A TOLL-FREE TELEPHONE SERVICE
Browning Machine Company
By Jim Robbins
In order to determine the feasibility of providing a toll-free telephone service to Browning Machine’s domestic spare-parts customers, the costs and benefits were evaluated. Incoming telephone call time usage was recorded during the week of November 12-17, 409 domestic customers were surveyed in October and November, and a telephone interview was conducted with an AT&T toll-free representative in October. The criteria used were the costs and benefits of a toll-free service, the value customers place on a toll-free service, and how to tell customers about a toll-free service.
Browning Machine currently uses AT&T as its long-distance telephone carrier. The required toll-free telephone service and cost analysis are based on information from and a telephone interview with AT&T.
According to Art Neumann, an AT&T Long-Distance Network Sales Specialist, the service recommended for Browning Machine is AT&T Readyline. Readyline is an inward toll-free service that utilizes existing telephone lines to receive the 800-number telephone calls.
The advantage of this service is that all of the existing lines currently used to place and receive calls are available to receive the incoming 800-number calls. Because the Readyline service distributes the incoming calls among the available lines, the chance that a caller will receive a busy signal is reduced. Several customers indicated in the comment section of the questionnaire that if Browning were to offer an 800 number, it should include sufficient service to handle the expected increase in the volume of incoming calls.
Installation costs are minimal. Monthly costs consist of a flat-rate fee and usage fees based on time and distance. The main benefit derived would be increased sales. As indicated in Appendix A, yearly sales increases of 8 percent are anticipated with the new service.
In return for offering an 800 number to its customers, Browning Machine would expect that the added service would encourage customers to contact Browning more frequently, resulting in more sales opportunities.