselves. For customers too, self-service can reduce the costs of waiting on hold to expensive phone lines.

Weaknesses of self service

Self service and technology are almost synonymous. Although self service is designed to be as simple as possible, without a basic understanding of technology it can seem difficult and often confusing.

Typically, self service can only handle simplistic enquiries therefore greatly limiting what it can do. If you have a complex order or multiple enquiries, it is unlikely that self service will be the most appropriate avenue to go down. Similarly, if something goes wrong during the process, as a customer you’re stuck - there’s no one immediately available to sort it out for you.

Strengths of the phone

Telephone communication is still one of the most popular ways to process an enquiry, service or order. It allows the customer to discuss their specific requirements in detail and be reassured that they are being dealt with by the best person; completely taking the hassle out of processing it all yourself. It also gives the opportunity for a person to ask several questions - possibly resolving multiple issues in one phone call. This can be cost effective for the company and also helps build a more positive customer service reputation.

Weaknesses of the phone

Calling a company can be time consuming, often with long holding times. It can be frustrating to be passed to various departments and people when our time could be better spent elsewhere. Many companies are still providing expensive premium rate phone numbers (see here) which can add up to high telephone bills if customers aren’t careful.

So what's better?

There certainly isn’t a definitive answer for this. While we think phones are still pretty great (we might be a bit biased here), each method will be favoured by certain groups of people.

A great solution is the combination of the two. For example, using IVR within a telephone system (have a look at more detail on intelligent call routing). A customer can call a company and will be immediately greeted with a menu system, where they can route themselves to the most appropriate person or department. They’re then connected with an actual person who can answer all their questions and build that all important customer relationship.

Abby Gowing

How to protect your business from ransomware

Ransomware is becoming an ever increasing threat to businesses across the globe. How can your business avoid an attack?

Ransomware is on the rise, targeting small businesses across the world. According to Computer Weekly, ransomware is now the top threat to businesses, causing massive devastation through highly sophisticated hacking and infiltration. The BBC have very recently reported the alarming frequency with which it is attacking businesses. Unfortunately, there is no way to stop an attack once it has started and you can’t prevent it from happening again. However, there are precautions you can take and ways to minimise the damage, which could save you a lot of time and effort in the future.

What is it?

Ransomware such as Cryptolocker is extremely damaging and yet near impossible to catch as they are not actually a virus. Cryptolocker comes in the form of an attachment that when opened, will gradually work through all the files on your computer and shared drives and encrypt every single one individually. This stops you accessing any of your files as an unknown password is required.

Attachments are usually sent to generic email addresses for your company such as sales@, info@ or accounts@, as these are more likely to receive attachments and arouse less suspicion. Accounts emails will be receiving documents like invoices every day, so an external attachments generally raise no alarms. Once the file is opened and in your machine it gradually works through the files. A few days later, you’ll receive a ransom email offering the password to access your files in exchange for tens of thousands of pounds. Although a significant amount of money, it is not a scam asking for millions - hence why small businesses are often the target.

Why is it so bad?

As previously mentioned, this kind of ransomware works slowly. Encryption of your files doesn’t happen instantaneously, meaning it can take days for you to notice that something has gone wrong. Obviously the longer it takes to realise, the more files you become locked out of. These kind of attacks are so sophisticated that it is near impossible to find the original file attachment that caused the damage, so simply deleting the file isn’t a quick solution.

As ransomware works on shared files as well as ones stored on your desktop, the attacking software is not contained to a single machine. It moves across machines and devices potentially affecting your entire operation company wide.

Obviously, the effect of being locked out of all your files is that no work can be done. Business ceases for the time it takes to resolve the issue causing potential revenue losses as well as a huge IT headache. Many businesses deal with sensitive customer data which has now become vulnerable to the hands of the attackers, a big concern for data protection.

What can I do to stop it?

Backups, backups and more backups! These should be done at least once every 24 hours. Once the ransomware file is in, it’s in. It’s near impossible to find and remove. So one of the only ways to return to normal is to restore your backups to before the file was installed. As ransomware works gradually this can be frustrating as you may need to back up to days or even weeks previously. This means that all the work done in that time will need to be redone. Although hugely frustrating, that is a much better option than being locked out for good or starting from scratch!

Prevention is better than any cure. As a small business, it is your responsibility to warn staff to deal with their emails responsibly. Never, ever open an attachment from a sender who you’re not familiar with. If in doubt, consult your IT company and they can scan the file to check if it’s safe or not.

On that subject, make sure you have a reputable IT company that deals with the maintenance and security of your systems. If something goes wrong, they’ll be the ones to fix it for you and it is well worth a little investment to make sure a ransomware or virus attack doesn’t completely damage your business.

