By: Aidan Kelly
For those sick of calling customer service hotlines, there’s an app for that. Los Angeles-based start-up company, Service, is a free application that takes the hassle and time out of calling a customer service hotline to report a complaint. It takes an average of 15 minutes to get a case resolved, but the company hopes to get that number down to under a minute with enough data in the future. In under 6 months of operating, the company has reported earning users a total of just under half a million dollars.
Although the company may seem one-sided in its approach, it actually works as a third party mediator, helping both the company and the consumer. Service gives companies who use the application valuable information about their customers. The data collected from each case can be used to help businesses see what they do right and wrong. The customer is not always right and, in fact, Service will tell customers to not waste their time in situations in which the customer is unlikely to win sympathy from the company.
Although still new in its lifecycle, Service hopes to develop software that will be able to match a customer complaint to the appropriate outcome without involving a person at all, which could one day eliminate giant call centers. As of now, Service has 12 employees, half of whom are engineers, who handle around 100 service complaints daily. The company believes that in the future they will be able to take 80% of the calls they receive and automate them. Michael Schneider, the company’s creator, said “we only work with companies with an incentive to improve – cultures where customer service matters”.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a comprehensive business model for increasing revenues and profits by focusing on customers. Service plays a huge role in CRM by providing the customer with satisfaction and helping the company gain a better understanding on how to improve its business to focus on its customers’ wants. CRM can cost companies millions of dollars and Service can help lower some of those costs. Customer satisfaction and customer loyalty are two popular metrics that managers use to track the health of their businesses. Service helps customer satisfaction be achieved for companies, while at the same time tracking the complaints in order to prevent them from occurring again in the future.
I think Service is a great application that will help both companies and consumers alike. Companies will be able to find out what consumers really want in customer service and what is likely to deter them from being a repeat customer. Customers, on the other hand, are also getting a fair resolution to their problem without the hassle. There have been plenty of times where I have been frustrated with Comcast’s service so I have called them, only to wait hours to finally resolve the problem that could have been resolved in minutes. Service could, perhaps, be a mediator in the process and find a solution more quickly. Overall, I think that Service could become a great application that could help CRM for nearly every company.