“Service” Bridges the Gap in CRM

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.





23 thoughts on ““Service” Bridges the Gap in CRM

  1. Justin Flory April 13, 2016 / 2:24 am

    Service seems like it could be a really great thing for some people. A lot of people use customer complaints as a way to get free food or products, even if nothing was wrong with the food they ate at a restaurant or a product they recently bought. Sometimes people just take other people the wrong way, but an app could definitely solve this problem. Not having to actually speak with a person by using the app could teach customers more about what companies offer and how they try to handle problems. I agree that customers aren’t always right, sometimes they are just looking for what they want only. This app would be a great way to stop wasting time on meaningless conversations that have to do with customer complaints.


  2. Aishwarya Gunti April 13, 2016 / 3:27 pm

    Having a third party mediator is a good thing for the company to deal with the hassle of long phone conversations and customer care support. But I am skeptical about people who just use customer care to get free deals with their complaining nature. Being a third party it will never take sides, such people would be in loss and will publicize this app as a disaster.


  3. Andie-Jane Phinney April 13, 2016 / 4:07 pm

    I think this Service app is great! I have been in many situations where I have been annoyed with long waits, and customer service hotlines. I believe that trying to resolve situations like this can become successful if you do it properly, which from what I have read, it seems to be. I think the goal of trying to get a case resolved in under a minute will be a hard goal to complete, but awesome if they do! I do believe this Service app will help both the customer as well as the company. The cases being issued are ways the help the companies see what they are doing right or wrong, and can create ways to fix these problems. I love the idea that that Service app can determine if the customer is wasting their time, where they will not end up with the solution they were hoping for. This allows for time to be saved for both the company as well as the customers. This app is very interesting, and seems to be successful so far. I am very interested in seeing where it will go in the future and if it will reach the 80% of the calls as automated.


  4. Jane Walsh April 14, 2016 / 12:53 am

    I think this app sounds awesome. What I’m not sure about is how they will avoid becoming a huge call center in the future. Are they going to keep hiring engineers? What happens when there are just as many people calling Service to get their customer service problems straightened out as there are calling current businesses with issues? I guess I’ll have to wait and see what happens.


  5. Ronald Zampanti April 14, 2016 / 2:32 pm

    This is great for companies because they can save money while possibly attaining repeat customers. Problems actually get resolved in a reasonable amount of time. No customer wants to wait on hold for a long duration of time while dealing with customer service. I am not sure if completely getting rid of people altogether in resolving customer complaints is a good idea. Service claims they want to do this in the future but what if there is an error in the software that causes similar but different complaints to be matched with the same solution? In programming the software, Service has to be very cautious in developing this software. All it takes is for them to make one mistake and consumers won’t use their app because it has been known to be erroneous.


  6. Marisa Harrington April 14, 2016 / 4:33 pm

    I think the Service app would be very useful! Having to call Customer Service is always annoying because you usually have to wait for like 20 minutes before you actually speak to a persona and not an automated recording. This will give companies a better reputation if they use the Service app because customers won’t dread calling the hotline, and waiting for a long time.


  7. reganka April 14, 2016 / 4:43 pm

    I think that Service is a very unique idea that adds an interesting aspect to customer service. This app seems as though it addresses customer concerns in a timely fashion. This would ultimately benefit both the company and the consumer. Because it is only a start-up company, there is the concern that an unpleasant experience would turn a consumer away from this app after only one use. However, I do see this app as very creative and it could have a lot of potential if executed correctly.


  8. cassidylebert April 14, 2016 / 4:48 pm

    In retrospect I think Service sounds like a great idea but I question if its best for all parties involved. For businesses this sounds great. It’s saving them time, human resources, and much frustration, but is it the best idea for brand image in terms of caring about the customer? As brutal as wait times can be some questions just can not be answered by a machine. As many of my peers have pointed out, Service seems like it would shut down a request for a replacement or refund quite frequently or at the very least it would take a lot more work for the customer to get their favored result. I’m interested to see what the future holds for this app.


  9. Derek Lawton April 14, 2016 / 6:38 pm

    I personally think Service will be a great thing for companies. There have been so many times that I have called a company trying to get a problem resolved and there always seems to be something that goes wrong. Service will help things get resolved faster and keep customers happy.


  10. Colleen Flynn April 14, 2016 / 6:40 pm

    This app sounds absolutely amazing! I think if you were to ask anyone about customer service calls, they would probably roll their eyes and say how annoying they are. I believe is this app, Service, can alleviate this aggravation even just a little bit, would be extremely successful. It sounds like they are doing well as well because it says, “in under 6 months of operating, the company has reported earning users a total of just under half a million dollars.” It clearly is sticking, which will probably make their company grow from just 12 employees. I am hesitant about the idea that they might automate some of their calls because I am not sure if customers will actually like an automative response. Overall, such a good concept for an app/company!


  11. Julie Wusenich April 17, 2016 / 2:13 am

    This is a unique app and who wouldn’t want to give it a try? Someone else will deal with the hassles involved with calling customer service on your behalf – such a time saver. It will be interesting to see where the app is in a year.


  12. Chansamone Voralath April 17, 2016 / 9:53 pm

    I think it is a good idea to have a Service app like this one. I had to deal with a customer service a couple of weeks ago and was put on hold and directed to a few customer representatives for approximately an hour in total and finally ended up chatting with a customer service online and the matter was resolved in a matter of 10 minutes. Enough of long wait and being put on hold for minutes or even hours, no one has time for that.


