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Start-up tackles customer service pitfalls - Daily News Egypt

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Start-up tackles customer service pitfalls

Tellus aims to cut wait times and boost call centre efficiency

Tellus phone application enables clients of chatting with companies’ customer service agents rather than prolonged phone calls (Phot by : Daily News Egypt)
Tellus phone application enables clients of chatting with companies’ customer service agents rather than prolonged phone calls
(Phot by : Daily News Egypt)

By Fatma Ibrahim

Have you ever spent hours on the phone to customer service, painstakingly outlining your issue, or waiting half that time for someone just to take your call? Perhaps you even ended up dealing with unwelcoming agent on a bad day. Tellus, a mobile application enabling you to chat with customer agents at any company, is here to change that.

Ahmed Nagy, the founder of the mobile phone software, is a computer science graduate and a web designer who first came up with the idea after attending “Start up Weekend’’ activity sessions, where he was inspired by people creating applications geared towards tackling Egyptians’ everyday errands and challenges.

“A friend of mine had an argument with the customer service (CS) agent of one company the other day, then texted an acquaintance to solve the issue. That’s when I got the idea,’’ Nagy said. “Why not create a platform for customers to chat with CS agents, without the need to stay on hold for too long, or memorise all the customer service numbers?’’

Nagy and his team, including three other members, started developing Tellus in March 2012. “Our application saves space for the customer service companies, and provides freelance jobs for anyone who wishes to work and study, or have a second job for a better income,” added Nagy.

The application has a directory from which you choose the company you want to contact and simply text them with your problem or concern. “It saves you time, and lets the customer service agent handle more than one customer proficiently. Agents are always overworked, and through Tellus, they will do more work in less time,” he explained.

Start-ups and small businesses tend to face numerous obstacles before launching and getting on the right track, and Tellus was no exception. “We faced many [obstacles], actually,” Nagy admitted. “The application is taking too long to develop, especially with few hands on board. Funding was another problem, too, which is why we depended on our families for investing in our project. Convincing companies of a novel idea can be challenging as well. However, we offer extremely reasonable prices, and this is what encourages a lot of companies to join in.”

Tellus will also enable companies to assess the quality of their own customer service. The application will log all conversations between clients and agents, allowing supervisors to monitor the performance of agents, Nagy said.

Tellus will be launched officially in the middle of next month, supporting android and iOS for now, then Blackberry, Windows phone, Symbian, as well as web applications later on, he said.

“We plan to expand internationally,” said Nagy. “We have already signed deals in Dubai, Canada and Saudi Arabia.”

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