GenieWINNER: Best Customer Service
SME Northamptonshire Business Awards 2019
GenieWINNER: Best Customer Service
SME Northamptonshire Business Awards 2019

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Transport tribulations


Traffic jams, roadworks, delays on public transport, and industrial action can all cause big problems for small businesses.


Following the month-long strike on South Western Trains in December, the government has said that it will pass legislation to make sure key transport services such as buses and trains provide minimum levels of service, even if there’s industrial action, but this still won’t prevent traffic troubles.


a view of traffic through a cars side mirrorRegardless of how your members of staff make their journey to work, the simplest of things can bring their magic carpet to a halt and could even make it impossible for them to get to work.


Magical reception cover

We know exactly how challenging it can be when your team members are struggling with transport. One of our London-based clients, a practice of independent financial advisors, had exactly this problem.


As members of the 30-strong team started calling in to explain their tussles with transport delays, they knew it was going to be a difficult day. However, when their Receptionist said she couldn’t get to work either, they had double trouble.


Luckily, they already used the Genie call handling service to help them out when things were really busy, so a rescue remedy was in place. We were able to take their calls, explain about the delays, and keep things running smoothly until people could make it to work.


Imagine the impact

If you have flexible working arrangements, it might be straightforward to tell your team members to work from home for the day, as long as you have the right security arrangements and policies in place.


However, for businesses that work in shifts, visit customers or make deliveries, delays can affect performance and damage your reputation. If disruption goes on for several days, it could cause you some potent problems.


While people who are persistently late for work can be pests who need to be dealt with through your HR procedures, genuine delays that are beyond your employees’ control will need a different approach.


What could possibly go wrong?

It’s worth giving some thought to exceptional events that could affect arrivals. You can create a plan that will help people to stay calm even when things aren’t running like a charm.


This could include bad weather conditions that could close roads or make it dangerous for staff to set out. An unexpectedly heavy snowfall or flooding, for example, could affect members of staff differently, depending on where they live and the route they have to travel. However, if journeys are just taking longer than normal, people should expect to set out earlier to get to work on time.


You will know about some things, like strike action, in advance. Find out which members of staff will be affected and see what alternative arrangements can be made.


However, something like a major accident that could close a road and cause congestion in the surrounding area could be trickier to untangle. Some general instructions about finding a safe place to stop and call in to work will be needed to cover these calamities.


Ideal ideas to help you manage delays

Here are some ideas to help you manage if travel is affected by slippery surfaces or slow coaches.


While the sun shines, make a note of who could be affected by different situations and what could be done to help them get to work. For example, if someone normally takes a bus to the railway station, would you agree to a taxi if the service was unavailable?


If there was strike action, could you arrange a series of pick-ups by people who normally drive to work and pay them for their extra mileage?


If you know that there is going to be significant disruption, put plans in place to prioritise activities and let your customers know what’s happening.


Make sure everyone knows what you expect them to do.


If you could use a helpful hand to put your plans together, don’t for that ‘organisation’ is a Genie’s middle name. Just give us a call.


Jacqui Frost

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Jacqui Frost

Jacqui Frost

Chief Genie

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Feedback has been outstanding


I would just like to say a big thank you to Sarah and all the staff at The Office Genie.  I have now used the services of The Office Genie on a number of occasions, as call handling and managing my incoming emails and setting appointments in my diary.


My business is just me, being away on holiday or if previously I have been tied up in meetings and training, it meant that I would be neglecting my clients and my business, or in the case of being on holiday, it meant that I would still be working instead of relaxing when I needed to most.


The Office Genie do not offer a call answering service, they are a call handling this means that they are acting as part of your business, as if they are you or an employee of your business, they will do as much or be a big part of your business as you need or as little as you need.  They are exceptional at what they do and are seamless in being part of your business.


All the feedback that I have had from clients and family that have called while The Office Genie have been acting as part of my business has been outstanding.  I say to everyone, give The Office Genie a go, you will be amazed.


Thank you for all your help and being there even at short notice when I need you.


Angela Stokes

Angela Jane Will Writing & Estate Planning