When it comes to customer service, waiting on hold to speak with a real person can be a source of great frustration. Hold-Free Networks, a company that aims to eliminate this annoyance, is launching at the public today at DEMO Fall 2011.
Based in San Diego, Calif., the startup helps businesses improve customer service by integrating Hold-Free’s technology into their existing smartphone apps. With Hold-Free, consumers can enter a few fields in a business’ app, then receive a call from customer service when an agent becomes available to speak. Not only can consumers avoid waiting on hold with the service, but when the agent calls, he will already know the consumer’s name and reason for calling.
The company is currently running pilot programs with five customers. It plans to convert them into commercial clients this fall. Clients in the market today include companies in the airline, technology and financial services industries. Lance Fried, CEO of Hold-Free, says the company has created a pricing model based on platform usage, and Hold-Free can bring a new client live in just a couple of weeks with no need for complex systems integration.
Hold-Free is not the only company trying to eliminate the frustration associated with waiting on hold. Competitors include Get2Human and Lucyphone, though these companies have consumer-facing products, while Hold-Free partners with clients to power their existing services.
While the startup is currently focused on smartphone apps, it has plans to expand to other platforms soon. Founded in 2009 by veterans of the contact center industry, Hold-Free has ten employees and is currently self-funded.
Hold-Free Networks is one of 80 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Fall 2011 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After our selection, the companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.