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Case study: 'Nerd Networks'

From spare bedroom business to market leader: Our client - affectionately nicknamed 'Nerd Networks' by some of its long-standing clients - has grown from being a spare bedroom business to becoming one of the UK's leading router specialists. The company found its success is focussing on expertise and exceptional customer service.

The challenge

Saddled with loans from their student days, the two university friends starting the business decided to avoid debt at every step and only spend out when a fast payback was possible.

With few resources and only a spare bedroom as an office, the duo needed to present a 'big company' image to customers. But as the business grew, the company wanted to 'work smarter' rather than having to employ more people and pay hefty overheads.

The solution

The friends didn't know anything about telephony and were very wary of buying something they didn't need. But they liked the idea of extra services being available 'on tap' if their business took off. In fact, they upgraded their telephony in five phases over three years...

We knew nothing about telephony at the start, but that didn't matter. As we grew, we could add the service swe needed, at the right price - without any fuss

(1) The duo started simply
Rather than causing problems using a domestic home number for business, they chose an 0870 number to give their venture a 'national image', enabling them to advertise in business directories along the M4 corridor. Calls were diverted to their landline using the dmConnectdmConnect: Cost-effective worldwide call forwarding, by PSTN and VoIP divert service that was included for free.

(2) They added intelligent voicemail
As business increased, the pair were often away from base. To avoid missing calls, they purchased dmVoicedmVoice: Call-forwarding to UK & international numbers. Voicemail, and 'find-me' call-hunting facilities. This service provided voicemail for each of them if it couldn't reach them via their landline or mobile numbers. The pair could also access messages by email.

(3) Then, to avoid lost sales, they got dmAnswersdmAnswers: A PA-like human answering service
As luck would have it, calls were often put through to their mobiles - and onto voicemail - while the friends were in meetings. And some callers didn't leave a message. To add the personal touch and stop losing sales, the company chose dmAnswersdmAnswers: A PA-like human answering service, which used professional call centre staff to take their important messages. It made them sound like a much larger company too!

(4) Call-handling was upgraded with a professionally-voiced virtual switchboard
Having added two more employees, the company selected dmSwitchboarddmSwitchboard: A fully featured virtual switchboard. This let callers choose between departments, so customers would get the right person to speak to... first time, every time. However, the service also allowed for mid-call diverts if callers got it wrong. The team also added ProVoiceOverProVoiceOver: Have your switchboard scripts recorded by a professional voiceover artist for professional greetings to enhance a truly first-class image.

(5) They went 'corporate' by integrating CRM
The company also made a successful push into the corporate market, where quality of service was vital. Customers wanted to be treated in different ways - and XScriptXScript: A fully-scriptable XML-controlled number, designed for enterprise-level call-handling was the answer. It allowed them to integrate their telephony and computer systems to take customer service to the highest level and maintain their competitive advantage (see the sidebar).

Business benefits

  • The duo could launch 'from nothing' without any risks
  • They could add extra services when needed and not before
  • Customers felt treated well - and business has boomed
  • The pair have eased the pressures of success through smart call-handling and customer order tracking
Typical First Invoice
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