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This article was published on September 20, 2011

Drumbi adds context to voice calls for companies too

Drumbi adds context to voice calls for companies too
Drew Olanoff
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Drew Olanoff

Drew Olanoff was The Next Web's West Coast Editor. He coined the phrase "Social Good" and invented the "donation by action" model for onlin Drew Olanoff was The Next Web's West Coast Editor. He coined the phrase "Social Good" and invented the "donation by action" model for online charitable movements. He founded #BlameDrewsCancer. You can follow him on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, or email [email protected]

Drumbi, a social voice calling app, recently launched publicly, as we covered previously. There are a few people paying close attention to what they are doing. Especially Enterprise size companies who want to communicate with their customers in a way that will keep their customers happier, as well as save money being spent on inbound call centers.

That’s exactly what Drumbi was built for. Right now, the consumer iOS only app is available (I am told they’re working on an Android version) and there’s quite a bit packed into this very simple app and idea.

For many people who don’t just text, this type of service is the holy grail of voice communication. And big big companies agree already, even before their Enterprise services are available in January 2012.

Names like Farmers Insurance and Liberty Dental are already on board to utilize Drumbi’s call service.

The scenario explained to me this morning is one we’re all familiar with. You call a large company about an issue, and you’re asked a few questions perhaps before you get to a live person. Then you are placed on hold. Drumbi aims to change that by letting you (through the app) say what your question or issue is about. The company can then call you back with your account up already, and context as to why you’re calling.

The user experience needs a little work, as the company has conceded, but they are listening to its community and are already planning some updates to the look and feel of the app. It can be confusing as to what to do when you have an incoming call. It’s definitely not what you’re used to on your current phone.

I have to wonder if big companies are really ready to give up a tried and true (albeit broken) process of inbound communications. Reactionary customer support in call centers is rapidly becoming a dinosaur, as Twitter, Facebook, and other social platforms are taking its place. Will Drumbi be the one they go to? The company is banking on it and so is its seed investor, Dave McClure’s 500 Startups. There’s also an interesting and powerful group of Angel investors including Jive Software’s Dave Hersh. Drumbi tells us that inbound calls can cost companies up to $4-$8 per call. That’s expensive, especially since I was told that big insurance companies can take as many as 5-30 million phone calls a year.

This is clearly one to look out for, and one that could see major revenue right away, especially if the big companies keep on coming in.

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