At the time of writing the Olympic Games are well underway with the BBC doing its best to leave no stone unturned in maximising coverage of the events. Admittedly, to receive the full benefit viewers need to be in areas with fast broadband speeds or have paid extra for certain TV services but even those with no broadband and a basic freeview service can still flick between three or four channels.
Even without the BBC coverage, internet users can keep up to date via a plethora of sites all vying to be the first with news, views and analysis. This is undoubtedly the most information rich Olympic Games in history.
In truth the outpouring of statistics and results is only feeding a public appetite which has grown as the internet has developed. The “they’ll tell us if we need to know” attitude of days gone by has evolved into a demand for statistics and information at every turn. So, we need to know how far a player ran to score a goal, the percentage of successful first serves in a tennis match or the food miles on our punnet of strawberries.
Businesses which ignore this thirst for information do so at their peril. Whilst some information can be displayed on a web site, it can pay to offer an information line as an alternative. Sometimes thought of as vehicles to use in a business continuity situation or to advise opening hours, company information lines can actually be used for a host of other situations.
The first hurdle to overcome is the concept that information lines are static lines. They aren’t. With the freedom to change messages as regularly as a business wants information lines can become valuable ways of communicating with clients. Organisations can use voice recording, text to speech or even take advantage of the services of a professional recording artist to keep messages current. Add in a PIN verification feature and businesses can broadcast alternate messages, set up a tipster line service or even test the effectiveness of different advertisements.
Yes, the internet may now be the first choice of many for receiving news and information. But for those without the latest smartphone, for those in areas of poor broadband coverage or even for those who prefer a single point of contact to trawling through search engines the company information line is still a valuable resource and one which business should not be without.