Plugging Starbucks in to Telephony

August 5, 2008

Every time I walk into Starbucks I’m hit in the face with a new sales promotion. Howard Shultz & crew are doing all that they can to turn Starbucks around. If successful, their current promotion will have consumers visiting a Starbucks twice a day. The approach with this promotion is that if the consumer returns with their morning receipt after 2:00 PM, they will be offered any grande (that is a ‘medium’ for you folks that have yet to pick up on the Starbucks lingo) iced drink for $2.00 instead of the usual $3.50 & above price tag.

I can’t help but look at a promotion like this & imagine the benefits that Starbucks could achieve if they would simply use communication & transaction based technologies to market & manage this promotion. The problem is that too many companies perceive such an integration to either be impossible, or if possible then too expensive.

My morning coffee was paid for using my Starbucks credit card. Talk about a loyal Starbucks’ customer… I earn Starbucks points with all of my purchases instead of miles or cash back. Since Starbucks has already “signed me up” why not alert me of this promotion via text message or better yet with a phone call rather than catching me only after I’ve walked through their doors? It wasn’t until I purchased my coffee & then asked for my receipt that the clerk even notified me about the promotion. What if I wouldn’t have asked for my receipt? Would the clerk even have told me about the promotion?

Even if I do decide to return later today it is now my responsibility to remember the promotion & I’m also forced to keep track of my receipt for the rest of the day. With the use of communication & transaction based technologies I wouldn’t have to do either. Since I’m already a loyal customer & I’m using a Starbucks card I shouldn’t need to hang on to my receipt. My purchases could be tracked on-line & when I return later in the day my Starbucks card could be scanned to validate that I made a purchase earlier that morning. As for forcing me to remember the promotion, since Starbucks already has my mobile phone number I could be sent a text message or recieve a voice call around 1PM to remind me about the promotion. Both of these solutions could easily be enabled through the use of Jaduka’s Voice & Transaction Services APIs.

Again, it’s obvious that too many companies do not realize how easy & inexpensive it is to add these types of technologies to their applications & promotions. This is especially true for companies wishing to add voice.

The Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) for too long now has been inaccessible to companies that do not have huge telephony equipment or deep pockets. With Jaduka’s Voice API we have removed these barriers & we have made it easy & inexpensive to plug in to that telephony network. With our APIs you can make your applications & promotions heard.

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Simplify with Voice APIs

August 4, 2008

The first week in August is often referred to as “Simplify Your Life Week.” While not a recognized holiday, it is appropriate that every so often we are reminded to take a step back & evaluate ways to simplify & streamline our lives & businesses. This notion of simplifying isn’t meant to suggest that we get rid of all of our worldly possessions either. Simplifying can be explained as having enough without having too much. I began to think more about our business & not only how we could simplify things around here but how our services & technologies enable other businesses to simplify.

I’ve recently been thinking of NetworkIP’s services as similar to those of a power company. A power company provides power to millions of businesses & homes. Businesses for example don’t purchase generators, boilers, compressors, steam traps, etc. to get power to their systems. They plug what they need into wall outlets & the power company delivers however much power that business needs through that interface. This is very similar to what NetworkIP & more specifically Jaduka offers to the enterprise. If your applications require access to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) you need not purchase telephony switches, arrange & manage complicated carrier connections, workout signaling anomalies, plan for capacity, etc. Rather, you can simplify things by connecting to one of our many Voice APIs offered through the web. Jaduka’s Voice APIs will provide your business with direct access & use of the PSTN which is by far the most reliable & scalable voice network on the planet.
 
Business processes are another area that we could all focus on simplifying. As a business grows its processes often become bloated & require too many manual processes. There are a million different ways that businesses could improve existing business processes by including automated communications into the process. Take for example a simple business process that involves consumer credit protection. Today, if a user’s credit card is used for a purchase that exceeds a predefined limit an automated notification is sent to a representative of the credit card company that will in turn make a manual phone call to the consumer to confirm whether the purchase was valid or not. Rather than involving the representative from the credit card company so early in the process you can automate this process with communication technologies offered through Jaduka’s Voice APIs. When the predefined limit is exceeded, an automated system can dial the user’s phone number & through use of an IVR the user can be prompted to confirm whether the transaction is valid or invalid (press “1” if charge is valid, press “2” if charge is invalid). If the user reports the transaction as invalid (pressed 2) s/he can then be automatically connected to a customer support representative to discuss the matter in more detail. With just a small tweak to the existing processes, Jaduka’s Voice API provides a much simpler, efficient, & cost saving process for the credit card company.

As you kick off this first full week in August consider ways to simplify your business & if you need some help reach out to us.

You can learn more about Jaduka’s Credit Card Fraud Protection Service online.