Needle connects a brand’s biggest fans with customers seeking product advice, enabling a personal dialogue via text, video or voice chats.
As brands become larger, they often find that making a personal connection with their audience becomes more of a challenge. Hoping to help remedy this, Utah-based Needle connects a brand’s biggest fans with customers seeking product advice, enabling a personal dialogue via text, video or voice chats. In their own words Needle are a “fan-sourcing sales platform”. Founder Morgan Lynch identified a need to connect consumers to product experts in real-time, for help with purchase decisions or to get support. While call centers are seen by many as impersonal or robotic, Needle recruits brand advocates called “Needlers” — a brand’s most passionate and knowledgeable customers — to advise other customers requiring help. Needlers are sourced via Facebook and Twitter, trained and managed by Needle, and receive points in exchange for making product recommendations. They can redeem those points for goods by that brand. To use Needle, companies install a live chat button on their product pages and assign a Needler to answer their customers’ questions. The Demo & Draw function also enables Needlers to point out specific product details on-screen. Typically implementation takes a few weeks, which allows for the sourcing and training of Needlers, and a reporting and analysis program will monitor the on-going performance of those recruited. According to Needle, studies show that live chats and connection-focused sales forces provide a better and more personal customer service than call centers. Time to reach out to your biggest fans in order to boost sales? Spotted by: Cecilia Biemann