Interview: Tello Launches Customer Service Tool For Business & Raises $2.7 Million


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A greater emphasis has been put on customer service as a growing number of consumers provide reviews and feedback to businesses on their mobile devices. In addition, companies such as Zappos have set the bar really high in terms of customer expectations.

The most recent American Express Global Customer Survey reports that 70 percent of Americans are willing to spend an average of 13 percent more with companies they believe provide the best service. Also, as many as 78 percent of consumers have actually stopped a transaction after experiencing bad customer service.

How much emphasis do you put on customer service? Let us know in the comments.

SaaS and mobile application company Tello has given consumers the ability to review businesses since its inception, but it is now also offering a service called Tello for Business that gives companies the opportunity to respond to these issues in real-time. Businesses get email or text notifications of the users' feedback and can respond instantly to both positive and negative issues.

"We give them the opportunity at least to have a voice in the conversation as opposed to what you might see up on Twitter or Facebook or existing media platforms," said Tello CEO Joe Beninato.

"It's not just a blank comment form that you find on many websites today," he went on to say. "It's the ability for the business to get the feedback quickly and then actually respond to it."

As he explained to WebProNews, the platform is designed for both large and small businesses and provides a set of dashboards of that allows businesses to see how they're performing. The analytics, specifically, offer insights on the most recent ratings, employees, and internal data from the business as a corporation as well as from individual locations.

Beninato said such a tool is necessary for businesses as the emphasis on strong customer service is only growing. In the past, businesses could essentially hide behind a marketing page with approved testimonials. However, this is not the case anymore.

"Businesses are really waking up to the fact that... consumers can go online and pretty much say anything at anytime of day," he said.

In terms of pricing, a basic form of Tello for Business is free for businesses with up to three locations. But, for businesses that want to use the messaging and analytics functions through four or more locations, the service is $99 per month for each location.

Beninato did point out that Tello is willing to work with large organizations to create customized packages to accommodate their needs.

In addition to Tello for Business, the company also announced that it has raised $2.7 million in funding. True Ventures and Bluepen Capital led the Series A round of financing.

Beninato told us the funding would be used to grow the company, and particularly, expand its engineering, design, and sales staff.

"It was really great today to start to see revenue come in," he said. "It's a big milestone for a company like ours to go from having built a product to now going to revenue, and then, hopefully, someday going to profitability."

Could you see your business utilizing Tello's new platform? Let us know.