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Customer service is taking on new and exciting forms. Putting together a full customer support team is so expensive that it’s out of reach for most small businesses. Often the choice for small companies and startups is to pile all outreach onto a single individual, who can no longer do his or her core job. Those are the companies TalkDesk is targeting with its customer support tool.

TalkDesk lets businesses set up a customer support center in minutes, all from a browser. When a call is placed to a customer service number, that person’s information is automatically pulled up in a browser window along with call history and any information that may help resolve their problems. The real genius of TalkDesk is its interoperability with popular customer relationship management services (CRMs) such as Salesforce and Zendesk. With a clever use of their APIs, TalkDesk pulls customer information from Salesforce, Olark and other business tools, so users can quickly see if the caller has outstanding tickets using these other tools.

“When you have all the information about the customer — a 360 degree view of the customer — you can better take care of his problems,” TalkDesk co-founder Tiago Paiva told VentureBeat. “You don’t even have to ask his name.”

TalkDesk also pulls in information from sites such as Linkedin and Twitter, which might seem strange at first, until you consider how valuable it might be to know if you’re talking to a customer who is trashing your product on popular social media sites.

Co-founders Paiva and Cristina Fonseca of Portugal have been working on web applications for a number of years, but their journey to the U.S. came in a flash. They were notified one day before this year’s Twiliocon that they were selected to present, and they were subsequently chosen as the winners. The duo were admitted into the current class of the 500 Startups accelerator and had to return to Portugal to get their visa situation in order before returning to California to get cranking on their company.

The two have been so busy building their product since arriving in the U.S., that they’ve not even had the chance to buy themselves cell phones. This is especially funny given the fact that their whole product revolves around helping other businesses provide customer support over the phone.

“When you come to Silicon Valley you have to focus a lot on raising money, and maybe because we are from Europe we really want to build a sustainable business based on customers, and grow from the revenue we make every month,” said Paiva.

On Sunday Paiva and  Fonseca had dinner with Portuguese President Anibal António Cavaco Silva, who is on a tour of Silicon Valley to learn how to bring some of California’s startup energy to his country.

TalkDesk was recently chosen as one of the 10 finalists of the CloudBeat Innovation Showdown and will be presenting at VentureBeat’s CloudBeat conference at the end of the month.

CloudBeat 2011CloudBeat 2011 takes place Nov 30 – Dec 1 at the Hotel Sofitel in Redwood City, CA. Unlike any other cloud events, we’ll be focusing on 12 case studies where we’ll dissect the most disruptive instances of enterprise adoption of the cloud. Speakers include: Aaron Levie, Co-Founder & CEO of; Amit Singh VP of Enterprise at Google; Adrian Cockcroft, Director of Cloud Architecture at Netflix; Byron Sebastian, Senior VP of Platforms at Salesforce; Lew Tucker, VP & CTO of Cloud Computing at Cisco, and many more. Join 500 executives for two days packed with actionable lessons and networking opportunities as we define the key processes and architectures that companies must put in place in order to survive and prosper. Register here. Spaces are very limited!

[Image Credit: Cloud via ShutterStock]


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