Cloud Telephony for Marketplaces – Simple Call Logic with Exotel & Google Spreadsheet

January 13, 2015

Number Mapping – No coding required

One of the biggest benefits of cloud telephony and Exotel is that it allows you to set up seemingly complicated call flows and logic in a matter of minutes. If you’re familiar with how traditional systems like EPABX or PBX function, you will be familiar with the amount of pain a business owner has to go through to make even the smallest change.

Here’s a scenario for you — you’re a business owner who runs a company on the marketplace model. And here’s what you’re looking for:

  1. A separate number for every vendor on your site
  2. Connect callers to the particular vendor they want to speak to. without revealing the number of the customer to the vendor and vice-versa.
  3. Analytics on calls to these vendors – information like  who called, how many calls, what did they say on these calls (call recordings), what times were these calls coming in at, etc.

Here’s how you’d be doing it in a traditional setup — map a unique virtual number to a vendor, get your tech team to code the logic flow and as you grow, keep doing this in a loop.

And here’s the catch to doing this the traditional way:

  • you need to have a dedicated tech team every time you need to add/delete numbers
  • in case, you don’t have a tech team, working with vendors to code the backbone of your business becomes a nightmare
  • making changes takes time and effort and delays that you will not have control over.

You could use a CRM and implement a solution like this. However, if you’re a small business, then finding the right CRM for you and setting processes around it is a time-consuming job. It’s not something you can hurry too much on. CRMs are also expensive.

What if you could do this in a much more simple way that doesn’t require any coding or any great effort beyond maintaining and tracking a Google spreadsheet?

Before beginning if you want to learn more about Cloud Telephony, click on the link.

Here’s the solution lot of our clients use to make their life simple:

Step 1:

Get a unique Exophone for every single vendor. Add the numbers to a Google Spreadsheet doc along with the vendor names and the mobile or landline number of the vendor to forward calls to like this:

cloud telephony for marketplace

Step 2:

Run a short piece of code that Exotel gives you on this sheet.

cloud telephony for marketplace

Step 3:

Create a call flow using Exotel’s app builder.

cloud telephony for marketplace

Drag and drop the connect applet and copy-paste the URL from the Google Spreadsheet.

That URL will return a phone number that Exotel will then dial out.

That’s it! You’re done.

A process that could potentially take you a long time to implement the traditional way is done in a matter of minutes.

Here’s a sample of the daily email report you’ll get on the VN’s you set up for your vendors —

Track exactly how many calls your vendors receive, how many were missed, etc. You will even get information about how the calls are getting distributed throughout the day. This information helps in resource allocation.

To reiterate, who this solution works for:

  1. Marketplace businesses who want to connect customers with multiple vendors.
  2. Businesses that want to connect two people without revealing either person’s phone number to each other.
  3. If you do not have a full-time tech team
Shubham Khanna
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