Project image
)}
$31
pledged of $5,000pledged of $5,000 goal
4
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Sep 11 2019
Last updated September 11, 2019

DialHUMAN. Because customer service shouldn't suck! (Canceled)

DialHUMAN helps you reach a human rep directly while making the required wait a pleasure by connecting you with the media you love.

DialHUMAN. Because customer service shouldn't suck! (Canceled)

DialHUMAN helps you reach a human rep directly while making the required wait a pleasure by connecting you with the media you love.

$31
pledged of $5,000pledged of $5,000 goal
4
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Sep 11 2019
Last updated September 11, 2019

About

Don’t wait. Do.

This is the philosophy behind the DIALHUMAN app. DIALHUMAN was designed to remove the frustration of calling your local internet provider or utility company, waiting for and wading through the prompt labyrinth of ‘Dial 1 for X, Dial 2 for Y’ — taking you straight to a human rep — and turning your wait time into ‘do’ time, by connecting you with the things you love to listen to. Catch up on NPR. Listen to that intro video to the new Coursera course on thermodynamics. Take a 5 minute calm session internalizing the gentle sound of a waterfall. Breathe in. Breathe out.

I'm seeking to change the way we call customer service departments around the world. The status quo represents a horrible experience largely defined by: 1) calling the company, 2) waiting to go through the 'prompt labyrinth' and then, when you finally reach the right number, 3) waiting on hold and listening to loud, often annoying music. 

The DialHUMAN Solution

DialHUMAN will provide a direct-to-human option and, while waiting, connects the media you listen to already (Spotify, NPR, Audible.com, etc.). This means that every customer service call can be consistent, more efficient and feel like a more seamless part of your day--rather than the time-sucking experience of today's customer service calls. 

After validating the concept with direct market participants--both consumers and companies--I am raising funds to build the initial MVP. The MVP will demonstrate the core experiences of the concept while ramping up partnerships from the market side and expanding its use among consumers. 

The name DIALHUMAN is not only about directly reaching an actual person but also about the experience itself — the app will be built based on Design Thinking principles which are highly iterative, empathy-based and centered around how humans actually work. This is in stark contrast to the status quo of customer service today, which is built largely around profitability metrics and call center efficiencies. 

I have had this idea for a long time, and recent experiences with one vendor prompted me to do something about it.

Thank you for your time in checking this out and I hope you'll join me on this journey!

For a quick overview of the app screens, see here: 

THE GENERAL FLOW

After downloading from the relevant store, you will be asked to sign in, through either social login or email, and accept the usual requests for notifications, etc., as well as others that are more specific, such as sharing anonymized audio files with companies.

After you’re signed in, your next step is to add your companies to the app (various services are envisioned once the product scales. For example, by adding your bank login, all of your vendors would appear and simplify the engagement with each company--in terms of both billing and sharing your feedback on the company's products & services with your network).    

By clicking on the heart icon, the companies will disappear from the list and move to 'My Vendors'. At the top of this list will be a sponsored company, based on your information (age, location, social network) and therefore more relevant.

Individuals can search for their company and, if not found, request that the company is added to the list. Initially, of course, there will be the challenge of achieving critical mass which we seek to overcome through an aggressive double-sided outreach to both users and the market. To help us build the 'prompt navigation' system, DIALHUMAN will leverage a  crowdsourcing model, Mechanical Turk-style, as well as the user community directly.

Specifically, if your company is not available (and is one which DIALHUMAN would want based on customer size or market share), then you’ll have the option to add the various prompt information directly. If this is correct, then you’ll receive a specific sum (say, $5.00 for each company added — not bad for 5 minutes of work!).

While this will most likely be available only in the first year or two of the company, it could serve as another engine for user acquisition — not only in terms of bringing people to the app, but also positive word of mouth and social sharing, which tends to have a much lower user acquisition cost than traditional advertising.

