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2017 – 1300 Numbers are here to stay

Who would of thought that back in early 2000’s, back when almost any smart number was available for purchase – that they would turn into such a big integral part of business.

With the recent sale of the specialist 1300 number telco, Fonebox – it’s really shed the spotlight on the industry and the margins that some Telco’s are still charging for these products.

Telstra have bought back their pricing significantly over the past few years, and some of the dirt cheap telco’s have vanished – probably due to unpaid GST or other tax and have been shutdown by the ATO.

With the wave of regulation recently (as in past 4 years) bought in by the power’s that be – it seems this industry has really cemented itself as a core industry in Australia.

1300 Number Free Trial

Thinking of getting a 1300 number?

Not sure on how it works, if its going to work for you? Get a Free Trial 1300 number from The Number Guyz today and give it a whirl!

We are very excited to offer our low cost 1300 numbers with a special limited time only free trial. Get onboard today.

What things should you look out for when taking on a free trial?

  • Certainly wouldn’t be putting my credit card in anywhere, until I was satisfied
  • Don’t give too much information, otherwise you just become another lead in the Telco CRM and will be hassled.
  • Test the control panel – make sure it has the functionality you require. My minimums are:
    • Online Signup
    • Online Payment
    • Realtime CDR records
    • Prepaid Discounts
    • Or the option of Invoice Payment
    • or the option of Direct Debit Payment
  • Give the company a call, and make sure they answer the phone

Get onboard with www.simple1300numbers.com.au today.

Video

The Best Australian 1300 Numbers

Excellent video explaining how a new 1300 number can help your business

Finding a Good supplier for your new 1300 Number

What do you look for when choosing a supplier?

For me its simple, I want a good price and I want to know they aren’t going to go broke and leave me with no service.  One of the premium and best 1300 number suppliers available in today’s market is Simple Telecom.

The online signup process and professional service is definitely the best, and their pricing is very competitive.  There are so many features that come for free with the 1300 number, and the simple console is the best control panel I’ve ever seen and it gives you the ability to change your plan, update your details, request help with your service, view and pay invoices and manage the specifics of your service and any addons you might have.

Then there is the reporting,, very nice java-script graphs showing me exactly how many calls I’ve received and how much they have cost.  Then I can drill down and look at which state the calls are coming from, and even further at each individual call and determine the caller ID information, duration and price.  Talk about detailed reporting!

Recording calls from 1300 Numbers and 1800 Numbers to improve customer service

Have you ever thought about improving the customer service your offer your clients?  Recently I listened to myself on a recording from a conversation with a customer from a 1300 number.

I immediately identified some areas I could improve, the pitch of my voice is probably the most important thing.  In my own opinion, I sounded bored and very uninterested in the caller, so I have challenged myself to always be upbeat and use a higher pitch in my voice when answering calls.  The next key I discovered was the language I was using.  I was the expert, so it’s my new job to quickly identify the needs and desires of the caller, and then give them my expert opinion on what was the best solution for them.  I always try and use language that reinforces my experience dealing with businesses similar to them and the results I have helped that business achieve.  My services are always the best available on the market and I have full confidence in them, and that they are the best solution for the caller.

Well this is just a brief write up of some of the things I have identified for myself, imagine what doing this across the board for all your employees would help your bottom line.

The Call Recording addon for 1300 numbers is a really cheap way of providing your customer service representatives with easy feedback, follow the link if your after further details.

AB Marketing with 1300 numbers

Occasionally I get calls from advertising companies looking to use 1300 services for AB marketing.  Now I don’t come from a marketing background, so I had no idea what they were talking about.  I decided that I would catch up through some good old-fashioned research.

Wikipedia states: In web development and marketing, A/B testing or split testing is an experimental approach to web design (especially user experience design), which aims to identify changes to web pages that increase or maximize an outcome of interest (e.g., click-through rate for a banner advertisement). As the name implies, two versions (A and B) are compared, which are identical except for one variation that might impact a user’s behavior. Version A might be the currently used version, while Version B is modified in some respect. For instance, on an e-commerce website the purchase funnel is typically a good candidate for A/B testing, as even marginal improvements in drop-off rates can represent a significant gain in sales. Significant improvements can be seen through testing elements like copy text, layouts, images and colours.

