Though 800 is the best known triad of digits that consumers everywhere have learnt to associate with superior service, the US telephone system has an array of other toll free prefixes as well. Sales people and members of supply chains secretly quake at the very mention of a Toll Free Number and a synchronized Voice Mail system, because it could mean pink slips for them at the end of the week!
The technologies behind electronic transmission and storage of voice inputs do not aim to threaten any careers or jobs, but there is no escaping the fact that the work place has changed forever. Some of the impetus comes from globalization, because customers and associates in other time zones may want service while your store is shut. Besides, everyone would prefer communication and information at times opportune for them, rather than when a sales person finds it convenient to call.
The facility of being able to call a manufacturer, seller, or service provider free of charge, and to talk for as long as you need, adds enormously to any brand. It could be an entirely new offer, or something which customers have used for decades-the assurance that you can call at any time adds the value of security. A product with superior features may lose market shares to inferior ones, simply because the competition has a more memorable Toll Free Number, and larger storage capacities for messages.
It is no secret that administrators and purchasers lack the friendly objection handling abilities of sales people. How much business and goodwill is lost because customers are put off by gruff order takers and warehouse keepers? The entire supply chain infrastructure can cost a bomb in terms of salaries and perquisites for armies of people, many of who can be replaced by a unitary Toll Free Number with an integrated Voice Mail system. Who would not be delighted to know that they can order your goods and services with nothing more than a free telephone call at any time which suits them?
Speed is of the essence in electronic customer service system. A competitor could take away the digits of your prime choice even as you read this article: Federal laws do not allow anyone to reserve and hoard numbers. Digits which spell out a brand or company name on a telephone key pad, work for your brand endlessly and for free!
Technology always comes with limits, and neither a Toll Free Number nor the latest Voice Mail system will work if there is no one at your end to check and to follow through on customer requests which have come through while you were closed for business. The best service providers will provide their subscribers with ample training and back-up in this regard.
A Toll Free Number and a Voice Mail system are not only for a professional and profitable corporation. Electronics can level the playing field for small players, and convert a Mom and Pop store around the corner in to a powerful competitor for the Wal Mart and Home Depot types. Parents with children at colleges far away from home can gift such systems to lonely children on tight budgets, and organizations with social objectives can use Toll Free Numbers and Voice Mail to connect better with their constituencies.
statistics, benefits, research
An application of store and forward wherein telephone access to private messages are retrieved by the users for playback. Imagine a shared tenant answering machine that handles multiple telephone lines and can record messages for hundreds of people simultaneously. Imagine the intended parties being able to retrieve these messages over the phone with simple touch tone commands. Imagine full security, so that no one can pick up anyone else’s message with a special, private access code. …
There is increased demand for telephone system specific and application specific messaging worldwide. Voice Mail, Inc. is filling the need for unified messaging, internet and non-internet, public and private networked and AMIS networked messaging. Unified messaging between compatible technologies: Voice, FAX, EMail, Video and Data and new international standards have revolutionized how people are communicating. Voice Mail, Inc’s customer base includes governments, universities, long distance companies and businesses of all sizes.
In its simplest form it mimics the functions of an answering machine, uses a standard telephone handset for the user interface, and uses a centralized, computerized system rather than equipment at the individual telephone. Voicemail systems are much more sophisticated than answering machines in that they can:
• answer many phones at the same time
• store incoming voice messages in personalized mailboxes associated with the user’s phone number
• enable users to forward received messages to another voice mailbox
• send messages to one or more other user voice mailboxes
• add a voice introduction to a forwarded message
• store voice messages for future delivery
• make calls to a telephone or paging service to notify the user a message has arrived in his mailbox
• transfer callers to another phone number for personal assistance
• play different message greetings to different callers.