ShowKit Brings Mayday-Style Customer Support To Any App

When Amazon launched Mayday on the Fire HDX tablet, thousands of sons-in-law breathed a sigh of relief. The same should be true today, as ShowKit launches out of private beta on the TechCrunch Disrupt NY stage.

The company offers an SDK that lets any app developer include a Mayday customer-service button to their app.

Instead of finding a phone number or starting an online chat, being taken out of the native experience, ShowKit lets you simply tap a help button to start a live video chat, wherein the customer service rep can draw on your screen, take control of your device on an app level, and solve whatever problems you might have.

It’s a cross-platform experience, meaning representatives can handle things from the web or natively on their own devices.

The premise is that normal customer service options offer horrible experiences that require a lot of pained communication.

With ShowKit, both parties can see each other, so there’s no need to describe the weird page you landed on or figure out which tab to push. The company representative, through ShowKit, can simply point these things out to you.

While in private beta, the company has accumulated over 1,200 different clients and developers looking for access to ShowKit’s SDK, including familiar names like HP, Cisco, MICROS Systems, Square, Barclays Bank, Capital One Labs, Zendesk, Rebtel, Medtronic and others.

ShowKit set out on its mission in 2013 while working at Curious Minds, an incubator that is quite similar to betaworks in that it funds private projects in-house. While building out a solution for another app in the incubator, the ShowKit team realized that its solution could be applied to all kinds of apps.

That said, the team spun out and started focusing exclusively on ShowKit.

ShowKit has raised a total of $710k in seed, and is looking to raise another $800k with a close date later in May, led by Curious Minds.

To learn more about ShowKit, check out its website here.

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Question: Why do you think competitors aren’t entering in the same space?

Answer: They’re focused on web conferencing, but customer support is very important on mobile and lacking on mobile. We identified a problem and created a solution that offers support right within the app.

Q: Staying in the app is important, but is the video important? Can’t you just use an audio feed?

A: That is entirely configurable by the company when they integrate it. They can choose to do two-way video, one-way video, or audio only. And, they can choose to put in buttons so that the user can choose.

Q: What does it look like from company perspective? As the agent?

A: The platform is integrated with SalesForce, so that pulls in customer info as the call comes in. They can use it on web or mobile.

Q: What is your sales process?

A: We’re fundraising now and will be hiring a sales team straight out of the gate to move this forward.