So – what does this mean and how could you apply it?

To start with, the concept of AB Marketing allows you to compare different means of advertising.  The 1300 number with its reporting features will give you the ability to compare the inbound telephone enquiries easily.

Lets say you put a new different 1300 number:

  • On your website contact page
  • On a specific landing page your promoting a special offer on (tied to adwords)
  • On your email footer
  • On your business cards
  • On your print mail out campaign
  • On your Yellow Pages advertisement

Imagine the level of detail you would receive after 3 months of running the above?

You would be able to tell exactly how you are receiving the majority of your telephone calls, and combine it with sales stats – work out exactly how much each lead per advertising medium is costing you.

That is vital information.  You could be spending $1000 per year on a listing somewhere that is giving you no new leads.  It may highlight a particularly profitable advertising medium that is struggling for budget.

We love setting up these campaigns, and always pass on as big a discount as possible to help with the cost of multiple 1300 numbers.  Any questions, please ask in the comments.

Why do the Big Guys get it so Wrong?

I was thinking about why customers choose my business for 1300 numbers over others businesses recently and I drew a few conclusions which I wanted to share.

Firstly, my business is small compared to the “Big Guys” ie. Telstra, Optus etc.  I am constantly receiving feedback from clients about how easy and simple I am to deal with and get things done/fixed.  Surely this cannot be too difficult?  People don’t want to be just another number on a screen – they want you to remember them, they want to know that your important to them and their issues and needs are important.

I guess as your business grows it becomes harder to manage this, however I don’t think there is any excuse for not meeting this basic need from all Customers.  My business is at the stage now where I don’t hardly any of my clients, I have never spoken to them – maybe I have received an email or two from them but that’s it.  I still do NOT find this hard at all.  When someone calls, I load up there customer profile, take a quick look at their products – or ask them directly: “Please tell me about your business and what you need from my services.”

Not once have  I had someone refuse to talk about their business, they get excited and passionate and love the conversation.  When was the last time that happened to you when you called a “Big” company? Never I bet.  During the call, I take a few brief notes and store it in the system, set reminders for certain tasks if I need to follow them up or if they require certain information I will send it to them on the spot.  This way, if they call again, I can quickly load up there profile and see my notes from last time and remember whats going on.  Nowdays, I generally have to rely on other peoples notes or my own notes from years ago to get up to speed – so I guess having a consistent system in place is definitely the key in that regard.

Now I do have to give the big guys credit, the sheer volume of customers/enquiries they deal with means its not always going to be perfect but I would question some fundamentals of their business model.  Why do you have to go through endless IVR Menu’s or Voice Recognition systems to then speak with someone who isn’t a direct specialist in dealing with your original enquiry?

I image a group of numbers, maybe 1 for mobile, 1 for internet, 1 for fixed lines and 1 for inbound products.  Each number would have an IVR menu with a maximum of 2 levels deep.  The first level establishes what type of enquiry you have eg. Sales, Support, Billing.  These need to general enough that everyone can easily choose an option.

The second level may not be required or it may drill down the enquiry further, so for example Sales -> Straight to a Sales Rep.  For Billing, you might have: Pay my bill, Billing Error, General enquiry.  Then finally the IVR Menu drops the call down into the specific group that handle those calls.  Hold times would be managed so that no one was waiting more than 2 minutes – if they do it set’s up an automatic call back service so they can continue their work.

Finally once the operator deals with that specific enquiry, if they require further help outside of that operators help, the operator connects them either into the Relevant IVR, or establishes the department through conversation and transfers that call to the relevant department.  The operator definitely doesn’t try and help the caller if its not their area of expertise.

I think this could seriously work much better than the current systems I’ve dealt with, and I know as my company grows I will certainly be moving towards this style model.  Would love to hear your thoughts on this, please post in the comments below.