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. (, 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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