Question? The Answer is with ChaCha
Ever found yourself out and about, stumped, and wondering the height of Justin Bieber? Well just text Indiana-based Q&A site, ChaCha, and they will be able to not only give you an answer for free, but they will respond back within one to three minutes while you continue on about your day. ChaCha’s Chief Marketing Officer Shawn Schwegman explains that ChaCha approaches question and answer services at a different direction than other Q&A services out there due to their real time response and accuracy of answers.
ChaCha’s service has grown at a quick rate, claims Schwegman. He explains how ChaCha experiences about 32 million unique visitors that cross all of the site’s platforms in just one month. This then turns out to about three million questions a day. According to Schwegman, they will always provide an answer for every question, unlike sites such as Answers.com, who only provides answers for an average of 30 percent of questions asked.
Ask a question via web (www.chacha.com), text (242-242 spells ChaCha!), and social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, and receive your real time answer from one of 65,000 “guides.” These “guides” are real people: students, stay at home moms, retired professors, etc., and they will log in to the ChaCha service and answer questions whenever they are up for it. These responses come within just a couple of minutes, whereas other Q&A sites such as Quora, Answers.com, or Ask.com may give a response in hours, weeks, or never since they are free crowd source models (Google being algorithmic).
Schwegman mentions that ChaCha is the first company he’s worked for that gets so many cognitive ratings from its customers. The feedback the site receives is anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 ‘thank you, I love you ChaCha’ or ‘goodnight ChaCha, you rock’ comments a month, making for a very personal service.
Founded in 2006, ChaCha launched its mobile platform in 2008, followed by their website in 2009. This last year in 2010, ChaCha relaunched its website and launched their first mobile applications. As of this current year, mobile apps have been relaunched and a website relaunch is expected as well. “One challenge we have that people are kind of frustrated with is that we require a phone number on the iPhone app. If you look at all the ratings on the app, anyone that rates us poorly in comments, that’s the only thing they say; that’s what they rated us poorly for. So we’re fixing that in this next release,” explains Schwegman of ChaCha’s updates.
Though ChaCha may not have a clear competitor for a number one spot, the company will manage to stay unique and reliable with its focus on user experience and upcoming changes ahead. Over the span of 2011, ChaCha will be continuing updates with mobile apps and the website almost every month. There will be a blending of styles, in order to harness the power of crowd sourcing. Schwegman goes into further explanation stating, “We want to stay true to our brand in that when you ask ChaCha a question, you will always get a ChaCha answer. That said, we want to take the crowd source model and inject it on our business models.”