An option that many businesses do, is to pay the ransom and receive the password to unlock the files. In most cases, the password is provided in exchange for the money but it’s not guaranteed. However, not only is this seriously damaging to your finances, but it also lets the attackers win making you a vulnerable target.

Although these kind of attacks can seem scary, they can be dealt with efficiently if the right precautions are taken. Small businesses are an increasing target so remember:

  • - Backup your files
  • - Do not open any attachments from senders you do not trust
  • - Invest in a good IT support company

For more information on these kind of attacks, visit here.

Abby Gowing

Happy Internaut Day!

23rd August 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web.

25 years ago today, a British scientist working in Switzerland introduced the World Wide Web to the general public. Today celebrates a quarter of a century of public access to the internet – and where would we be without it!

The World Wide Web was originally developed by Tim Berners-Lee to meet the demand for automatic information sharing between scientists in universities and institutes around the world. 2 years after it was first introduced, it was made available to the public for free. Back then only 500 web servers were known to exist – nowadays, 40% of the world (that’s around 13.7 billion people) use the internet.

Now in 2016, life without the internet seems a strange prospect. Use of the World Wide Web permeates nearly every aspect of our lives and we rely heavily on it for both work and our personal lives. The internet has thousands of uses; from research and shopping to entertainment and socialising – the way we use the internet is constantly evolving.

The rise of social networks also allows us to become more connected than ever – contacting friends, acquaintances, colleagues and celebrities at the click of a button. Sites such as Facebook have grown beyond expectations: starting in 2004, the site now has 1.71 billion active monthly users.

Here’s just some of the stats that show just how far the internet has come in 25 years…

  • - 7,300 tweets are sent per second
  • - 37,000 GB of data are used per second
  • - 37,000 Google searches are entered per second
  • - 129,000 YouTube videos are watch per second
  • - 2.5 million emails are sent per second
  • - 90% of Britain has access to superfast broadband

The term ‘Internaut’ derives from a combination of ‘internet’ and ‘astronaut’ to describe the users of the internet celebrating today. If you’re interested in seeing Berners-Lee’s first ever webpage, click here.

Internaut

The development of the internet and our uses for it has come on massively in the last 25 years. With 4.73 billion webpages – there’s a whole lot out there that still to discover and we’re excited about what advancements are going to happen in the next 25 years.

Latest from the Armchair Blog

Abby Gowing

Self Service vs. Phone

Self service is now one of the most popular forms of processing an order or enquiry. In the current digital era, is there still a place for the phone?

Self-service has become a huge part of everyday life. It’s fast, simple and keeps us in control. From self serve checkouts at the supermarket to automated calls with your energy supplier - the option for self service is everywhere.

Strengths of self service

The most obvious attraction to self service is the speed in which we can process our own transactions and enquiries. Time is valuable and it’s natural for us to want to speed up often arduous tasks. Most of us would choose the quick self service queue at the supermarket, as opposed to the long queue for a sales assistant.

The act of self service is relatively simple and stops us relying on anyone else. It also means fewer explanations and less repeating ourselves; instead just getting the job done straight away.

From a company point of view, it can also be a great cost-saving strategy. Fewer staff need to be employed at one time if a substantial majority of customers can serve themselves. For customers too, self-service can reduce the costs of waiting on hold to expensive phone lines.

Weaknesses of self service

Self service and technology are almost synonymous. Although self service is designed to be as simple as possible, without a basic understanding of technology it can seem difficult and often confusing.

Typically, self service can only handle simplistic enquiries therefore greatly limiting what it can do. If you have a complex order or multiple enquiries, it is unlikely that self service will be the most appropriate avenue to go down. Similarly, if something goes wrong during the process, as a customer you’re stuck - there’s no one immediately available to sort it out for you.

Strengths of the phone

Telephone communication is still one of the most popular ways to process an enquiry, service or order. It allows the customer to discuss their specific requirements in detail and be reassured that they are being dealt with by the best person; completely taking the hassle out of processing it all yourself. It also gives the opportunity for a person to ask several questions - possibly resolving multiple issues in one phone call. This can be cost effective for the company and also helps build a more positive customer service reputation.

Weaknesses of the phone

Calling a company can be time consuming, often with long holding times. It can be frustrating to be passed to various departments and people when our time could be better spent elsewhere. Many companies are still providing expensive premium rate phone numbers (see here) which can add up to high telephone bills if customers aren’t careful.

So what's better?

There certainly isn’t a definitive answer for this. While we think phones are still pretty great (we might be a bit biased here), each method will be favoured by certain groups of people.

A great solution is the combination of the two. For example, using IVR within a telephone system (have a look at more detail on intelligent call routing). A customer can call a company and will be immediately greeted with a menu system, where they can route themselves to the most appropriate person or department. They’re then connected with an actual person who can answer all their questions and build that all important customer relationship.