In the Audio Preference screen you can choose which media you’d want to listen to while waiting. At the top will be a sponsored ad which could provide discounts to that service (e.g., ‘receive 15% off when signing up today’ or ‘listen to some comedy today, brought to you by Comedy Central’). Here is where you would ‘sync’ your account as well. 

The order of the companies on the list will decide which comes first when you’re waiting on the phone (or, technically, we could do a voice prompt which asks you which of the three services at the top of your list you’d want to listen to). You can easily shift the order by just clicking on and re-arranging the companies in the list. Only companies actually clicked on would be an option. As shown in the graphic above, Apple Music, for example, can be synced but NOT selected among media provided during the wait time.

Settings is where you would connect your accounts to the app. Here is where you could also add options to record the call — which records voice, wait time, total call time and other stats — or which communities you would like to share your experiences with (e.g., Facebook, the vendor you just spoke with, etc.).

 When you click on the company itself, you’ll have a lot of information! As noted above, you could connect your active accounts here as well. 

Why would you want to? 

Well, because the Offers at the bottom of the page could be more specific and relevant to you vis-a-vis that specific company (e.g., based on your spending history, location (“the Walmart location 11.4 miles away is offering a discount on almond milk, which you purchase every 2.3 weeks,” etc.).

The reviews you see in the middle of the page would be pulled from the DIALHUMAN community, curated possibly to better match your profile. And last, but not least, the ‘best time to call’ and windows to call would help you decide on whether or not you’d want to call now (we could also add a ‘call then’ button, and then you would just put the phone down and at that specific time, you’d get a call from DIALHUMAN confirming you still have the issue and then we take it from there).

When you make that call, and the call is connected, you could simply click on ‘Direct to Human’ (we could build this as something you can choose to have defaulted in your settings), and the app will navigate the prompt labyrinth of options as established in the DIALHUMAN system. While on hold, the app will mute the company’s muzak options and instead play themedia you’ve added earlier. This media can use this as a channel to grow their own membership (e.g., “Check out a premium membership to TuneIn while you’re waiting!”). 

Preferred media can be changed by clicking on ‘Waiting Audio’. Also, the average wait time will be based on an average of all other calls to that company within that specific time window. If over a specific time (say, 15 minute wait), and the user does not want to listen to audio at all, then there will be a way in the future for DIALHUMAN to call back when a human is available, similar to GetHuman and other call back technologies used by more forward-leading call centers.

When the human representative (finally) answers, the audio is then muted and the call commences. Hurrah!

I have never, in the history of customer service, left reviews for a company after hanging up. Typically I’m so exasperated that I don’t feel like helping that company with what it wants (even though, technically, anything I say could be used to ultimately help me!). I also feel that whatever I say won’t help. I don’t have any real faith in that company genuinely caring about my experience, or at least spending the capital to improve that experience.

DIALHUMAN will address this by:

  • providing a range of tools & means to express feedback
  • beautiful design which encourages users to leave feedback either directly on the phone or through their social network
  • working with companies directly on the best way to leverage the information gathered through the app and combining this with Best Practices of other learnings with companies across different industries

In addition to making it easier to leave feedback, DIALHUMAN would pay you, either directly through Paypal or Venmo or via discounts from DIALHUMAN retail partners.

Last, there will be a ‘my call’ screen, where in the app you can view past calls, you have the option for specific metrics, such as wait time, call time, transcript, etc., which can be shared, exported or deleted. Of course, the companies themselves will have more value from this as a meta-analysis for all of the calls to their company.

