Tello, a mobile application service that connects consumers with businesses in order to improve customer service, received $2.7 million in funding today.
Through Tello’s app, customers can direct feedback straight to a vendor — feedback about the business as a whole, an individual employee, or a specific experience, whether good or bad — to help vendors refine problem areas and ultimately increase sales. The system promises to be more effective and open to possibilities than surveys. For example, if a disgruntled patron walks out of their neighborhood shop, they can log in to Tello and provide feedback immediately.
Currently, the masses flock to Yelp, Facebook, and Twitter to voice negative experiences and demand reimbursement. Tello says it expands on that trend by enabling users to request a response from managers. Tello’s aim is to connect both parties instantly and give business owners a real-time look into employee ratings, metrics, and more.
“As every savvy businessperson knows, the key to building a sustainable company is repeat business and loyal customers. A focus on listening to your customers and adapting your business goes a long way to achieving just that,” said chief executive officer Joe Beninato in a statement. “Tello for business gives companies both big and small a scalable platform to monitor customer feedback and resolve service issues that can have a direct effect on sales.”
Tello first debuted its app at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in September 2011. It evolved over the last year and now equips customers to interact via text messages and a thumbs up/down system.
Beninato launched this Palo Alto-based startup in February 2011. Before Tello, Beninato started Presto, a venture-backed firm in collaboration with Hewlett-Packard.
This is Tello’s first round of funding, led by True Ventures, Bullpen Capital, and SV Angel. Other investors include 500 Startups, Felicis Ventures*, Forerunner Ventures, Founder Collective, Lowercase Capital, Mark Goines, Naval Ravikant, Russ Siegelman, Shervin Pishevar, Tim Donmoyer, and Transmedia Capital.
* Disclosure: Aydin Senkut of Felicis Ventures is an investor in VentureBeat.
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