Facebook PixelA hotline where introverts can practice their phone skills before making actual calls
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A hotline where introverts can practice their phone skills before making actual calls

Image credit: Time Doctor Blog

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Apr 13, 2022
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A hotline for introverts to warm-up and practice their phone skills. When the operator figures out what the call is about, they get into character and play along. They also provide guidance and tips to improve the caller's skills.
Why?
  • Some people are not comfortable talking over the phone but occasionally need to reach out to make things happen.
  • A way to warm up for a call after spending the entire day in seclusion and silence.
  • Practice pitching your idea/project to others over the phone.
  • Get tips from a professional on the other side and improve your phone skills.
How it works
An operator picks up the phone and simply goes along with whatever the caller is trying to talk about.
The phone call is a mixture of role-playing and providing advice on how to improve the caller's phone skills.
To help the operator assume the role, one can open with something like: "Hello, my name is X Y, I'm calling about Z. Is this the CEO of Company Name?"
The operator and the caller can then go through several possible scenarios, ranging from a kind CEO that's happy to take the call to an asshole that's trying to end the call as soon as possible.
The hotline charges by the minute via your phone bill.
The above is a less extreme solution to the problem that this idea targets as well.
2
Creative contributions

Informing the operator before the call

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Povilas S
Povilas S Apr 13, 2022
It might be better if the operator knew the role he/she is supposed to take beforehand. This could be achieved by the caller sending the message with all the details about why and to whom they are supposed to call and maybe even what's bugging them the most regarding the call (what could go wrong and how to prepare for it, etc.). There could be a website dedicated to this or simply a phone number you'd send SMS to, from your phone.
That way the operator could prepare a bit for the act and think about advice he/she could give the caller regarding their concerns. The person requesting services would then get a response via SMS after what minimum time they can call.
Together with all the details regarding their situation, the caller would indicate the number from which he/she will be calling the "hotline" (just in case it's not the same one from which the SMS was sent). Someone from all the operators of the hotline would be assigned (or self-assigned) to take that exact call, so when the system would register the call from that particular number it would be connected to the particular operator assigned to that phone number. If that operator was in another call, the system would inform a person to wait (just as it can happen during the original call).
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Attempted with email

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Ada Des Etages
Ada Des Etages Apr 25, 2022
A couple years ago I built a similar product based on email. The idea was that you would practice email exchanges with a "bot" (ie me behind the scenes)
There were a couple different email adresses, one was for a bakery and one was for customer support(?) and you could practice different scenarios by emailing them in response to a prompt.
A prompt might have been "order a cake for a birthday party." And when you initiated the conversation, I would respond with the bakery's menu or a request for more information.
The immediate customer feedback I got was that users wanted to use it to practice corresponding in english.
Related to this I found https://www.tandem.net/ which lets you learn a language through conversation, and I believe that some of the other language learning apps have similar live lessons.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savica month ago
The hotline idea as proposed on this page could include a selection menu:
  • press 1 to practice cold calls
  • press 2 to talk to a disinterested/passive aggressive person
  • press 3 to practice English
  • and so on
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General comments

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Goran Radanovic
Goran Radanovica month ago
Definitely useful. Even professionals, such as call centre agents, can use this service to determine the effectiveness of their pitch and improve flaws.
It would be cool if people can schedule a video call to practise their presentation to get feedback about their body language and stage movement.
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