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published on May 12, 2017 - 11:28 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Benchmark Intelligence has been making strides in the retail and restaurant industry as more multi-chain clients adopt the Fresno tech start-up’s software, which analyzes data collected from customer reviews and streamlined field auditing reports to compare franchises and identify weaknesses and strengths.

Earlier this month, Benchmark Intelligence was even featured in Retail CIO magazine as one of the Top 10 analytics solution providers.

While this facet of the business continues to thrive, CEO Eric Santos said the company is also expanding its SMS software services so customer feedback via text message — as well as automated two-way communication where customers can ask questions and receive an instant response to FAQs — can be accessible to all types of businesses.

“For the first six months, our product was just a one-way product, almost like a digital comment card, and you didn’t actually have to talk to the customer. Then we started building two-way communication, and that allowed someone at Deli Delicious that has a bad experience to text in and now they can respond to that customer to alleviate the issue,” Santos said. “When we introduced that two-way communication through text messaging, some other verticals starting having some interest.

“One of our customers now is Educational Employees Credit Union, so at the branch level customers are texting in about their experience. That is similar to the restaurants, but what they also have is a phone number where customers call in about consumer lending. We want to give them an SMS option so instead of being on the phone and waiting 10 minutes for support, customers can be texting in questions passively while working on something else, and they don’t have to take 15 minutes of their day to stay on the phone.”

The new two-way communication technology is making its way across the globe in 11 countries thanks to a partnership Benchmark Intelligence recently entered with a large German manufacturing company.

Aside from banking and manufacturing, Santos said the software company is also in talks with some entertainment and sports venues.

“We’re in talks with a few malls and sports venues, so people can text in and ask something like ‘where are the concessions?’” Santos said. “It just allows you now instead of going in or making a call, you can text questions and get an automated response or quick responses from an actual human.”


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