Clarity, a service aimed at helping entrepreneurs and business professionals get help, launched today a new way to help its members get answers they need without needing to make a phone call. Aptly called Answers, this Quora-like service lets you ask a question to a professional for free and get a response quickly.
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Since its launch in May 2012, Clarity has seen some marked growth. It tells us that there are now more than 20,000 experts on the service and 30,000 calls have been completed, inching it closer to its goal of helping 10 million people by 2022. And all it’s doing is helping entrepreneurs connect with professionals to get help with their company — imagine needing to get advice on how to fund your company: if you don’t have anyone who’s an expert or can help you discretely, then maybe a call to a venture capitalist could. But what if you don’t have one readily available? Clarity says it can help.
But for the past 16 months, the company has been about the phone call. Now, it’s recognizing that some people aren’t necessarily ready to make the call and just needs to find an answer to their question. Answers helps address this concern while also enabling new experts with large online followings to stand out more from “seasoned experts” on the service.
Clarity admits that Answers is similar to Quora, except that it has a business model. It’s banking on the fact that when users begin asking questions, they will then make a phone call to an expert, thereby generating revenue for the company. Currently, the only time money is in play is when an expert is on the phone with someone — Clarity allows an expert to set their own rate. But, it’s important to note that Answers is a free service.
In its limited beta phase, Clarity says that its users posted more than 200 questions and a majority of them were answered within 15 minutes. From there, it had a 5 percent conversion rate from answer to call.
It will be interesting to see how this affects Clarity Needs, which launched in December, designed to help match up entrepreneurs with the right expert to speak with.
There are several differences between Answers and what Quora offers. In Clarity’s service, answers to questions are not voted up or down, meaning that the community will not have the ability to surface popular or relevant answers and leaving the user to scroll through them all. There’s also no mention about removing or consolidating duplicate questions, which Quora has through its predictive question suggestion feature.
However, instead of waiting hours for someone to answer or using credits to get an expert to answer, Clarity says that it has a dedicated team of business experts on staff to help “moderate, promote, and even answer questions.” Furthermore, it touts that only those experts that have been invited into Clarity’s program can answer, meaning that responses you’ll get will come from legitimate experts.
Answers is available both on Clarity’s website and for its iOS app.
Photo credit: Clarity