By Alok Saboo on February 7th, 2011
While most VoIP service providers aim to target all the customers looking for VoIP services, research in marketing suggests that it is practically a very difficult to task to connect and communicate with customers with heterogeneous needs (different preferences). Firms are much better off segmenting the market into groups of consumers with distinct needs and wants and then choosing a target market based on organizational strengths. Read on to find out how one VoIP provider – ManiFone – is doing well in terms of targeting the appropriate customer base and also find out how you can win $100 in free international calling credits.
Manifone may have many things in common with other VoIP providers, but there are lot of things that distinguish their offering from others in this space. Let me highlight the key features of Manifone and hopefully it will help you decide whether Manifone is the right service for you or not.
1. Strong Customer Focus
Instead of targeting the entire market, Manifone has focused its energies on French speaking African countries, such as Algeria, Morocco, and Gabon, among others. By choosing to target a small market segment, Manifone has been able to develop a keen understanding of its customers and thus provide better service to them. More importantly, this strategy enables Manifone to compete with the big guys effectively. While the big guys are focusing on markets such as India, Russia, China, etc., Manifone is focusing on market that is relatively less competitive.
2. Rich features
Manifone offers some great features that will satisfy even the most demanding users.
Local Access Numbers: Firstly, Manifone provides local access numbers in several countries, including Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States. Just dial the local access number from the registered phone and you can directly connect to any international number, i.e., PIN-less dialing.
Direct Number: To make calling even easier, Manifone allows you to generate local numbers for up to 5 international numbers that you call regularly. Just dial the local number and you will be connected to the other party.
FREE Skype Calling: Manifone also allows you to make calls to Skype contacts for FREE without any SkypeIN number. Just like generating Direct numbers for regular phone numbers, you can also generate one for any Skype contact and call the number to be connected to the Skype contact.
Mani-IN numbers: One of the key features that Manifone provides for FREE is a local incoming number (DID) in several countries. You can forward the call to any number that you wish. You will only be charged the rates for the particular destination (i.e., there is no cost for the number).
We have talked about the advantages of a virtual number (DID) in a previous post. This can be a great way to save on international roaming costs. Just buy a local SIM card and forward your Manifone calls to the local number. If you do not like the extensions, you can use Mani-IN Pro to buy a virtual number for your self.
Send SMS: Another cool feature that Manifone provides is to be able to send SMSs that will look as if they were sent directly from your mobile, i.e., they will bear the caller ID that you specify instead of any random number. More importantly, the recipients can just reply to the text like any other message.
Mobile Access: Manifone also provide mobile VoIP (mVoIP) access across all phones that have browser, including iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Android, and Symbian.
Use of Other VoIP provider: Although Manifone has good rates for lot of destinations, if you want to use your existing VoIP service provider. First you need to activate the Mani-VoIP service inside your account.
Once Mani-VoIP is activated, a new tab will be added “Operator” where you can add one VoIP operator. Just enter the SIP details of your VoIP service provider and you are good to go.
As they say, it is very difficult to make something simple. Manifone seems to be successful in providing some of these great features without complicating the user interface.
Giveaway – Win $100 in international calling credits!!
I have been using ManiFone for quite some time and very happy with the service and I have no hesitation in recommending it to you. If you are excited about Manifone and want to try it out, here’s your chance to win one of the FOUR $25 international calling credits. Just do one or more of the following:
- Connect with TruVoIPBuzz on Facebook
- Retweet this article
- Share on Facebook
- Comment and let me know why you should win.
Winners will be announced on February 15th. Till then, enjoy Manifone and let us know what you think about the service.