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BellSouth Hopes to Integrate Yellow Pages and 411


11/09/2006

In an attempt to boost the popularity of its 411 directory assistance offering, BellSouth Corp. is currently testing a new feature that would let callers find local businesses based on keywords, rather than just giving a specific company`s name.

When an if the new service is commercialized, customers will be able to ask for the nearest hardware store, dry cleaner, car wash, or virtually any other business.

The reason we are doing it, is, yes, to revitalize the call volumes but also to give our customers something we think they need, commented BellSouth`s product manager of Operator Services, Alvin Miles. Our statistical research shows 90% of the adults refer to print Yellow Pages at least once a year, and 76% do it once a month but zero percent can access that information by 411. That can happen with one call and our customers can save time, gas and steps.

A 90-day trial of the so called EasyBusinessFinder service is currently taking place in the city of Atlanta (area code 678), using a proprietary database of businesses, and BellSouth`s own location-based search service.

We are looking for operators to complete the calls in about the same time it takes them to complete a 411 call today, said the telecom provider`s director of Operator Services marketing and technology, Mike Murray.

The success of the ongoing trial will be judged on the number of callers that use the new service, which is being offered as an option to anyone that dials 411.



 

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