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How to Turn Software Members Into a Sales Force

Interesting idea! I was immediately thinking of affiliate marketing programs but the “taking the call” element makes this unique! Amazon does something close: when a user asks a question about a product, Amazon emails purchasers of the product asking if they know the answer. In an effort to collect more answers, they make the email seem kind of personal. Unfortunately, this leads to people posting responses like “I don’t know.” Which makes me think of a potential problem: what if someone picks up the phone and doesn’t know the answer to your customer’s question? Here’s how I’m picturing your idea coming to life.

    1. It’s its own app, like WhatsApp.

    This means you can add all kinds of call features, track info, etc. It could call all the volunteer ‘helper’ users at the same time and whoever picks up first gets to answer.

    2. An overarching statement of the issue is seen before the call is picked up

    This is another reason you don’t want to use the native phone app. When the call comes up on screen, so does a brief summary from the question-asker like “How do I reset my password?” (This also works as a great language filter. If the question is in Italian, an English user won’t bother answering the phone.)

    3. Incentive

    How do we incentivize people to pick up the phone? Since your product is inexpensive, financial incentives may not make sense. So how about a leaderboard? (Most successful calls in the last 30 days.)

    4. Feedback from callers

    At the end of each call, the caller is asked “did they answer your question?” If they choose yes, the helper gets a point toward the leaderboard. If they choose no, the call rings everyone again (excluding the previous ‘helper’)

    5. Option to re-direct the call

    So you thought you could answer the question, but it turns out you can’t. No problem: there’s an option to redirect the caller to the next helper in line (someone who tapped “pick up call” just a few seconds too late. Now they’re on standby and their phone will ring again if the first helper redirects the call.)

    6. Help wiki

    The helpers will probably start to notice patterns, eg “everyone keeps asking how to change their password.” Of course you will have access to this data and can then improve your product to make the password changing procedure more intuitive (for example). Until you get to fixing it, helpers can have the option to add the question and answer to a universal FAQ page. Users will be led to this page before they are given the help line number.

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