HOW DIALHUMAN WILL GENERATE MONEY

Well, for people like you (and users, in general), the app will be free; revenue will come principally from four potential sources

  •  Traditional Ad Model: First and foremost would be the position of companies at the top of the companies list in a traditional ad model. This would assume user return to the app, or their settings, often enough to guarantee a certain number of eyeballs per day/week/month to make the value proposition compelling from an ad perspective.
  •  Shared revenue from audio partnerships: This could include a percentage for those signing up to, for example, Audible.com, due to the app). I don’t imagine this would drive significant revenue at first — at least until we hit that inflection point working together with media companies.
  •  Market Intelligence: At the end of the day, DIALHUMAN can become a sort of outsourced consumer research arm of every company that signs up. Market intelligence can be provided directly through an annual subscription paid by companies to customer intelligence gathered as part of each engagement (specifically the metrics gathered during the call in a way, ideally, each metric can be fed into the company’s existing systems).
  •  Payment Platform: Last, once we have directly connected with various companies, we could expand the scope of our services, from building communities around specific companies or services to, more excitedly, developing a one-stop payment platform to connect your services and bills in one. Taken together, payments could potentially be pooled and other companies can use this as a means to engage with new customers (e.g., “Starbucks will cover your phone bill for this month. Thanks for that 10th tall soy mocha you ordered on 7/2/19!”). There are many cool and innovative directions we could take with this!

NEXT STEPS


  Some areas of the business model to consider  

There are two main issues I’ll need to grapple with in order to make this successful:

  1.  Grow the critical Daily Active Users (DAU) metric. Anyone who has seen that episode of Silicon Valley where the Pied Piper’s platform is launched and drives significant growth in Daily Installs but that, critically, the DAU count is abysmal. Daily Active Users measures how many users visit or interact with the product or service over a given interval. This metric is commonly assessed per month (MAU), week (WAU) or day (DAU). Because DailHUMAN integrates an Ad model, encourages users to interact with corporate partners, and understands that people are not calling their customer service departments every day, there must be products or services that keep users to return to the app — OR, engages with the app’s system in such a way that is natural. One solution could be that whenever that user is checking a product or service related to their existing vendors, the DialHUMAN ad component is still sent across — say, by email — even if the person has not physically gone to the app, itself.(e.g., I’m shopping around for a new phone and Samsung, my current vendor, automatically sends me discounts or some motivating element). There are issues with this approach, of course, but these, like everything else, could be addressed in order.
  2. Engage both sides of the market continuously and in a way that builds network economics (more that join the network, the more value that network has). I’ve become a huge fan of NextDoor, which I find myself on everyday either with questions to my neighborhood (“anyone know a goof plumber”) to looking to buy a used bookshelf. The more people engage with NextDoor the more companies want to advertise, the more deals or services I could have access to — let alone advice and recommendations from the people themselves. For DialHUMAN, the offering will need to be engaging on both sides of the market AND be able to leverage network economics. This requires further market research, but, at a high-level, here are a few types of offering that could be possible through the DialHUMAN app.

For users:

  • Direct-to-human functionality to increase customer experience
  • Personalized, time-relevant media elements from your favorite apps — TED, coursera, latest Khalid songs
  • Various communication tools for more powerful voice to communicate complaints, concerns or compliments with the company
  • Earn money while waiting on the phone through personalized surveys
  • Information on what vendors your friends are using for their services or others through filters (e.g., neighborhood, age, ratings, credit score or some financial metric)

For companies:

  • AI-driven customer analysis with real-time analysis
  • Voice-to-text system creates structured data into engine
  • Customer base can be organized around specific issues
  • Curated community to provide customer feedback on experience, product/services, etc.
  • Connect DialHUMAN community to DevOps for greater integration with customer feedback and product development

As with any business, there are dozens of other concerns to manage, but these two are the most significant at this stage. Would love to hear your thoughts to help solve these or other issues you see with the concept. 

This is just the beginning! Join me in this mission to transform today's customer service for good!

Thank you very much, 

Jesse Hollander

CEO, Founder

Risks and challenges

The major risk is that I don't receive the right buy-in from companies, many of whom have spent millions in enhancing their customer contact centers and may see this app as competitive. I'm looking to design the app so that there is significant value on both sides of the market.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Invite to beta version

    You will receive an invite to the beta version and can help steer the development and direction of the DialHUMAN app.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 3 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (60 days)