Remember when the response to every inquisitive question was, “there’s an app for that!” and we all thought it was so funny, and exciting, and eventually, just kind of annoying. We all have our smart phones attached to our hands and mobile-friendly has become the undisputed way of the world, and really, REALLY, there is an app for just about everything. I have even questioned my app-developing friends to this fact, inquiring as to how their integrity plays into the development of apps that basically already exist. In the age of Kickstarter, the age of social, the age of everything-at-our-fingertips, when anyone can bring any idea to life, I have found myself wondering.. are there any truly genius creative app ideas left? And then I discovered TalkTo (thanks to The Muse) and I found myself face palming with absolute aggression. How Did I Not Think Of This?
TalkTo is a truly genius app that allows you to communicate with businesses, VIA TEXT. As someone who really avoids picking up the phone, regardless of whether it be to communicate with a giant corporation, or my mother, TalkTo presents a much needed solution to a problem I didn’t know I had; having to call businesses to inquire about their services/products/hours/appointments/anything…… I have always been the girl that hates calling – I didn’t even order pizza until Dominoes came out with online ordering, and TalkTo not only diminishes the annoying necessity of picking up the phone, but it does so quickly and with such remarkable ease that I cannot stop playing with it.
I remember once sitting on the phone with Best Buy for 45 min just to discover if they had an Xbox 360 in stock. Eventually I hung up, drove there, only to discover that they didn’t have it. Three stores later, and my then-boyfriend was getting a gift-card and an IOU. With TalkTo, you can easily text local businesses and ask really anything, “Do you have Xbox One in stock?” “Do you allow pets on your patio?” “What hours are you open?” “Byob?” “Can I make a reso for 8 at 9 on Friday?” etc.. etc.. etc… (SO MANY ETCS!) Responses usually come within 5 minutes, and you can ask up to 10 questions a day.
How does it work? (Feeling lazy today, so pardon the giant quote and thank you Boston.com for the breakdown)
“TalkTo is “part human, part machine.” Getting fast answers to users’ questions is a complex proposition. TalkTo will endeavor to make that happen by relying on a hybrid of software and human intervention. The company employs full-time “operators,” who work at home, to help handle questions and make the software smarter. (Most of them have several years of experience in call centers, Levinson says.) The first time you try to ask James Hook & Co. about today’s per-pound price for lobster, for instance, an operator might get in touch with the business to get the answer, and also find out the best way to forward future questions. Does the business prefer e-mail, live chat, or perhaps a text message to the owner’s mobile phone? Then, future questions will be sent that way, with operators only intervening if there isn’t a response. The company also plans to do a good deal of data collection from websites (a/k/a “scraping”) to be able to answer common questions — like when the Starbucks in your neighborhood closes, or whether Best Buy carries Bose brand headphones.”
Whew, that was an exhausting copy & paste.
While it seems like TalkTo is an enterprise that is going to be hard to navigate as it continues to grow, (and with great press like my blog piece, i’m certain it will :)) from a consumer standpoint I legitimately foresee no issues with this application. It does not require any input of personal information, (although I am certain TalkTo is profiling its consumers) doesn’t cost anything, and even if it did, the simplicity it allows for, especially this time of year… I’d trade in my hat for it. Jk, I’m not wearing a hat. But really, if you are like me and are constantly scouring for that must-have ingredient, or that incredible designer dress that everyone is always out of (I’m not angry), then download TalkTo and save yourself the aggravation of “the hunt!”
Learn more by visiting TalkTo and check out their feed to see how people around you are using the app!