Email Customer Service as a Platform -- With a Sense of Humor

Alex Stone
Sep. 13 2010, 02:30PM EDT

Anyone who runs an app these days has no doubt attempted to handle all customer service through email. While this may be a great way to interact with your customers, it can get difficult to track just how helpful your email help is. That's where Nicereply and its Nicereply API can help. And it even has a brand new example app, the product of a little recent criticism.

Nicereply is dirt simple. Stick a Nicereply link a the bottom of your emailed response and your customers are taken to a page where they can quickly rate your email response and be on their way.

Nicereply example in email footer

As with all modern tools, Nicereply has a wonderful API, allowing you to build your own tracking tools or integrate with your existing customer service system. If this seems like something for you, it's definitely worth checking out.

Even more interesting is what Nicereply has done with its API. You see, just after Nicereply pushed their app to the Internet, "less is less" app-makers 37signals not only developed and shipped a similar app, Smiley. As both parties say, "it's not rocket science." However, 37Signals did so in just 24 hours. The speedy concept-to-shipped time led many to assume that the Nicereply team was slacking or simply wasn't as hard working as 37signals.

Nicereply replied to these claims by creating a Smiley clone in under 24 minutes, using the Nicereply API. Pretty impressive and an excellent way to show of how simple the API is.

Nicereply states they have no beef with 37signals (going as far as to recommend the company's book, "Rework"). Think of it more like Nicereply's team taking the not-so-nice feedback and turning it into a great opportunity to show off the ease and power of their API.

Alex Stone Virginia-based web developer. I'm into cool ideas and phones. You may recognize me from such mashups as Super DVD Robot! and the upcoming Twitter app, Birdcage.

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