There is no shortage of customer service horror stories. Neither you nor them want to be on the phone, but there is nothing you can do about it. Hours upon hours later after the dust has settled, you may get an apology email, but you can’t stand dealing with them anymore. Good news, you don’t have to anymore! Introducing Service, the on demand service company that takes issues with customer service reps for you. Already saving $100,000 in the first 90 days, Service is on the rise.
CEO Michael Schneider gives LATechWatch a tour of their service and the recent round of funding.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We raised $3.1 million in a Seed funding round led by Founders Fund with participation from Menlo Ventures, Maveron, Eight Ventures, Arena Ventures and well known entrepreneurs including Alex Bard, Tikhon Bernstam, Brenden Mulligan and Robin Chan. We hope to accelerate software development and drive more consumer adoption.
Tell us about your product or service.
It’s “on demand customer service” – when a consumer feels let down by a business, they tell us what happened and we sort it out for them. We broker fair resolutions between businesses and consumers.
What inspired you to start the company?
I’ve wasted way too much of my life dealing with customer service. I’m an active consumer and speak up when I feel wronged – but that comes at the expense of a huge amount of time. In an era of getting everything from food to cars to dry cleaning on demand, I didn’t think it made sense that we still had to waste our own time dealing with customer service.
How is it different?
Nothing like it exists, yet.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
Quite large – if you’re a consumer, our service will resonate with you.
What’s your business model?
Right now we’re in “learning mode” and are free to both consumers and businesses.
What was the funding process like?
Fund raising is always time consuming, but I’m very happy with the group of investors we wound up with.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Making sure the investors we wound up with truly added value and were strategic vs. just filling the round as quickly as possible.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
I started the company only 4 months ago with my laptop in my living room, and were solving cases before we raised a penny. I think the fact that we were able to validate the idea and scale a bit before raising anything was attractive to investors. We’re also attacking a huge market and a frequent problem consumers have.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
Become more automated by building out our software, establish and grow our marketing efforts, and be well on our way to becoming a verb and a household name.
What advice can you offer companies in Los Angeles that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
You don’t need capital to prove out an idea and even to scale. Don’t let a lack of money slow you down. Some of the best ideas I’ve had in my life have come when I’ve had the least amount of financial comfort.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
Up and to the right! We want to become a verb. When you have a customer service issue in your life, we want you to Service It and forget about it, knowing it’s being taken care of.
What’s your favorite LA bar, when you need to kick back and relax?
El Carmen on W. 3rd St.