MediaFile

Online customer service reviews get personal with Tello

February 9, 2011

Remember the flight attendant who imperiously cut you off after the second cocktail on your trans-Atlantic flight? Or how about that tech-support guy who heroically spent hours on the phone with you and solved the mysterious problem plaguing your PC?

Tello1A new Internet service unveiled on Wednesday is hoping to catch-on with consumers by providing an easy way to give kudos to the best customer service experiences and to flag the most egregious.

Online reviews are not exactly new, of course – the Web has proved a popular medium for consumers to rate businesses and vent about service for years through sites such as Yelp and Facebook.

But Tello takes the user-generated  review-game to a more granular level, inviting consumers to rate the specific individuals that made their experience a success or a failure.

The service, which is being backed by ten well-known angel investors including Ron Conway, Dave McClure and Chris Sacca, is available for free as iPhone and iPad apps as well as through a mobile Web site.

Tello has partnered with Localeze, which maintains a registry of 14 million U.S. businesses, to allow smartphone users to quickly identify the business that they’re at (say, the local branch of a Starbucks chain) based on their physical location. Reviews can be shared on Facebook or Twitter, and there’s a “request reply” button to tell a business you’d like to be contacted to resolve any issues.

While this kind of ratings-service may seem like it could appeal primarily to the perennially-disgruntled, Tello founder Joe Beninato said that more than 85 percent of the ratings created during service’s “beta” testing period were positive.

Those ratings could prove valuable to popular employees when the time comes to approach the boss for a raise. And they could haunt the bad apples at airlines, restaurants and car rental offices.

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