How do you improve customer service? Denver-based Humanify, launching today, said it is trying to humanize customer service by giving customers access to experts.

“Think of us as the communications component of the brand’s app” or as a “concierge service,” CEO Mike Betzer told VentureBeat.

The first offering of the company, a spinoff from customer engagement provider TeleTech, is its ExpertConnect platform, which brands can embed in their app or site to match customers with the information and personnel that can best address their questions. Within a brand’s app, cloud-based Humanify offers options for the customer to search knowledge management or communicate with specialists via chat, voice, SMS messaging, video, Twitter, or Facebook.

The company is developing variations of the platform for specific verticals, such as healthcare, financial services, and retail.

Betzer noted that a brand such as Home Depot “cannot currently connect customers to experts,” yet there is a strong need at the home products retailer for specialist opinion and knowledge. He said that five unnamed client companies have been using the platform, some as long as a year, as part of their app or site. One company uses it to connect customers to fitness coaches.

He pointed out that Amazon’s Mayday button — which lets a Fire Phone user, for instance, immediately connect with a live customer service rep — is not specifically about connecting to an expert.

One way a brand might use Humanify’s service, he said, is to offer preferential access to experts or expert knowledge to a preferred customer, such as a high spender.

“All of the [customer service] technology built to date has been about company efficiency,” Betzer said, citing Kana, Avaya, Cisco, and Siebel. Instead, he said, it should be about “customer effectiveness.”

“We’re putting the human into this,” he said.


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