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Comment: Re:For free? (Score 5, Informative) 171

by shaiberger (#36541020) Attached to: Fonolo Lets You Bypass Company Phone Menus

Hi there, CEO of Fonolo here.

Our consumer service is offered completely for free.

We make money from our enterprise product which you can read about at http://fonolo.com/

Why do we offer the free service?
1) It promotes what we're doing (especially when we get slashdotted!)
2) It showcases our technology (the engine that runs the consumer service is also at the heart of the enterprise product)
3) It lets us try new features and learn about the best way to improve the call center experience.
4) We wanted it for ourselves!

- Shai

Comment: Re:Comcast has a service that does the same thing (Score 5, Informative) 171

by shaiberger (#36540908) Attached to: Fonolo Lets You Bypass Company Phone Menus

Hi there, CEO of Fonolo here.

Great to see all the enthusiasm!

> I can't imagine why more companies don't do this.

That's actually a really interesting question. The idea of letting the customer hang up and then get a call-back when an agent is ready is called "Virtual Queuing" (VQ), and has been around for a long time. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_queuing.

Why don't we see it more often? It is not for lack of interest, as some of the comments have said. There has been strong interest in VQ for a long time. Waiting on hold is actually lose-lose approach to queuing: Customers get pissed off, and the company wastes money (keeping the lines open). There have been virtual queuing systems available for over a decade. They remain rare, not because companies don't want them but because they require installation at the call center and, in today's call center environment, that's costly and often impossible. Why impossible? Because of the widespread use of outsourced call centers. If you're sending some of your calls to a 3rd party, you can't force them to install any custom equipment. For more on this: http://www.shaiberger.com/2010/10/when-will-we-stop-waiting-on-hold

Brief plug: Fonolo offers a service that allows companies to add virtual queuing without any changes to their call center. http://fonolo.com/features/virtualqueuing

- Shai

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