Parature For Facebook Manages Customer Support For Your Brand’s Page

Facebook Pages have become the new connection between brands and their customers. Instead of going to a company’s website, users experience and communicate with brands via Facebook using channels they’re used to. This familiarity has led many brands to see their Facebook Walls fill with customer service and support inquiries. To help brands monitor and respond to these inquiries, Parature customer service and support tool providers have released the new Parature for Facebook product.

Parature for Facebook is an application tab Page admins can install that contains a set of customer support modules. They allow users to search an FAQ-like knowledge-base, submit questions through a web form, and live chat with a service representative. Page admins can set keywords that when mentioned in a wall post send that post to Parature for Facebook’s admin-only Monitor tab. If the company also uses Parature’s Desk software, wall post, web form, and chat-initiated inquiries can be routed there for answering and inclusion in Parature’s analytics reports.

Company Profile

Duke Chung and four others founded Parature in 2000 to offer an online engagement and customer support system for the long tail of brick and mortar brands and businesses who were moving to the web. They spent the next nine years developing their suite of support modules and growing their team to 100 full time employees, about 15 of which were working on the Facebook product. The company now has almost 900 clients, ranging from media sites like IGN and Nascar.com, consumer sites including Travelodge, schools like Colorado State University, and an increasing number of social gaming and media companies including Playfish and RockYou. Parature’s systems power the creation of 12 million support tickets a year, with registered users viewing 80 million Parature support pages a year.

Clients license Parature depending on the number of support representatives that will use the tool, ranging from $10,000 to a $1 million a year, with the average client paying about $50,000 a year. Parature for Facebook costs $19,500 per year per Page it’s deployed on as a standalone product, and $2,500 for those already licensing Parature’s customer service software. Parature has raised $29.5 million between a Series A with Valhalla Partners and Sierra Ventures, and a Series B including those firms as well as Accel Partners.

Product Info

Parature for Facebook launched yesterday with Rosetta Stone as its first client. Rosetta Stone’s Page now shows a “Support” tab. When clicked, users see a FAQ search box allowing them to look for keywords in existing questions and answers of the support knowledge-base. By making this self-serve tool the landing sub tab, companies can cut down on the amount of redundant inquiries they receive, saving time and money. However, the ability to browse the knowledge-base instead of only being able to search would help users find answers when they don’t know what keyword to search or are accidentally searching for the wrong synonym of a keyword.

The “Chat With Us” sub tab brings up a web form for submitting a support inquiry. Users leave a summary, details, and their name and email and wait for a support representative to contact them. Unfortunately, these submissions are not pre-scanned for keywords from the knowledge-base, allowing users to submit a ticket when the answer to their question might already be in Parature’s system.

Pressing the “Chat with Live Agent” button launches a Rosetta Stone pop-up window prompting users for their first name and email before opening a chat window. A support agent greets the user, and politely asks how they can help. Using chat works well as it’s easy to multi-task while waiting for responses instead of waiting on hold on the phone. At the end of the conversation, users can opt to have a transcript of the chat sent to the email address they provided.