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Telephone Answering Services

acd system and auto call distribution system route calls This section of our technical library presents information and documentation relating to answering service systems and phone answering services. At Database Systems Corp. (DSC), we offer complete inbound call center and outbound automated phone services. Our inbound call center processes phone calls using our interactive voice response (IVR) system that answers calls without an operator.

Organizations looking to reduce costs and to improve customer service can now contract their inbound 800 answering service and outbound voice messaging programs at our automated call center facility. As designers of call answering systems and phone answering service software, DSC is uniquely positioned to manage your call answering service and 800 number service campaigns saving your organization both time and money. Because our phone answering service software was created in-house, we can deliver comprehensive 800 number outsourcing quickly -- providing you with a competitive advantage in the marketplace. From external database access to web integration including XML messaging, DSC can provide very custom phone applications. Plus you will find our 800 phone service to be quite affordable.

Work-From-Home: Answering Service Businesses

Additional Tips for Success

Here are a few suggestions to attract prospects, save money and generally launch a successful business venture. 

During the direct mail phase of your marketing campaign, an incentive was offered to bring in new clients. The lifeblood of any business is new people coming into it. What better way to encourage them than with a free promotion! When you give something away, you can expect to find someone there to take it. This will also be true in your marketing solicitation. If you offer a reduced rate for a period of time, or contract for five months and give the sixth month away free, you will entice people to take action. 

The irony of this situation is that the more you give away, the more business you will attract. If you sent a direct mail response out and obtained three clients who contract with you for six months at $50/month, you have attracted $900 worth of business. However, if a giveaway of the sixth month free doubles your response, you will contract six people paying for five months at $50/months, but increased your revenue. You gave away six free months, but increased your clientele and your revenue doing it. In addition, you now have clients who are potential renewers when the contracts expire. You could also give away a gift to new enrollees instead of the month’s free service. A number of promotional companies exist that can help you select an ap­propriate gift and buy it at bulk rate. Your giveaways can sometimes amount to only $4 or $5 per person, and you end up with six and twelve month contracts as a result.

With incentives, offer something tangible and relevant to your business. Do not attach any strings. Make it a straightforward offer with no fine print. People appreciate, and are more likely to respond to, this type of offer. 

Another tip for success is to minimize your printing costs. Direct mail costs money. Brochures cost money. Business cards and stationery cost money. Take some steps to keep your printing bills within reason. 

Shop for competitive quotes. There are usually a number of printers in a given area, so you should be able to find three or four to bid on your job. If you are having business cards, stationery and brochures done, do them all at once, advise the printer to quote each job both separately, and combined. Often, a combined job can reduce your costs. 

Be specific about the job. Get all the costs up front. If you want the printer to set the type, fold the piece, whatever; be sure you have all this priced out first. 

Stick to standard sizes and colors. Avoid heavy paper stock. You do not have to use postcard stock, either. Give the printer ample time to complete the job. Rush work costs money and the costs will be passed on to you. 

Printing costs can eat up a budget quickly. The more homework you do up front, the less you will spend and the more likely the piece will be done to your satisfaction. 

As you solicit additional business, your base set of clients can hopefully provide some solid testimony as to the value of your services. Securing these endorsements can be the foundation for a new marketing campaign to add new clients and “grow” your business.

You will likely have to ask for this feedback yourself. Most people do not take the time to write a letter, but most often simply comment to you personally about their pleasure with your services. So, ask them to put their thoughts down on paper. If someone has written, ask their permission to reprint it and use their name. Alternatively, you can initiate written comments by sending out a customer satisfaction form, which encourages comments from your clients. 

Whichever way you choose, these endorsements can help you obtain new business. 

Finally, do not overlook the outlets through which you can publicize your business— at no charge! It amounts to free advertising and you should be watchful for the opportunity this presents to tell people about your services without increasing your marketing budget.

News releases about your business can generate some publicity for you. Many smaller newspapers publish a Business Section where new businesses in the area are noted and a few specifics spelled out. The newspaper will not have the information to print unless you send them a news release. 

Send your release with a cover letter to the city or business editor of your local newspaper, the managing editors of business trade publications and the news directors for local radio and television stations. 

The cover letter should briefly state the positive aspects of your business and why your services would interest their audience. 

The news release is more formal and should be typed on one sheet of paper, double–spaced, and headed “NEWS RELEASE” with the day’s date. You should also list a “FOR MORE INFORMATION” header followed by your name, address and phone number. The copy itself should be short and to the point, but with the same idea as an advertisement. The first paragraph should be your “headline grabber”, the idea of which is to get the reader (editor or director) to become interested enough to keep reading. Emphasize the convenience of your service to small business owners who do not have an office and generally are out working all day. Do not be long winded. Sell them on your basic idea. If they are interested in publicizing it, they will call you for more information.

Emphasize how your business relates to current news trends, such as the age of computers, which takes away, some of the human touch, and you’re trying to restore that so the customers of a business will be able to talk to a person rather than a machine. Make it newsworthy. You will have a better chance of getting the free publicity you seek.