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Do you hate calling customer service at a large company? It's safe to say we all do. Nearly every large corporation today utilizes phone menus to route your call to the correct department and it's nearly impossible to get a real person on the phone. Wouldn't it be great if there was a web app that did the calling for you and then rang you back when they reached the right spot in the phone menu? That would be a truly useful service, wouldn't it?
Now there's an app that will do the deep dialing for you. It's called Fonolo and it's dead-simple to use. To get started, you first find the company you want to call in the Fonolo directory and then click to display that company's phone menu. Instead of having to navigate the company's phone tree yourself, you just find the area or department you need to call and click the button that reads "call here."
Fonolo will then place the call and navigate the menu for you. When they reach the right spot, they'll call your phone and you'll be connected.
Although Fonolo's directory is nowhere near as extensive at the one at GetHuman.com, another popular site for getting a person on the phone, the big difference between the two sites is that Fonolo directs you to the area you want - which may or may not be speaking with a customer service agent. For example, you may just want to check an order status - there's really no need to speak to a person to do so - but people get frustrated with the menu so they just take the shortcut to customer service.
Unfortunately, after testing a few companies, it was easy to see why the company is still in private beta - the call quality was very poor. However, the company is aware of this and are working on this problem with their termination provider. The issue is due to the volume of calls - more than they expected, apparently. But if they can get that problem fixed, this will be an invaluable service.
The Developer Platform
The company has also just introduced a developer platform and API, which lets developers build applications that interact with the Deep Dialing service. Developers will be able to:
- Search Fonolo's directory of companies;
- Display the full text of the phone menu for a selected company;
- Initiate a Deep Dial process to any node in the phone menu;
- Route calls to any PSTN number or SIP address.
Developers can sign up at developer.fonolo.com.
A future API release will cover Fonolo's "Intelligent Call History" service, providing access to Deep Dial Bookmarks, call recordings and user notes. "We want users to access the power of these innovations through as many channels as possible, including mobile applications, soft-phone plug-ins and carrier integration," said Fonolo co-founder and CEO Shai Berger. "Today's announcement is the first step in making that possible."
After the app leaves beta, there will be a few more features available, like the ability to bookmark individual spots in a phone tree and the ability to record your calls.
If you would like to take a sneak peek at Fonolo, which is still in private beta, let us know by leaving a comment. We have 100 invites to distribute to our readers. Remember OpenID users, your comment won't display your email address, so please leave it in your comment itself.