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Postcode Prompter for Franchisors

Ozetel Pty Ltd developed the postcode prompter technology 8 years ago in response to a need arising from a lack of ability to route callers to a 1300 or 1800 number in Australia. Franchises or multiple outlet businesses needed to be able to route calls efficiently to each relevant store and this was not achievable in an efficient or uniform manner.

The Postcode Prompter Technology solved this issue and, as we will describe later in this article, created additional benefits such as brand uniformity, reporting, measurement of investment and enhanced customer experience.

The Telecommunications Background

When considering how a 1300 or 1800 number can be routed, we need to break the callers interaction into two categories, calls originating from a fixed line and calls originating from a mobile phone line.

Fixed Line Callers

Callers on a fixed line are very well covered as they can be routed based on the Telstra Exchange that they are connected to. There are in excess of 5300 exchanges scattered around the country giving a broad scope of routing and allowing an even and correct distribution of calls from fixed lines.

Having said that, it is important to note that sometimes one Telstra Exchange can cover more then one postcode or suburb. For example, the Campbelltown exchange in New South Wales covers postcodes 2558, 2559, 2560 and 2567 and so if a franchisor was wanting to allocate an answer point to a store in each of these postcodes, they could not do so with Telstra Exchange based routing without placing an additional voice driven (IVR) menu on the Campbelltown exchange.

Most companies will be able to place a split on the Exchange as an additional feature but this complicates the call experience for the customers calling in to that franchise.

Mobile Phone Line Callers

This is where the main problem comes in for franchisors seeking to route callers efficiently. Unlike the web of Telstra Exchanges, there are only approximately 200 mobile phone towers that can be routed to cover the whole of Australia and this poses a real issue to refinement.

If we consider the Campbelltown area again, we see the area for refinement is much greater then the exchange issue. The Campbelltown tower covers in excess of a 200km radius and more then 85 suburbs. Obviously solving the issue by placing a split on the tower will not be viable and so a better solution was required.

The Postcode Prompter Technology – Call Distribution Issue Solved

The solution was to create a system that would allow a uniform distribution of incoming calls for both fixed line and mobile phone line callers to a franchise.

The focus was on routing all calls by a postcode entry into the telephone keypad, meaning that any caller would define which postcode they needed the store in. On the other side, this would also ensure that franchise owners could have all postcodes within a franchise territory delivered to the most relevant store.

The benefits of the technology;

Customer Tells You What They Need

If the 1300 or 1800 number is directly landed to a store based on where a caller is standing it is possible they will be delivered to the wrong location. Many callers were calling from a postcode or suburb that wasn’t the same as where they wanted the business, for example if calling from work or if they were visiting someone.

With the Postcode Prompter, the desired postcode is entered rather then postcode where they were placing the call. It becomes a much better experience for the caller.

Brand Uniformity

The postcode entry system means that all callers, regardless of whether they are calling from a fixed line or mobile phone line, will experience the same call delivery process. This creates a uniformity for your brand rather then having mobile phone line callers be treated differently simply because of the lack of refinement in routing due to the small number of mobile phone towers covering the country.

Further brand recognition development can also be achieved through audio announcements and marketing specials or promotions inside the postcode prompter platform.

Reporting Enhancements

The technology created in depth measuring of call flow and the ability to record what the callers were entering on their keypad. The postcode prompter platforms record actual postcodes entered, errors with invalid postcodes, timeouts where callers fail to enter information along with detailed information on successful calls to stores, unsuccessful calls where stores fail to answer and much more.

Suddenly, franchisors were handed a tool to manage customer call flow and make decisions based on descriptive data. The system will even show franchisors where new franchises should be set up if a postcode or area of postcodes has no store.

Individual Billing

The state of the art billing software was opened up to give franchisors access to telecommunications billing platforms. A franchisor can now distribute relevant call charges and any administrative costs to each of it’s franchisees by utilizing the existing billing processes of Ozetel. This was a huge advantage to franchisors as it takes away the tedious task of calculating and passing on those complex charges themselves.

In summary, gone are the issues with efficient call routing for franchisors when considering fixed line and mobile phone line callers to a 1300 or 1800 number.

The Postcode Prompter technology developed and successfully implemented by Ozetel over the past 8 years has solved the problem and allowed franchise owners to distribute callers correctly, while also enhancing the customer experience with their brand. The franchise model will be enhanced through the real time reporting and measurement of call data, ensuring business owners have their fingers on the pulse of their most prized asset.

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