Verizon claims many consumers prefer to call a local business near them, even if their queries can sometimes be more effectively handled through a business’ central contact center.

“With a new voice-over-Internet protocol offering from Verizon, however, businesses can maintain a consistent local face while directing overflow calls, as needed, to off-site customer service representatives or other retail locations,” says Verizon.

The new offering, Verizon VoIP Inbound with Local Originations, provides a local phone number with call manager functionality traditionally used for toll-free phone numbers.

According to the company, this capability enables local representatives in, for example, a neighborhood retail store or bank branch, to better focus on the customers in front of them by removing the need to juggle multiple incoming calls.

"This innovative solution lets a business keep its local presence while more quickly serving call-in and walk-in customers alike," said Tony Recine, vice president of network and communications solutions for Verizon.

"What’s more, this capability enables multiple agents to simultaneously address multiple customers, potentially driving additional revenue."

A cost-efficient alternative to remote call forwarding, the new service integrates with Verizon IP Interactive Voice Response (IVR) offerings and can deliver customer calls to either traditional or IP-based contact centers.

Verizon’s IP Contact Center is a portfolio of interaction services that includes VoIP Inbound and IP IVR. This network-based portfolio provides VoIP conversion in the network for reliable termination to SIP devices.

These products help customers attain efficiency gains associated with IP such as compression and dynamic bandwidth allocation, as the company claims.

Verizon says a smooth migration extends the capabilities of the legacy Toll Free network. The customers continue to dial an 8XX number (TDM) but the Network Gateway converts the Toll Free call into VoIP and allows for termination over standard access methods such as Internet Dedicated Access and Private IP.

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