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International Messaging

Jack is US Sales Manager for Honalee Vacations, a resort operator with properties around the Pacific Rim, as well as in Europe.  “International telephone rates can be a killer, and we get LOTS of calls,” says Jack.  “But the Universal Office helped us make getting messages across the world far less expensive.”

“Last year, I set us up with a Universal Office in the States, and got local numbers in our six biggest markets.  We started giving those numbers out to our customers and to the travel agencies, and using them in our regional advertising.  When people call one of those local numbers, the calls all go to one place, and we have Genie just take a message.  Then that message gets zapped to us as an E-Mail attachment at no charge, and we just pick it up in our reservation center at headquarters.  If it needs to go to one of the resorts, all we have to do is forward it in an email.  The result is international messaging for a flat rate, and the owners just love it!

“In fact,” Jack continues, “it’s been working so well that we just added local numbers in four more markets, so we have ten now.  The travel agents really like having a local number to send faxes to as well – it sends those via email where we can read or forward them just like the voice messages, so they avoid international rates too.  Right now we’re looking at turning on call follow-me to let the calls actually get transferred to headquarters – it’ll still be less expensive than calling IN to the US.

“Another thing I depend on is the Phonebooks in the Universal Office.  We’ve got several books for things like travel agencies and repeat customers in each of the US regions where we have local numbers.  I use those books regularly to let the agents and customers know about specials we may be running.  The calls all go within the US, so I’m getting a very personal touch without paying international rates.  It really helps drum up business.”

"But here's the real kicker - money. We have GenieCard accounts and ATM cards associated with every one of our branch offices and resort locations. So when we need to move money for expenses or short term emergencies from one location to another, we just use the ATM cards, the online access to our accounts or the walk-in service at any Bank of America branch.

"It even lets us offer some very special services to our guests. Like last month one of our guests arrived in the Philippines and found that the airline had damaged a very expensive piece of medical equipment she needs every night. Unfortunately, the airline wasn't being very fast helping her. Her brother in Chicago was going to wire her the money to buy a replacement; until he talked to our local agent and found out we could get the money to her for a tiny fraction of what Western Union wanted. He gave our office the money, and our agent walked the deposit into a local bank branch. Then our manager at the resort pulled the cash out of a branch of Equitable PCI bank there, and drove our guest over to a medical supply house that had what she needed. GenieCard let us rescue her vacation. We're her heroes and GenieCard is OUR hero.



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