Nonstop Numbers

Virtual Receptionist

Give callers the help they need any time--day or night.

One of the most frustrating things for prospects or customers is getting stuck in one of those older, semi-automated phone systems. "Please enter the extension of the party you are calling," states the system--not very helpful if you don't know which extension you need. Sometimes there's a spell-by-name option, but if your party's name is more complicated than "Smith," it could take you a long time to connect to your party.

Advances in voice-recognition software, however, are easing the process a bit. New call-answering systems, offered by firms like Registry Magic Inc. (http://www.registrymagic.com), enable callers to state the name of the person they're looking for and then be routed to him or her automatically. Registry Magic's system costs $12,000 or can be rented or leased for $350 per month. With voice-recognition software, it's like having a real operator on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Contact Soruces

Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories Inc., (888) 436-3797

RangeStar International Corp., (800) 927-2757

Registry Magic Inc., (888) R-MAGIC-8

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This article was originally published in the August 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Nonstop Numbers.

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