TalkTo AppThe advent of smartphones and social media has made communication between individuals exponentially faster and easier. Whether immersed in a chaotic project or bored to death on a bus, friends and colleagues can communicate quickly and easily whenever they have a few moments and a keypad. Long phone calls spent “catching up” with friends or building professional relationships are now achieved far more efficiently with emails, tweets, posts, comments, and text messages.

But, when individuals reach out to businesses, somehow we’re still confronted with old, slow, painfully-obsolete communication methods. Archaic phone systems (“Press 1 for customer service…”), long hold times, and less-than-helpful responses continue to make interaction between customers and firms a time-wasting and tedious task. Sadly, many business still find it acceptable for you to wait for long periods of time for even the most basic information.

Luckily, the more tech-savvy businesses are taking advantage of TalkTo, a new iOS and Android app that makes contacting a business as easy as texting, tweeting, or emailing one of your friends or colleagues. Many customer relationship tools benefit the business more than the individual patron, but TalkTo is designed specifically and entirely to make your correspondences with businesses quicker, more convenient, and more positive.

What is TalkTo and How Does It Work?

TalkTo works much like a virtual assistant: If you have tasks on your “to do” list that involve contacting businesses for price comparisons, item availabilities, store hours, or sales, TalkTo can save you from countless unnecessary phone calls, endless minutes on hold, and many wasted trips to brick-and-mortar stores.

Screenshot of TalkTo

SMS'ing a local business using TalkTo

To get in touch with a business, you can search for specific store locations or you can browse within general categories if you don’t have a particular store or brand in mind. Once you’ve chosen a business, you simply type in your question and send it onward. TalkTo then provides an estimated response time and routes your communication to the desired store or company.

You don’t need to spend time searching for phone numbers, email addresses, Twitter handles, or contact forms; TalkTo delivers the message quickly and reliably. As you can see above, mine took 10 seconds of typing, and I received my answer in about two minutes, even though the average response time was 12 minutes.

How TalkTo Transforms Our Personal Productivity

Because of its immense utility, TalkTo could potentially be your best personal productivity aid. If you’re like the rest of us, a lot of your time is surrendered to everyday errands, many of which involve stops at stores and discussions with store representatives. Tasks like reservations, refunds, and questions about products or services can take up a lot of time and greatly reduce your productivity. TalkTo can turn these time-hogging tasks into near-instant inquiries, allowing you to accomplish what used to take loads of personal time in just a few keystrokes.

TalkTo For Business Owners

If you’re a business owner, TalkTo enables you to set up your own business listing right within the app. This allows you to not only use TalkTo as a typical customer, but also to relate more quickly, easily, and personally with your customers. Instead of vexing your customers with long hold times and automated phone menus, you can answer customer questions as quickly and easily as they are asked. In the long term, this will make for happier customers, better sales, and a more successful enterprise.

List of 100 Ways To Use TalkTo

In case TalkTo’s potential and utility isn’t already apparent, here’s a list of one hundred everyday tasks that TalkTo can reduce from a fifteen-minute phone call to a few seconds of texting.

Business

  • Asking a local restaurant if they can do short-notice catering for an impromptu business meeting.
  • Checking on the progress of your printed materials at your print shop.
  • Inquiring about local advertising opportunities with nearby businesses.
  • Asking a temp agency for help with some unexpected emergency work.
  • Comparing venues for team-building exercises with just a few texts.
  • Asking your local UPS, FedEx or USPS location if your shipments have arrived.
  • Collaborating with other local businesses to make mutually beneficial deals and partnerships.
  • Checking on the holiday business hours for a local business.
  • Inquiring about whether a particular executive is in the office.
  • Getting an update on the estimated shipping date for an order.
  • Finding out why your website is down from your web hosting provider.
  • Making sure that your supplier received your order form.
  • Asking for a quote on mailbox rentals.
  • Seeing if the post office offers after hours access to PO boxes.
  • Getting the direct contact number for a regional sales representative.
  • Finding out if there is a local office for an international company.
  • Requesting an interview with a company executive about future directions.
  • Asking about renting conference room space at a convention center.
  • Getting a quote for table and chair rentals for an event.
  • Asking about pricing and availability of event staff from a security firm.
  • Requesting localization and translation services.
  • Seeing if a freelance writer can write in other languages.
  • Asking whether a print shop uses digital or offset printing presses.

