Seattle-based Spot Survey wants to make friends with those angry, demanding customers who tweet, post and rant on social media.
Well, not exactly. It actually wants to engage with the companies these customers patronize — and help them respond fast and effective enough to avoid the social, reputation-damaging rants.
It's a technology born out of a weekend technology competition in Seattle, where techies come to compete for quickest-churned product. Now Spot Survey has launched a platform designed to help businesses prevent bad online reviews by getting real time, actionable customer feedback. It primarily uses SMS (text messaging) and website URL technology.
"This product helps businesses scale and automate real time feedback collection," Andy Karuza, chief marketing officer and co-founder of Spot Survey, told CMSWire. "This helps business owners and managers save time and money because they don't have to organize and manually collect and analyze customer feedback."
But it can also save the brand's reputation, he said.
Karuza said the real time nature and ability for a manager to directly interact with the customer through SMS "helps resolve issues immediately, before it gets on Yelp."
"Customers also expect responses in less than one hour according to the latest research," he added.
"It's a more simple way of getting real time feedback and allowing direct engagement with the customer," Karuza said. "Traditional methods involving paper comment cards or forms are slow, outdated and messy. Newer online survey tools are typically very complex for the business owner and customer while lacking the immediacy and ability for the business owner to engage with the customer leaving feedback."
He said Spot Survey takes minutes to set up and operates in the same way customers have always given feedback on the spot through comment cards. It uses the Twilio platform in its suite.
"Just imagine it as a digital comment card," Karuza said. "The simplicity and familiar experience is key for the business owner."
The product was born out of a Seattle "startup weekend," where teams compete to produce products and earn customers. Karuza said his team was the only to finish a product and get customers in those 48 hours.
From there, that team turned it into a business with five of the original team members from Startup Weekend. It since added two external marketing contractors.
"We're a small, growing company, much like that of some of our favorite customers -- the small business owner," Karuza said, adding:
Right now we're focused primarily on being a digital comment card and use the Twilio platform for sending customers the survey via SMS, but we are seamlessly adding Desk.com for CRM purposes and White Pages API for demographic information. The new platforms being added will only be focused around improving our specific value proposition of real time and interactive customer feedback."