PhoneCoach was founded when trainers working for its sister training business were looking for a way to get delegates to practice telephone skills for courses they were running in telephone techniques and telesales. They looked around and couldn’t find anything that would fit the bill. So, they designed it themselves.
The first kit was a 2 phone set with cabled phones and tape recorders with a loudspeaker. We still hire a version of that equipment today called The Cabled Simulator because it still ‘does what it says on the tin’. We thought we would see if other companies were interested so sent some leaflets out and we were completely overwhelmed with the reaction. They sold as fast as we could manufacture them.
Over the years we then developed an 8 and 12 phone version of the equipment, all the time listening to what our customers said they needed from the next development. In 2006 one of the original members of PhoneCoach, Mandy Stephens, bought the business.
As the equipment still involved using tape recorders the past few years have been spent totally redesigning the equipment and writing bespoke software so that it still has the same features as the old equipment (plus some great new ones), but it is now laptop based. We listened hard to the invaluable feedback from our customers and we now have equipment that:
• Uses laptop technology to record all the calls simultaneously instead of tapes
• Is in one suitcase, on wheels, for easy transportability – rather than two cases
• Has headsets to attach to the cordless handsets so that it can be ‘handsfree’ to make the calls even more realistic
• Saves all the calls onto memory stick for later assessment/playback
• Plays each call back instantly down the phone after a call – the trainer doesn’t need to do anything!!
• Can do voicemail messaging training
• Can do conference call training
Now we have a 12 phone version – Alpha 12 and a 6 phone version – Alpha 6 which have been fantastically well received and we are so grateful to our customers for their great feedback. This is ongoing. We are able to respond to clients’ needs as they evolve because we are in control of every next development phase.
We also have Live Call Anytime, a service that enables you to record real live calls from any phone to any phone, anytime!