Shopping

  • Comparing car prices between local dealerships.
  • Finding a hard-to-find gift in stock without traveling all over town.
  • Finding out if your broken gadget is covered by warranty (without making the trip or waiting on the phone).
  • Making sure a clothing store has your size before making the trip.
  • Asking about a store’s return policies (30-day, receipt required) before making a potentially-wasted trip.
  • Making sure you can return an unwanted gift to the store before making the trip.
  • Learning what colors are available for a particular clothing item.
  • Seeing if there are any weekly specials or clearance items available.
  • Asking if a store participates in a certain rewards program.
  • Finding out if a store will honor coupons from competitors.
  • Learning about a store’s price match policy.
  • Seeing if a store carries products in children’s sizes.
  • Asking about when a certain lens will go on sale at the camera shop.
  • Checking to see if the Apple Store is accepting iPhone pre-orders yet.
  • Requesting a product catalog to be delivered to your house.
  • Getting the price for delivery from a furniture store.

Travel

  • Avoiding surprise flight cancellations and wasted time by confirming your flight.
  • Locating the nearest taxi in an unfamiliar town without making tedious phone calls.
  • Finding decent food during late hours in an unfamiliar city.
  • Finding closer and/or cheaper hotel reservations, saving time and/or money.
  • Pushing back your hotel or restaurant reservations if you’re severely delayed, without delaying yourself even further.
  • Getting tickets and transportation for impromptu visits to local landmarks and tourist attractions.
  • Tracking down lost luggage without an endless wait in line or on the phone.
  • Booking a sight-seeing tour
  • Getting the snow report from a ski resort.
  • Seeing if the Snow Park is open, and what features like the half-pipe are constructed.
  • Getting rate quotes from different car rental companies.
  • Asking about the price for insurance when renting a vehicle for the weekend.
  • Learning about any additional fees, like for underage or extra drivers, when renting a car.
  • Making sure that the hotel you booked offers complimentary Wi-Fi.
  • Confirming that the hotel room you booked has the right number of beds.
  • Asking about the hourly, daily and weekly rates for renting a bicycle.
  • Checking the hours for an aquarium or zoo.
  • Seeing what is the current featured exhibition at a museum.
  • Adding a travel package to your cell phone plan.
  • Arranging for a pickup from the airport or train station.
  • Requesting a specific table at your favorite restaurant.
  • Asking that a bottle of champagne be waiting for you in your hotel room.
  • Checking the bus schedule for the best transfer times.

Leisure and Dining

  • Checking with popular restaurants and theaters to make sure they aren’t fully booked.
  • Asking a familiar restaurant if they’re running your favorite special today.
  • Asking your gym if it’s currently crowded.
  • Checking the weather conditions before arriving at a ski resort or adventure park.
  • Making sure your chosen restaurant has vegetarian or kosher options for picky eaters in your party.
  • Checking to see if your favorite team’s local game is sold out.
  • Seeing what is the cover charge for a local nightclub.
  • Asking about the drink specials at a nearby lounge or restaurant.
  • Checking to see if pets are allowed at an event or venue.
  • Seeing if there are any restrictions on boat rentals.
  • Asking a restaurant if it can accommodate large groups.
  • Finding out if a gratuity is automatically added to the check for tables of 8 or more.
  • Requesting seat upgrades for a concert or other event.
  • Seeing if a cafe offers organic and fair trade coffee.
  • Asking if a reservation has to be made to honor a Groupon or other group-buying coupon.

Personal

  • Asking your local grocer when their next shipment of fresh fish, meat or produce arrives.
  • Contacting a plumber immediately for very time-sensitive pipe leak.
  • Comparing the cost of home repairs or home expansions with local contractors.
  • Arranging the delivery of a special gift for your special someone.
  • Asking the post office if that long-awaited package is finally on its way to your door.
  • Asking your dry cleaner or tailor if your best clothing is ready for pickup.
  • Hiring a cleaning service after hosting a large party.
  • Texting a pick-up order for dinner without getting on the phone.
  • Booking a haircut appointment.
  • Ordering floral arrangements for a wedding.
  • Contacting your cable provider about package offerings.
  • Asking your Internet service provider about increasing your speed.
  • Getting help from tech support for your computer problems.
  • Moving a dentist appointment to another time.
  • Booking a consultation with an interior decorator.
  • Hiring a landscaper to plant your garden and clean up your yard.
  • Getting a moving company to help you move to your new house.
  • Seeing if your favorite butcher has fresh lamb chops available for sale.
  • Booking an appointment with the vet for your cat’s annual checkup.
  • Asking about the types of dance lessons offered at a local studio.
  • Inquiring about the trade-in value for your used video games.
  • Asking if a business is currently hiring any new employees.
  • Getting details about photography or videography packages.

Image credit: TalkTo.com

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