  13. CJ Enos April 17, 2016 / 11:13 pm

    I think this concept is a great idea. Having a third party who can work between the consumer with the complaint and the company can avoid a lot of tension between the two parties and allow for a solutions without any hostility. This could also give companies the opportunity to really understand what changes need to be made to improve the customer relationship.


  14. Meg April 19, 2016 / 6:11 am

    This service is an interesting application, but I would be hesitant about implementing this third party company. While the idea of the service seems good, it is difficult to trust another company to deal with your customers. It may make it more difficult for the customer, as intricate problems could mean their questions do not get answers from this service. There are only certain kinds of companies that would have very little risk from this service. Also, I would like to know more about the interaction between the Service and the company. Does Service relay the different problems customers faced, so companies can determine any changes they should make in the future? It sounds great in theory, but in practice it might alienate customers and cause companies to lose their consumer interactions.


  15. Meghan Gulbrandsen April 19, 2016 / 7:03 pm

    I think that this is a great concept. Having it take 15 minutes though could definitely be a downfall right now. I think that if they can get this time down to the one minute timeline that they hope to achieve than this will be a great tool to have that people will turn to and use. People these days are always looking for the fastest most efficient way to do things, so this is definitely hitting this area for the consumers they hope to target through this.


  16. guskiewiczv April 20, 2016 / 9:09 pm

    This is a great post! I think that this app is sounds like a nice idea and a good starting point as a way to help alleviate some of the problems associated with handling customer complaints. However your mentioned that, “match a customer complaint to the appropriate outcome without involving a person at all, which could one day eliminate giant call centers.” I wonder how many jobs this could potentially have an effect on. I however don’t think being able to call a person to deal with a company issue should be eliminated at all. I think that It will be interesting to see where this company is in the next few years as it develops and gains more interest. I personally like dealing with a human better when I call a company for certain situations, however the convenience of having an app is very appealing, and it also has the potential to reduce wait time. I do agree with you that calling big companies that might get a lot of “traffic” on their lines like Comcast, is where this app could be successful.


  17. cimminoc April 21, 2016 / 4:41 pm

    Service seems like a very valuable tool for both the company and consumer. Companies can be notified of common customer complaints in order to make the best product possible. This is valuable information that gives companies the chance to master their products and give their customers exactly what they want. If companies can provide Service with solutions to commonly asked questions then customers can get quick answers to solve their problems. A large complaint with individuals is often with customer service and can result in the loss of a customer. Service provides a chance to maximize customer loyalty and also gives companies valuable information to provide the best product to a customer.


  18. alexzahlaway April 21, 2016 / 11:52 pm

    This seems like a unique service that would provide a great experience for customers while also helping companies reduce time and expenses spent on handling these complaints. Using this service would essentially allow a company too “outsource” the complaint aspect which in turn allows them to reduce staff and devote those resources to other parts of the business. For customers it is clear how this is beneficial because they are obviously already unhappy so this will greatly reduce the stress involved and hopefully result in higher customer satisfaction. I also agree with your point that CRM will help improve the business because companies could now quantify and analyze the results from this service to find better solutions and processes.


  19. Abagail Stacey April 22, 2016 / 5:33 pm

    I think Service is going to be very useful and customers are going to enjoy being able to get their problem resolved in less than fifteen minutes. When problems start to take days or weeks that’s when people get frustrated and will end up doing hurtful things to the company. I also like the idea about tracking the complaints people are having in order to decrease the likelihood of the same problem reoccurring. This will help companies improve customer loyalty and satisfaction, but will also help the customer have a better experience. I think it’s nice that the company itself doesn’t have to hear from all the angry customers. But I remember talking about in class how if it’s a complex and confusing problem, miss information can be repeated and the problem has been changed and it’s going to take longer to solve. That’s why I think having the phone calls recorded would definitely help with this issue.


  20. Megan Lac May 6, 2016 / 12:13 am

    I think this is great idea for customers need a simple response to a quick question. It will save both the customer and the business a lot of time if they don’t have to answer the same question everyday. However, I wonder how well this will work out when a customer has a complex question. Or doesn’t ask a question properly and the automation misreads the question?


  21. cbernard7778 May 7, 2016 / 2:38 am

    I am hesitant about the use of this app for a number of reasons. While some customer service calls are minor questions and issues, others may involve more inclusions of personal information. I can see the use of this app for cable issues or traffic ticket payments to save time and energy, but for other calls such as credit card or phone company issues, I would be very weary to give out information. However, all together in conclusion it sounds like a great app. No one like to deal with those pesky customer service calls, so any way to alleviate the stress is going to be beneficial.


  22. Hechuan Lou May 12, 2016 / 8:39 pm

    I have met a lot of situation that call the companies to complain or just try to make sure something, but you have wait on the line for 15 minutes or 30 minutes. I like this idea. It’s not only save the customers time but also make it effective for the companies. The only thing that I think need to think about it’s personal information detected and also sometime talking can emotionally help solve problems.


  23. Ashley Alves May 12, 2016 / 8:51 pm

    I was personally very interested in learning more about this app so I decided to download it. I personally run a gym in Boston. So, I decided to complain about a bad customer service experience that I had with the General Manager, who is actually me. Someone from the app development company called my gym and spoke to one of my Customer Service Representatives and wanted to talk to the General Manager regarding the less than satisfactory experience I made up. I was thoroughly impressed about the response time. I downloaded the app, made the complaint, and the gym received a call in less than one hour. I do think there should be more marketing around this app because I do think it could catch on. However, I would have never heard of it if it was not for this presentation.


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