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Hootsuite Bringing Voice Integration To Social Customer Service
Social media management company announces $60 million funding round and acquisition of Zeetl, a startup that enables social to telephone connections.
Hootsuite’s social management platform is about to add a powerful tool for businesses that use social media for customer service: the telephone.
By the end of the year, Hootsuite plans to give businesses the ability to offer customers complaining on social media the chance to call customer service directly about the issue.
And, as anyone who has been caught in customer service hell will appreciate, the call center will be provided with the original complaint, saving the consumer from having to repeat it.
Bringing telephone access to Hootsuite is being made possible by the company’s acquisition of startup Zeetl, which Hootsuite announced today along with a $60 million round of venture capital funding.
Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes said the new funds — the company has now raised $250 million total and has a value of about $1 billion according to a Re/code source — will allow it to continue service its 10 million users, including 1,600 enterprise customers. It’s also obviously using the cash to acquire companies to help it add features to its dashboard. Earlier this month, it bought Brightkit and rolled up its social campaign creation features into its enterprise offerings.
The process sounds slick, and should be very useful when customer service complaints are specific or complicated enough to take offline. Here’s how it works:
- A riled-up customer complains — that an airline lost his suitcase, let’s say — on Facebook or Twitter.
- The airline’s social media team, replies with a link publicly (see example below).
- Anyone can click on the link, but the only the complainer can access the page where a local support number or Skype ID is provided.
- When the customer calls or Skypes, he is relayed to the company’s customer service center, which has access to the original post.
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