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From Directory Assistance to Call Intercept Transfer: How Soleo Got Here and Why

In the early 2000s, Soleo made its first splash in the telecommunications market with its automated directory assistance (DA) platform, the company’s flagship offering for carriers. But, with decades of combined experience in this space, the company recognized over time that they had the power to fill a gap in the carrier market beyond DA.

At the time, carriers were handling calls to non-working phone numbers such that they were not generating revenue.

“Maybe they were using a third party to handle those calls or maybe they had their own solution that they were maintaining, but they had to do something to handle and treat these intercept calls,” Johnna McCooey, the VP of Digital Media, shares.

Soleo quickly recognized that by combining calls to non-working phone numbers with the emerging pay-per-call advertising model carriers would be capable of monetizing this traditional service. And so, Soleo’s dynamic call intercept transfer service was born.

“We created a platform that allowed carriers to monetize calls that exist in their network that they previously had not been able to make any money off of,” the Head of Carrier Sales and SVP of Strategic Accounts, Jim Sonnick, explains. “It’s a service that carriers are already mandated to provide, but historically they would provide the service at a cost simply because they had to do it.”

Soleo now can target a relevant ad to the right person at the right time when they have dialed a disconnected business number. This is a way for carriers to be able to provide this mandated functionality in a profitable fashion, callers to receive service on a disconnected calls, and merchants to receive new leads.

With Soleo’s call transfer solutions, carriers can monetize calls to non-working business phone numbers and provide a dynamic rerouting service at no cost to the end-user. Here’s a closer look at how the transfer works to the carrier’s advantage:

  1. A call, which can originate from any network, is placed to a non-working number in your network. The network switches know this number isn’t working and an IVR platform developed by Soleo announces that the number is disconnected (what users traditionally heard is “This call cannot be completed. Please hang up and try again.”).  The call would be terminated at this point.


  2. Instead Soleo’s Direct Merchant Referral application instantly finds information about the business that previously used the terminated phone number, such as its location and offerings. With this information Soleo can seek out merchants with similar services in the same area as the disconnected phone number. From there, the IVR lets the caller know that, “At no additional charge (service provider) can help you find another service in the same area since the number you have called is no longer working...I have four options for you…” Merchants are announced—on a pay-per-call basis—as alternative options to the merchant that was originally dialed.  As such, the caller is offered alternative options that keep the call connected, rather than being prompted to hang up.


  3. The carriers gain a portion of the revenue generated from the completion of the call to the alternative merchant selected by the caller. Whichever option the caller selects will be rerouted within your network, providing you with more call volume and new revenue from the transferred call.

This pioneering service can give you that competitive edge you need as a carrier—increased revenue and a dynamic solution for your end-users. Since you are handling non-working calls every day, why not monetize the process and get the most of the calls flowing through your network?