Parature Helps Businesses Support Facebook Fans - InformationWeek
Mobile // Mobile Applications
12:50 PM
Michele Warren
Michele Warren

Parature Helps Businesses Support Facebook Fans

Are you sick and tired of all the media hype around Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook? I hope not, because I'm now going to blog about the social networking behemoth once again. This time, I'll start by citing a stat that the controversial exec shared recently about his company.

Are you sick and tired of all the media hype around Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook? I hope not, because I'm now going to blog about the social networking behemoth once again. This time, I'll start by citing a stat that the controversial exec shared recently about his company.Apparently, the number of Facebook fan pages has reached 2 million, up from 1.5M just this past summer. In the next 12 months, Zuckerberg expects the figure to double. So what, right? Well, sure, you could choose to pooh-pooh fan pages and everything else social media-related and go on your merry way, but if you're an SMB, you might want to pay attention. Because fan pages aren't just for brand devotees anymore. They've turned into full-fledged customer service portals.

More and more consumers are using Facebook to get support for the products and services they buy. They're visiting fan pages to ask questions, engage in live chats with customer service reps, and refer to "knowledgebases" for important information.

Parature is one company that's capitalizing on the trend. Launched in 2001 as a provider of online customer service software, the Vienna, Va.-based operation recently unveiled Parature for Facebook, an integrated customer service application for the social media site. About 20 businesses have signed up for the product already, and there are more deals in the works.

The first customer was Rosetta Stone, whose Facebook fan base has since skyrocketed to 50,000, from 5,000 in August. "Our product is helping them manage this explosive growth," says Cindy Cruzado, vice president of product management at Parature. Already a user of Parature's multi-channel customer service offering, Rosetta Stone decided that adding Facebook-based support to its repertoire would give it a more well-rounded service portfolio. With Parature for Facebook, the company can monitor Facebook wall conversations, posts, and comments in real time for appropriate routing and response. Customers can search Rosetta Stone's knowledgebase, submit trouble tickets, and chat with agents directly from the social media site.

"Customer service through Facebook is becoming a true differentiator for companies," says Duke Chung, Chief Strategy Officer and founder of Parature. "It's a way for them to demonstrate their personalities, and that's especially true for SMBs." Offering customer service through social networking sites also helps businesses build their brands. Adds Cruzado: "It's really important for small businesses to have customers sharing positive customer support experiences at social sites. Word of mouth is king."

Nobody knows that better than Threadless, Parature's latest Facebook-side subscriber. The community-centered online apparel store now has a support tab on its Facebook fan page. Customers can click it to access knowledgebases, submit trouble tickets, post comments, ask questions, and more. "Threadless' approach to support is shaped by our online community and their need for transparency and immediacy," says Brianne Hattaway, director of customer support at Threadless, in a press release. "We can reach out to our customers on Facebook even more than before and give them a fluid support experience across different channels…."

The customer support teams that use Parature range from small (a handful of staffers) to large (up to 1,500 CSRs). A large proportion of customers are in software, high-tech, digital media/gaming, and higher education. Parature has about 900 customers worldwide, and its original multi-channel offering supports 33 languages.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll