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Service Turns Calls Into Useful Data

There's a lot of valuable information contained in telephone records that could help companies manage internal operations, customer service, and sales and marketingefforts. Startup OneLink Communications Inc. thisweek will unveil technology designed to help small andmidsize companies convert raw telecom information intouseful data about trends and customers.

OneLink's TeleSmart service is already being sold by telecomservice providers such as US West and Cincinnati Bell. Thecarriers collect the call data, send it to OneLink forprocessing, and OneLink provides the customer with 70 to 100preformatted call-detail reports on a weekly or monthlybasis. Businesses can receive tables, maps, graphs, andcharts about where calls originate, including groupings byarea codes or phone numbers, ZIP codes, call length, time ofday, and more. The reports are available via the Web,diskette, or paper.

Midwest Eye Care PC, in Omaha, Neb., which pays about $225 amonth per location for the service, found that it wasunderstaffed and underequipped to handle the 325 to 700daily calls it receives. With the OneLink service from USWest, Midwest Eye Care discovered that about 12% of callersweren't even getting through. The reports helped the companyjustify adding two extensions for answering calls and thepurchase of a more sophisticated phone system. And thecompany has reorganized call processing, cutting missedcalls to 3%; more improvement is expected when the newsystem is installed.

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