It’s our position that communication technology is the breakout star of the film “Ghostbusters.” Proton packs and particle beams are cool and all, but it’s kinda hard to reach out to your friendly neighborhood paranormal exterminators when you can’t get a dial tone—and the iconic song from Ray Parker Jr. doesn’t ask who you gonna visit or who you gonna write a certified letter to.
Of course, it’s also fair to say that the communication technology on which businesses rely has evolved since the days Janine Melnitz ran the front desk. In the spirit of the Halloween season, let’s take a look at a few leading tools in a ghost-busting context.
Who You Gonna Market To?
In the ’80s and ’90s, official hotlines were an effective bit of marketing with a brilliantly simple setup: Callers who dialed the number advertised in the first “Ghostbusters” film, for instance, heard a recording of Dr. Venkman and Dr. Raymond, a bit of added fun so popular it received a thousand calls an hour, all day, every day, according to IFC.
Naturally, scalable tools like VolP and instant online provisioning mean any ghost-extermination service out there today could set up a hotline. But what about the marketing data all those callers—who are interested enough in the service to dial a gag line’s number—have to offer? Wouldn’t it be nice to use the info as a starting point for an opt-in campaign? What about a set of analytical “magic numbers” to determine where the business should focus its limited marketing dollars?
With the right number insight solution in place, today’s Ghostbusters can have all that and more. Though businesses often monitor pertinent inbound-call data—the caller’s geographical location, network carrier, and handset type—to fight fraud or tailor customer service efforts, the four ghost-fighting colleagues could use the same data to see who is calling them and from which borough, allowing them to build pinpoint-precise marketing profiles that draw even more ghost-afflicted clients.
Who You Gonna Anonymously Call … and Message?
Imagine that the Ghostbusters survived to see today’s digital-oriented marketplace. Although their old business model worked in the days of cassette tapes and neon clothing, they now live in the gig economy, where any qualified applicant with enough cash to rent a proton pack can bust ghosts on a freelance basis.
Their app makes it easy enough to obtain service, but sometimes anonymous communication between customer and client is necessary. A worker may wish to send a message asking for address details without giving the customer their personal phone number, for instance. Moreover, the digital era is the experience era. Nobody wants to highlight the buster’s number, copy it, switch to the messaging app, and paste it in the appropriate field when they’re being chased down by a vengeful spirit.
In this situation, communication technology saves the day by giving our Ghostbuster-sharing entity’s contractors and customers a modern, adaptable tool that:
- Automatically connects both parties without the need for outside apps.
- Masks calling and messaging numbers so neither side must share their info with the other.
- Integrates with the existing buster-finder app, allowing the company to include powerful technology without starting from scratch (and thus rebuilding features and tools they currently find useful).
Best of all, everything here is API-based. Once the calling and messaging features are implemented, platform-partner tools such as geofencing can further enrich the ghost-extermination experience: When you’re cowering in the linen closet or under the bed, the message confirming that your Ghostbuster is nearby has to be a big relief. Just make sure your ringer is set to silent.
Who You Gonna Intelligently Engage?
Any successful business understands the importance of contact centers, and the Ghostbusters are no exception. Having grown large enough to justify a multi-footprint presence, they rely heavily on dedicated care personnel. When a potential client fills a form on the website, the contact center reaches out and attempts to convert the inquiry, as one example of its critical role.
The problem? People being harangued by ghosts aren’t always great about answering the phone. When your bed is elevating off the floor and your favorite plates routinely fly off the shelf and into a wall, it can be hard to open your voicemail box and grab a pen to figure out, well, who you gonna call.
The right workflow solves this problem with a smart approach to callbacks. If the system doesn’t register a callback by a predetermined time, it automatically sends the relevant info via SMS: “Charlie, you inquired about your CLASS III INFESTATION on 9/1. To reach us, call 1-800-555-2368 9-5 p.m., Mon-Sat.” This method allows the ghost-busting organization to engage its customers without appearing pushy, giving the customer time to read and respond at their leisure (or when they aren’t ducking grandma’s fine china). It can even allow the business to confirm customer engagement in the right formats: If they get a read receipt on a failover message and haven’t heard back in several days, it’s probably fair to assume the lead’s got bigger problems.
In all these situations, communication technology lets the company keep the same model while modernizing the way it communicates with customers. It’s the exact same story in the real world. While the average company will never have to deal with ghosts, giant marshmallow monsters, or Vigo the Carpathian, they do need tools that align their offerings with the way customers like to engage—everyone enjoys Halloween, but nobody wants their outdated comms methods to turn into a horror show.