Talklocal Turns To Technology To Further Automate Service Requests

Talklocal is in discussions with several companies to integrate a request for service buttons on the profile pages of Web sites. Until now the company, which connects customers with service providers like plumbers and electricians, has been focusing on building its brand.

The "request for immediate service" button will appear on Web sites within the next few months. The button will connect consumers with service providers similar to the way it made the connection on Talklocal's Web site. The button could, technically, appear in Google, Bing and Yahoo search query results.

"We want to make the experience of real-time calls ubiquitous," said Amandeep Bakshi, co-founder and head of products at Talklocal. "Our strategy to achieve this is through partnerships with bigger brands."



Sites like Google, Yahoo, Bing, Monster, Yelp, and YP have profile pages for businesses, as well as contact and address information. "If someone goes to a search engine and searches for 'a plumber' they will see a bunch of results and reviews," said Vighna Karyampudi, head of business development at Talklocal. "We want to put a button around the search query results or on the profile pages where we can power the experience by connecting the consumer with the business."

A pay-per-conversation model allows businesses to determine how much they want to pay for the leads, depending on the category. The process is similar to Google AdWords, especially for ranking for the order in which calls are made. Paying more will not necessarily get the business to the top of the list, but it influences the ranking factor.

An algorithm determines which service provider to call first in each area. Aside from the bid on the lead, the technology considers quality scores from review sites like Yelp, Google and others, and creates a composite score that includes historic data such as how long it took the businesses to answer the phone and the employee's tone of voice.

Customers complete an online form stating the type of service they need, such as fix a leaky faucet or sprinkler, where the job is located, and the time it needs to be done. They can make the request through an Android or iOS app, or Talklocal's Web site. The Talklocal platform dials out to local service providers to locate someone to fix the problem, providing recorded details about the job such as requirements, general location, and availability of the person requesting service.

Requests are made online, but they are routed through a telephone call. Karyampudi admits that in areas where the company has not made many requests, and businesses are not familiar with the service, some businesses don't pick up, or may pick up and hang up on the call.

Talklocal has connected consumers with about 40,000 businesses since taking the service live in 2012. The goal is to make the connection between customer and business within 90 seconds, but the company's nationwide average sits at about 180 seconds. The company has placed 1.5 million calls. 

Next story loading loading..