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A Virtual Assistant Even SMBs Can Afford

CTL, a provider of computer-telephony solutions, released a new calendar-based outbound dialing system that delivers appointment confirmations and reminders to customers.

Called Confirm-IT, this product uses speech recognition technology from LumenVox. It can automatically call customers on their work, home, or cell phones; customers can confirm or reschedule appointments through touchtone or voice input. Confirm-IT can also leave a message on an answering machine or voicemail system and send a text message and/ or email reminder as well. Businesses using the system can set their own rules about when and how often to query their databases and place the calls; most can also record their own prompts.

The purpose of the system is to "eliminate costly no-shows and keep operations at full occupancy," says Don Williams, chief operating officer of Shelton, Conn.-based CTL.

"And it is more than just an appointment reminder system," he adds. "Confirm-IT can build a customer database, provide a working calendar, send Happy Birthday wishes, total sales for the day and so much more. It can do so many things with running a business. It’s about managing customer relationships to be proactive rather than reactive."

The current version of Confirm-IT supports six vertical markets: personal care (salons), veterinarians, medical care, leisure (like hotels and health spas), service, and business. Confirm-IT can be deployed as a standalone application or as an adjunct solution to virtually any phone system. 

Within the next few weeks, CTL expects to release Confirm-IT2 for customers who have an existing calendar-based product and need appointment confirmation and reminders. CTL will concurrently release Instant Notify, an advanced outbound bulk dialing product.

Though currently geared for business uses, Williams also envisions a day when CTL will make a consumer product for individual use. It’s something that has "been on the table," he says.

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