7 Uses For The Information Line Service

The Information Line is a versatile yet often underused service.

Although the rise of the web has provided businesses with solutions such as websites, videos and webinars, using recorded messages can greatly enhance your phone system.

The Information Line can be connected to any of our virtual number ranges. It can also be combined with any of our other services as required. As it's cloud-hosted, multiple callers can access your recorded messages simultaneously with no engaged tones, call queueing or loss of call quality.

This service can be used in any way you like. Here are 7 ways our clients currently use it to give you some ideas on how to get started:

1. As part of a disaster recovery / business continuity plan

One of the most common uses of an Information Line is as part of a disaster recovery / business continuity solution.

The Information Line is connected to a number which is distributed to staff / anyone else that needs to be kept up to date. Usually it lies dormant, or just plays a simple message, such as “there is no news to report” or similar. However, should an emergency arise, whoever is in charge of managing the situation can upload or create a new message with up to date information and instructions on what people should do next.

As the situation develops, new messages are added to share all the relevant updates. Typically, bulk SMS messages are sent out, asking everyone to call the information line number as news is released.

2. As a school information line

This works in a similar way to the disaster recovery line.

Schools have a dedicated line to share any updates in the event of any unusual situation developing.

For example, if there is any snow, or if the heating breaks down, parents can call the information line to find out whether or not the school is open etc.

In addition, the information line could be used for more general purpose uses, such as to share information on upcoming events and school news.

3. With a call tree, with options to find out specific info

If you need to share a number of updates you can combine a virtual switchboard with a number of information lines to help people get the information they need quickly. The caller contacts you via a single number and is then presented with a number of options, such as "press 1 for x, press 2 for y" etc.

They choose the option they need and are played a recorded message with the latest news.

We have a client who does this with surf updates across multiple locations, so surfers can get up to date information on what conditions are like at various beaches.

Do you have a number of locations or options where the situation changes regularly? Used alongside your website etc., a simple solution like this is a great additional way to keep your staff / clients etc. updated. 

4. As a tipster line

One specific use for the information line is as a racing tipster line. Tipsters can record a message with their horse racing tips for the day, then the punters can call in to listen to them.

Often, tipsters will use a premium rate number so they can get paid for sharing their tips. Alternatively, if they were already getting paid through some other form (such as a monthly subscription using Paypal or similar) they could just as easily use a regular 01 or 02 number, maybe protected by a regularly updated PIN, so only current subscribers can get access.

5. To answer FAQ’s before taking a call

Another way an Information Line could benefit both you and your customers is to use it to answer frequently asked questions before callers can speak to somebody in person. Done properly, this can help people get the information they need quickly, whilst also reducing the volume of calls you have to handle. However, it’s worth putting some thought into this, as nobody wants to listen to 20 minutes of recorded information every time they want to speak to someone.

A good place to start with this is to ask your front line support staff which questions they get asked the most. You could then answer these questions with a recorded message, as well as updating your website and other literature (brochures, quotes, etc.) to ensure the answers to these questions are answered clearly.

This should be an ongoing process, rather than a one-off event. It could also provide you with some indications of trends / opportunities that you should be paying attention to.

6. As a general purpose info line for events etc.

If you’re running an event, it’s a good idea to set up an Information Line to provide attendees with up to the minute updates. For example, if your event is dependent upon the weather and you get torrential rain the week before, you might need to cancel at short notice, or make alternative arrangements.

Using a recorded message is a simple way to keep people in the loop, and possibly prevent you having to deal with hundreds of irate people turning up to an event you can no longer run.

Alternatively, you may just need to let people know about more mundane things, such as parking arrangements and share the timetable for when everything is going to be happening. Having a number people can call to check the details at any time is a valuable service you can offer, which also avoids organisers being overwhelmed with enquiries when their attention needs to be directed to the event itself.

Again, combining a recorded message with SMS Bulk messages  is a simple yet effective way to make sure everyone knows what is going on.

7. As a sales or marketing tool

Of course, you can always use an Information Line as part of your sales / marketing process.

A straightforward example would be to record a message explaining your product / service and how it can benefit the caller. You could then easily send callers to an Answerphone service after they’ve listened to your message, so they can leave a message requesting a call-back etc.

We’ve also seen some creative uses for this service, so why not use your imagination and do something creative and memorable. Using a recorded message as part of your sales / marketing could make you stand out.

Here’s an example to get you started: why not run a spy-themed promotion for your product, casting your prospects as a secret agent?

As part of the campaign you could send them a number to listen to a top secret message, which is your message on an Information Line. You could even protect it with a secret code, which is of course a PIN service to add to the effect.

Whilst we cannot promise to make your callers’ phones self-destruct after listening to your message, we can safely say that your campaign will be a lot more memorable if you do it this way, rather than the average 'features and benefits' style advert.

How can you use the Information Line service?

So, why not plan something a little different today?  You can use Callagenix numbers and services any way you like to help create a different experience for your clients and prospects.

Contact us today for help and advice on how to choose and combine our services to best suit your needs.

Written by Matt