FastCustomer Develops Mobile Apps for Customer Service

August 7, 2011

4:00 pm

Have you ever waited on hold and thought, “Wow–this is 20 minutes of my life I’ll never get back?”

Earlier this year, Tech Cocktail covered FastCustomer, a DC-based startup offering a web application that calls the customer support team for you so you don’t have to wait on hold to be connected. The FastCustomer team has been hard at work and has released new apps for Android and iPhone to help customers get the support they need on the go.

With the goal to revolutionize customer service, FastCustomer’s first offering eliminates hold times–no more endless waiting for a rep, no more navigating arduous phone trees. FastCustomer just passed 250,000 minutes on hold for their 15K+ users, and is nearing 2,500 companies available for users to call.

“When people need customer service, they just want to talk to a real person. We wanted to take waiting on hold out of the process,” said FastCustomer CEO Aaron Dragushan. “Customers are happier when they don’t wait on hold, which means customer service conversations go better for companies, too. It’s win-win,” he said.

FastCustomer’s new iPhone app is rated 4.5 stars in iTunes, and their Android app is rated 5 stars in the Marketplace. To break through the hold, simply tap a company’s name, like “AT&T Customer Service,” and go back to living your life. The FastCustomer system calls AT&T, presses whatever buttons are needed, and waits on hold for as long as it takes. When an operator comes on the line, FastCustomer connects him or her to you.

What’s next? The company will be rolling out mood-related features and a browser extension for those non-smart device folks who would also like to take advantage of the service. FastCustomer also has some interesting business opportunities from a sponsorship perspective. Say you initiated a call to your service provider – you could see a confirmation screen letting you know that your FastCustomer service call today is sponsored by [insert biggest competitor here]. And providing reports back to companies on not only statistical information (number of calls, wait times, etc) but mood sentiment is also an opportunity. Here’s a fun little app the team created ahead of the iPhone 5 release to gauge which carrier is making customers happier (and show off some of those stats).

Creating a smooth response process can facilitate a more productive and enjoyable customer service experience overall. I don’t know about you, but somehow that cheesy, “on-hold” elevator music makes me even more impatient at having to wait indefinitely. Have you used FastCustomer to break through the hold? Leave us a comment, and let us know how it went.

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Meg Rayford is a communications consultant based in Northern Virginia. She previously spent two years as the Director of Public Relations for a nonprofit startup, where she learned a lot about providing clean water for impoverished countries, even within the confines of a bootstrapped startup. She is the editor of Tech Cocktail, and she develops media strategies for companies in Washington, DC and Virginia. You can read her most recent work in the marketing chapter of the upcoming book, "Social Innovation and Impact in Nonprofit Leadership," which will be published in Spring 2014 by Springer Publishing. Follow her @megkrayford.

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