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May 07, 2010

Customer Support Software Provider Parature Opens Page on Facebook

By Brendan B. Read, Senior Contributing Editor

People are social beings for the most part, and when they want to learn more about something, including a product or service, they will seek out the opinions of others. In today's environment that means going to social media sites. Ergo, companies that want to know what customers and prospects are saying, suggesting, inquiring and complaining about need to readily and accurately pick up that information via these Web interfaces.

Parature is enabling enterprises to do just that on one of the largest of such sites, Facebook (News - Alert), with Parature for Facebook, which is what it says is the industry's first customer service and support application on Facebook fan pages. Facebook, with more than 400 million members, has, says Parature (News - Alert)'evolved beyond just a 'social networking site' to become the Web's most dominant customer communities. Companies of all types and sizes, from technology giants to busy gaming destinations are building sizeable fan bases there, with fan pages designed to create rich, unique and personalized experiences. Facebook is rapidly becoming the must-have, go-to destination for customer engagement and relationship building.'

Parature for Facebook will enable organizations to easily be where their customers are to engage in conversations - that are going on with or without them - and to deliver quality support directly from their companies' Facebook fan page. From the moment that Parature for Facebook is installed, organizations can monitor their Facebook wall conversations, posts and comments in real time, gaining a whole new level of customer visibility and engagement. Parature customers can enable their fans to search their knowledgebase, submit tickets and chat with customer service agents directly from Facebook using Parature Customer Service software.

The Parature application also enables other departments including HR, marketing and product management to monitor fan pages. The traditional contact center recruitment targets are women in their 20s and early 30s with some college education: and they are big Facebook users.

Parature for Facebook's key features include:

Real-time Facebook wall monitoring: All relevant posts and comments via the 'Facebook Wall Monitor' containing chosen keywords will be read from the wall and sent to the Parature Service Desk as a ticket. The feature enables service representatives to easily monitor and respond to otherwise unmanageable wall posts and comments without ever leaving their Parature software.

Knowledgebase search right from Facebook: A 'Find an Answer' feature permits customers visiting a fan page to enter a search term and receive the relevant answer directly from the vendor's knowledgebase without ever leaving Facebook. Additionally, the customer can use the 'Ask a Question' feature for resolution if their question wasn't answered via the aforementioned method.

Live chat direct from a fan page: A customer visiting a fan page can 'Chat with an Agent' to discuss a service problem, issue, or to ask a question directly from Facebook. The representative will respond to the Facebook user via Parature Chat function.

Share a customer service experience: Using the 'Share Your Service Experience' feature, a customer who uses the support functionality within Facebook can share their service experience and ticket with friends. They can also post the result of the interaction to an organization's wall to share answers and solutions.

'Parature is extremely excited to announce this Parature for Facebook application,' stated Parature CEO, Tim Davenport. 'Social media is here and it's here to stay, so it's very important that businesses be wherever their customers are to take part and engage in conversations that will happen with or without participation from them. As Facebook quickly becomes the go-to destination for customer engagement and relationship building, Parature is proud to be the first and only customer service and support software provider to enable multi-channel service within this social medium. Parature is committed to the success of its customers and dedicated to delivering innovative technology to further enhance the multi-channel service and support experience at an affordable price.'

Brendan B. Read is TMCnet's Senior Contributing Editor. To read more of Brendan's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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