Varolii Launches Next-Generation Text Messaging Capabilities

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VAROLII LAUNCHES NEXT-GENERATION TEXT MESSAGING CAPABILITIES
Advanced SMS Intelligence Enhances Collections & Customer Loyalty Performance

SEATTLE—March 4, 2009—Varolii Corporation, the market and technology leader in proactive outbound communications, today announced immediate general availability of its next-generation text messaging service (also known as SMS). Designed to help organizations reach more customers at lower cost and with better results, Varolii SMS enables organizations to dynamically change text message content based on the results of previous communications, intelligently route messages across the optimum blend of channels to meet business and customer needs, and then quickly allow consumers to respond—often with no agent involvement whatsoever.

SMS Gets a Better Result
Mobile phones have increasingly become an important communication channel, as consumers across all age groups opt to either replace their landlines with mobile phones, or avoid landlines altogether. And with more than half of the 260+ million US mobile subscribers now actively using mobile data services such as SMS, it’s become an effective way to reach consumers who may otherwise be unresponsive.

For example, one of the top three banking institutions in the United States has been using Varolii to send text messages as a last-ditch effort to reach students who are delinquent on their education loans and unresponsive to traditional channels such as email, voice calls and letters. Of these previously unresponsive students, more than 29% responded to the SMS by making a payment or other arrangements, greatly reducing the bank’s number of written-off accounts and increasing the amount of dollars collected.

Varolii SMS: 7 Essential Capabilities
Varolii SMS now provides an even greater level of personalization and control over the user experience to ensure the greatest possible return on each interaction:

1. Land/Cell determination – Since customer records often fail to distinguish between a landline and mobile phone, companies often send and pay for text messages that have no possibility of getting through. With Varolii SMS, organizations can identify mobile vs. landline numbers (including landline numbers that have been ported to a wireless service) to ensure SMS notifications are sent only to numbers that can receive them.

2. Two-way messaging – Often the only consumer response needed is a yes or no answer, and any further interaction merely adds time and cost to the communication. With Varolii SMS, consumers can text their response back to the organization, eliminating the need for human intervention and its associated costs; for example, texting “yes” to confirm an appointment.

3. Self-service SMS – Some messages need a more sophisticated response, but text messages urging consumers to call a customer service agent exponentially increase the time and cost of the interaction. With Varolii SMS, consumers can retrieve a personalized voice alert containing in-depth information and multiple self-serve options so they can take immediate action with no additional time or cost incurred by the organization; for example, choosing from several options to make a credit card payment.

4. Intelligent progressive communication – Blasting the same message across multiple channels greatly irritates consumers and increases the cost of the communication. With Varolii SMS, organizations can send a progression of different messages across multiple channels that acknowledge previous communications so consumers understand why additional messages have been sent and what action to take; for example, sending a text message that references a previous phone call that was not answered.

5. Real cross-channel communication – Using the same channel throughout a communication may not be the optimum channel to speed response, add convenience or improve results. With Varolii SMS, organizations can use one channel to drive communication in another; for example, sending a voice alert about a cancelled flight and rebooking options, and then sending the new confirmation code via text message so the consumer doesn’t have to write it down.

6. Multiple contact strategies within a single communication campaign – While personalization is widely acknowledged as key to effective communications, organizations previously were forced to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach for each campaign. With Varolii SMS, organizations can now tailor any aspect of their contact strategy according to individual or group preferences, demographics and responses to past campaigns; for example, for a prescription pick-up reminder message, an organization could choose to send text messages first followed by phone calls to Generation Y consumers, send landline voice calls followed by text messages to Generation X consumers, and send only landline calls to Seniors.

7. Simultaneous communications to the same population – Effective customer relationships often require multiple communications at the same time. However, ultra-short SMS answers don’t always provide enough detail for organizations to track which answer belongs to each communication, forcing them to use more expensive and less immediate channels instead. With Varolii SMS, if an organization needs to conduct multiple communications targeting the same group of consumers, they can track each—including consumer responses—separately; for example, if a consumer texts “no” to a customer support question and “yes” to a request for payment within the same timeframe, organizations can now map each answer back to the question that was asked.

“In this challenging economy, SMS is no longer a nice-to-have component of an effective outbound communication strategy,” said Jeffrey Read, executive vice president of Field Operations at Varolii. “Using Varolii’s leading-edge cross-channel voice, SMS and email capabilities, companies can generate a better return on each customer interaction, eliminating unnecessary cost and intense consumer frustration created by inefficient multi-channel communication approaches.”

About Varolii Corporation
Varolii is the market and technology leader in proactive outbound communications. Its on-demand communication software and services help organizations more effectively reach and interact with their customers and employees, getting the best result from every interaction. By automating the processes required for personalized communications such as flight cancellation notices, fraud detection alerts and prescription pick-up reminders, Varolii helps its clients reduce operational costs, increase contact center efficiency, and get more out of their existing IT investments. More than 380 companies, including many of the largest U.S. banks, airlines, wireless carriers, utilities, and healthcare organizations trust Varolii to send nearly 4 million communications every business day. Varolii is headquartered in Seattle with offices in the Boston and Denver metropolitan areas. For more information, visit www.varolii.com.

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