On the heels of Facebook announcing plans to acquire customer service platform Kustomer, Hootsuite just announced its acquisition of digital customer engagement platform Sparkcentral. Their aim in integrating with a customer service platform is quite similar to Facebook’s, too. The goal is to solve one of the major pain points e-commerce brands experience: being flooded with customer service messages via multiple different messaging channels.
What Does the New Partnership Have to Offer?
Hootsuite and Sparkcentral will use automation and AI to streamline these customer service conversations, in hopes of making them more manageable for businesses. The big piece of technology Sparkcentral brings to the table is an Automated Messaging Distribution (AMD) platform.
Like other customer service software, Sparkcentral offers a universal queue, allowing representatives to address messages from Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Google, and even SMS, all from one dashboard. Its “virtual agent” functionality uses the power of AI to assist with easier-to-navigate customer inquiries, freeing up real agents to work on more complicated issues.
What’s Hootsuite Saying About the Acquisition?
“Brands and organizations must grow their digital capabilities to connect with their customers on the social and messaging platforms their customers use, not the other way around. These customer engagements need to seamlessly connect into the brand and organization’s workflow across all customer-facing departments — marketing, sales, customer support, finance, etc. With Sparkcentral joining Hootsuite, we enable brands of all sizes to create a holistic, agile, and effective experience for their customers.”— Tom Keiser, CEO, Hootsuite
What About Sparkcentral?
“Together our two best-in-breed technologies will be a disruptive force, as we support organizations of all sizes in providing their customers with the highest level of customer care at scale.”— Christoph Neut, former CEO, Sparkcentral, now VP, Sales at Hootsuite
It looks like Hootsuite is making an attempt to step up and offer an alternative to the customer service platform Facebook is building. The two key players competing over who can offer the best solution is good news for businesses. It means a better offering, and likely better pricing, than if Facebook went unchallenged by competitors. It will be interesting to see who else hops aboard the customer service platform train in the coming months.