Directory assistance account refers to the account in a call center company which handles directory enquiries such as finding the address or telephone number of a business entity, organization, government agency or even an individual citizen. It is like a yellow page phone service in which instead of sifting the pages of a the yellow pages to find an address or phone number, one simply dials a number, talks to a customer service representative, who has access to a database of addresses and gives you the address and phone number of the organization or entity you inquired about.
One of the pioneers in the directory assistance service in the Philippines is PLDT. One simply calls 187 or 114 using a PLDT telephone line or a SMART phone and one can inquire for directory assistance. Unfortunately, the directory services are usually limited within the National Capital region. Entities or organizations located in the provinces are usually not covered by the PLDT directory assistance. Moreover, it must be noted that such service is not free and is only available between 8 AM to 5 PM.
Interestingly, despite the Philippines’ backward system of directory assistance, some Philippine call center companies effectively handle the directory services of other countries. For instance, TELUS International in the Philippines has a directory assistance account that supplies telephone and address listings across the United States and Canada. Teletech and SITEL companies provide directory assistance account to New Zealand.
Most of these companies incorporate a broad array of automation systems to reduce the need and cost for human operators. For instance, automated prompts are included in the system to filter business or residential listing, and specific locations or addresses, among others. The key to directory assistance systems is a custom database software that has a complete listing of all addresses and numbers of the entities in the Philippines and which can be retrieved quickly. Unfortunately, the Philippines do not have such database as the National Telecommunications Commission is still having difficulty of uniting all telecom providers in the country.
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