Saying yes to customers - our new simplified demo

Recently when a prospect asked us to make changes to the hosted dialer demo so that he could connect agents to the demo via normal phone lines (PSTN), our first instinct was to refuse. We were up to our ears in engineering work. We had no experience operating dialers in this fashion. We also felt that we were unlikely to get many clients that would connect agents via PSTN due to the phone expense involved.

The prospect was operating a geographically distributed dialer, and did not want to bother with setting up SIP phones at each location. We remembered that the first step in sales is to say yes, and we did. We setup his dialer such that when an agent logs in, he is first called on his PSTN phone to connect him to the dialer. Normally agents are connected via SIP phones.

Initially we did face a few issues in this mode. An example is voice lag. Consider an agent located in UK calling other locations in UK. If the PSTN gateway is located in the US, then the call travels from UK to the US and back. This longer loop causes a time delay in the conversation, somewhat like an International call to a distant country. We had to redo our routing to take such factors into account.

However once the initial problems were sorted out, we began to see the elegance of the setup. The biggest stumbling block in setting up a dialer is the SIP phones. It is also the biggest reason for premature abandonment of demos at our site. We realised we could take a phone number during registration and call that phone number to give the dialer demo, simplifying the demo dramatically! For many low cost destinations the added cost of the call to the agent is small.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, we are pleased to announce our new phone based demo system. We ask you for a number during registration and if it is amongst 35 low cost international destinations, we call that number when you login as an agent during that demo. If it is not one of the 35 destinations, you must continue to use SIP phones. You should get a popup warning when you enter the number saying so. We have also uploaded dummy leads that you can actually call to test the dialer.

You can continue to use PSTN in production to connect your agents if you find it convenient, or switch to SIP to save money. A big thanks to the prospect, now a valued customer, for giving us this idea.

Moral of the story: you may be forced sometimes to refuse a sale due to overload, but you may be missing out on a massive payback. It pays to say yes to customers.

UPDATE: Testimonial! Above mentioned customer emailed us on reading this and says: "One of the things that has impressed us more than when we have used other dialers is your tech support is always available if we encounter issues and your willingness to work with our group.  Overall, yes we have had a few glitches, but you guys were quick to rectify them, we are quite happy with the system, in terms of cost, ease of use and again support."

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