Continuing the series of businesses running on Telecom APIs, I interviewed Sage Harrison, MSO (Marketing & Sales Officer) of Mercury Flight, about their experiences. Mercury Flight is a Broadcast messaging cloud based service that delivers an affordable way to communicate to clients, friends, employees and professional networks. Whether you need to call, text or email a small group, individual or a massive audience you can do this through one location for all your messaging needs.
I asked Sage what gave him the idea for the service, “We had a client that had people calling on the phone manually to remind their clients to send in their paperwork and remind them to update billing information if it was out dated. After seeing 12 people just making phone calls all day, spending most of their time talking to answering machines, my partners and I said ‘there had to be a better, more streamlined, and automated process that not only did this in a fraction of the time but also delivered incredible analytics to show the ROI (Return On Investment) to the owner’ so we began developing Mercury Flight.”
“From there we just kept adding features and integration with other products and services like Fellowship One which is a (CHMS) church management system and then we integrated with Highrise and Google Docs and this month we will roll-out out integration with Salesforce.com. We will continue to develop this service to better help our clients.”
Technology is increasingly being democratized; building telecom applications is no longer hidden away inside large organizations with specialized engineering groups. This used to mean only if the problem was worth hundreds of millions of dollars to would something get done. Today, any of us with an interest in technology can quickly and cheaply build telecom applications to solve problems we see in our everyday lives. I think of this as a new wave of innovation from the grassroots, not sequestered away to a few people backed by millions of dollars with silly business objectives that fail more often than succeed. On this weblog I’m trying to document those early adopters that have realized the power of Telecom APIs.
I then asked Sage how does his service work? “We offer broadcast voice, SMS and email services to our customers. Our customers simply record a message, schedule it to be delivered to their specified subscribers list at a certain time and date and that is it. The message is recorded twice, once for a live person and another time for the machine. If an answering machine picks up, the system leaves an entirely different message. Our automated phone calls will use your number as the caller ID so your target audience can recognize you and know how to get back in touch with you if need be. We have a great little video that shows you how it works.”
“Our online texting service is just as easy to use. Text messages are short, to-the-point, effective, and result oriented. Whether you are providing interesting information, jokes, latest news, religious or political messages, or simply updating your team members, clients, or employees about latest developments, our SMS texting service is ideal for your text campaigns. We offer you a two-way texting solution where you send out text messages in mass that allows you to respond to feedback through our simple interface. And again we have a great little video that shows you how it works,” explained Sage.
What do you think differentiates your service? “Customer focus and analytics. We win our customer’s business every day as we’re subscription-based not contract-based. Our pricing is on the Mercury Flight site so it’s easy to understand and compare. Most importantly, we focus on understanding our customers and their needs to help them get the most from our service. Our secret sauce is our analytics engine that integrates across voice, message and email; customers see the results of campaigns in real-time, they see the ROI on each campaign and where to improve for the next one.”
I then focused on why Mercury Flight selected Tropo, “It’s the lowest total cost of ownership, you captured it well in this previous weblog. Tropo is easy to work with and it simply works. Plus the added benefit of having strong professionals in your corner that really care about your growth and success, not just theirs.”
I know I keep repeating this point over and over, but in the democratization of technology people relationships matter. Tropo demonstrates that you have to build the business, and that comes through working with your customers to deliver their business success. Telcos you need people providing support, business development, sales, and marketing – it’s a business that grows from practice. Start small and focused using Tropo as a template, get the recipe right for your specific market and build from there. PPTs do not build businesses, hard work and customers do.