September 29, 2014
Many consumers have found that the fastest way to get a response from a company is to send a tweet, but the 140-character length and the public nature of the social network limit the conversation. Hootsuite Media, the maker of the popular social media management app, is rolling out a solution: a feature that allows businesses to initiate calls with their customers via Twitter. Consumers who send the company tweets will get a reply with a phone number so that they can talk offline.
The calling feature benefits both customers and companies. Customers will get faster service and companies will not have a long dialogue of negative tweets posted publicly. Also, taking the conversation off of Twitter will help customer service representatives handle complex or personal issues more effectively.
The new calling feature was actually developed by a Hootsuite contractor, Zeetl. Hootsuite announced on its website that it had acquired the social telephone startup Zeetl last week, along with $60 million in financing. The Canadian-based Hootsuite, with 600 employees, is now one of the most prominent tech companies in the country.
Hootsuite has already begun testing the feature internally and with a few customers, according to The New York Times. The full launch is coming soon for the more than 1,600 enterprises that use Hootsuite.