SAN DIEGO, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ — FastCall411 (http://www.fastcall411.com/) today unveiled its innovative local search product at DEMOfall07, the premier launch venue for new products, technologies and companies. Using patent-pending technology — including artificial intelligence, VoIP, open source Asterisk and parallel dialing — FastCall411 reinvents the local directory around the consumer experience.
“It is an honor to be invited to showcase our product at the much lauded, highly respected technology launch-pad DEMOfall07,” said Richard Rosen, founder and CEO of FastCall411. “FastCall411 is officially launching a faster, better way for consumers to find local service providers immediately, without wading through passive directory listings, dialing disconnected or unavailable numbers and leaving countless messages. There is no better way to find what you need. Fast.”
According to Rosen, throughout the history of local directories — from phone books to online local directories and enhanced directory assistance — one weakness has persisted: consumers have to do the “heavy lifting” when it comes to finding and reaching a local service provider. Taking advantage of emerging telephony technology and new economies in bandwidth, FastCall411 reinvents the process. Using patent-pending technology, FastCall411 recommends the most relevant merchants, then calls as many as needed to connect the consumer to a business that is available and interested in taking the call.
“FastCall411 puts the consumer first with an innovative solution to long outdated local search directories,” said Chris Shipley, executive producer of the DEMO conference. “With two decades’ industry experience, FastCall411 founder and CEO Richard Rosen continues to be a pioneer within the local search arena. His expertise, out-of-the-box thinking and customer-focused approach truly exemplify what makes DEMO the number-one platform for emerging technologies.”
Dialing for Service
FastCall411 takes a completely different approach to local search, using different criteria and a different data set. Traditional search engines license old data from the Yellow Pages and rank those merchants based on proximity.
Consumers can access FastCall411 via the web or mobile device by selecting a category (locksmith, plumber, mechanic, etc), and entering their zip code and call-back number. Within seconds, the FastCall411 automated dialing application contacts as many merchants in the searched category as is necessary to connect the consumer to a relevant merchant who is both available and interested in providing the service.
Alternatively, the consumer can select a specific merchant in the category. If the call to that merchant doesn’t result in immediate satisfaction, however, the consumer can instruct FastCall411 to “Try Another.”
The application will automatically dial recommended merchants until the one available merchant is on the phone and ready to satisfy the consumer’s need.
“FastCall411 is local search in the moment,” Rosen said. “We’re creating a dynamic pool of local service providers ranked according to their ‘availability,’ which is our key relevance driver. Now, the merchant traditionally buried on page 12 of conventional search results has an opportunity to move to page 1.”
While search engines spider the web, FastCall411 spiders phone calls, continuously collecting data on the merchants it contacts, tracking phone call answer rates, merchant interest and availability, and ultimately, consumer reviews of the merchant interaction. FastCall411 qualifies merchants based on lead acceptance (initial tests indicate a ~25% acceptance rate). These merchants become “FastCall411 Recommended.” With each consumer call, merchants are given the opportunity to “be available” and purchase that lead via IVR on a first-come-first-serve basis. When merchants respond, or don’t, they are given a quality score. This highly automated, scalable sales process will acquire merchants more cost-effectively than competing technologies.
Taking advantage of emerging IP (Internet protocol) telephony, FastCall411 completes the process using open-source Asterisk to parallel dial multiple merchants — placing outbound calls for the consumer, and ultimately securing relevant and available service providers within a fraction of the time a consumer would need to accomplish the same task.
The service, provided free to the consumer, is underwritten by participating merchants. The first business that indicates availability is instantly connected to the consumer, securing a viable and potentially valuable business opportunity that might not have otherwise come their way.
FastCall411 will be found on the web; as a widget on partner sites; within existing local directories — including 411 directory assistance; and can be accessed using any phone including mobile and cell devices. FastCall411’s model is partner-friendly. By connecting a higher percentage of consumer phone calls, FastCall411 satisfies the searching consumer, and local merchants, as well as publishers, who will see higher economic yields from local search. FastCall411 is the first company to distribute a “reinvented” local directory to a broad network of online and offline sources.