Back in 2011, when Facebook was starting to test Places and consumer collaboration companies like TaskRabbit were really honing in on user acquisition, collaborative consumption was still seen as an experiment. We met with Qriously at TechCrunch Disrupt NY as they came out of stealth to talk about “local” sentiment in real-time, while GroupMe and Foodspotting started to take off as consumer mobile apps in a new space, where no one was certain how successful independent mobile apps could be. Where are they now?
Ellie CachetteWriter, Consumer Web
Founder and resident entrepreneur at SocialTimes, Ellie Cachette founded ConsumerBell.com in 2010 to help connect consumers and corporations to make recalls more streamlined. Recognized by the California State Senate as an “Outstanding Educator” in AIDS and Public health in 1997, Ellie has been an active supporter in the campaign to cure AIDS and promote healthy living. Ellie is a strong advocate of Women 2.0, a Silicon Valley organization dedicated to empowering female entrepreneurs and a product safety junkie
Follow me on Twitter @ecachette or email me at ellie "at" consumerbell.com
In early 2011, we looked at Assistly, Dropbox and Qriously as tools that could help small businesses and startups. We had to take a look — where is everyone now? So far the tools, apps, companies we’ve been watching are steadily growing up into first movers and disrupters. Of our three follows above we have one acquisition, one member of the billion-dollar valuation club and one positioned to be there soon. We might even see an IPO from this group. One thing is for sure: social media isn’t going away and those who are mastering it are riding the wave to the top.
While everyone is talking about Tumblr’s acquisition as a one-man show at $1.1 billion, Yahoo! paid $3.5 billion for Geocities back in 1999 with only 19 million uniques compared to Tumblr’s 300 million uniques, so, in some sense, Tumblr is a good deal. While this latest acquisition seems like a big one, it’s also symbolic of what internet traffic is worth now in scale and shows that social blogging networks are not just traffic platforms, but strategic internet real estate. Tumblr, where anyone can blog and share others’ blogs, has also become mainstream, so is everyone blogging now? Is that the future of consumerism?
This week we saw many April Fools’ jokes from companies on blogs and social media channels, followed new movers and shakers in the “task space,” and discovered new apps for getting noticed when we’re angry.
“Before Uber I knew nothing about cities,” said Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. “Now all I do is study them.” At the MobileAppCon in San Francisco, Kalanick talked about his company’s growth and the science behind his mobile app, which provides personal drivers at the click of a button.
Parature working with Evernote positions itself as a leader in social customer support online with the ability for breadth: from customer support within social games on Facebook like earlier this year with Konami, to raising questions about pharmaceutical support on Facebook, to mainstream consumer web support like Evernote and even Threadless.
Working with Evernote is example of how Parature tries to differiente itself from ZenDesk by becoming known for large support networks with enterprise platforms. Parature also differentiates itself from ZenDesk and other support vendors like RightNow (recently an acquisition target by Oracle) by providing product modules like Parature for Facebook that allow support teams to interact with and solve customer issues through popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
“Multi-language support is very important to us. Evernote adds new languages to its products on a regular basis, which means that we need a customer support solution that can address the needs of users in various geographies,” said Phil Dean, Evernote’s VP of Customer Satisfaction. “We also value Parature’s excellent email support.” Since the Parature and Evernote integrated customer service has already seen a huge improvement which can also be measured by Parature’s reporting tools.
Since the two integrated, Evernote is now meeting 100% of their SLAs for premium inquiries. Additionally, they have decreased training time by focusing agents on specific skills-based queues. As agents gain experience, Parature provides easy-to-manage functionality to add queues for each agent. Evernote’s customers are also benefiting from Parature’s Knowledgebase and EasyAnswer feature which allows its customers to search a comprehensive FAQ and find their own answers, cutting down on the number of tickets that need to be submitted and processed.
“Evernote is a great example of a global company that needs a cloud-based, multi-language support system that can service clients anywhere, anytime,” said Duke Chung, Co-Founder and Chairman of Parature. “We are proud to power Evernote’s customer support portal, and are thrilled they’ve already seen improvements in their response time to customers as well as gains in internal efficiencies.”
As more commerce shifts to online so does it support, could Parature eliminate the customer support 800#s?
For a lot of reasons New York is not Silicon Valley, where the culture has matured to the point that everyone seems to look and dress the same; engineers rock their T-shirts or hoodies while VCs strut their nice leather belts. Everyone has their part to play. The culture is so cemented that it can replicated in startup communities around the world. It’s as if Silicon Valley is almost a nouveau social class which can be spotted nearly anywhere by a seasoned veteran.