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Aside from cost, or the fact that having an outside answer you business

calls, there are some smart rules regarding 800-lines and how you should

handle them.

Keep 800 lines in-house when the product is technical or when consumers are

likely to ask a lot of questions.

Only a hire a service bureau when the volume of calls in moderate, less,

or comes in cyclical pattern. Personnel and space needs for an in-house

operation may be greater than what your business can currently afford.

One advatange of using an independent service bureau to handle your calls

is that it is a fixed cost tied in to the call itself. Unlike having an

operator sit in the office 8 hours a day, the amount you pay a service

bureau is limited only to the number of calls they handle for you.

If you were to establish an in-house operation, your phone clerks should use

a video-terminal that displays information about the product as well as the



Your 800-lines should be staffed until 5pm Pacific Time, three hours later

than many copanies in the East Coast have closed. Also, think of offering

promotional call days to help boost sales and direct sales during certain

hours or certain days of the week.