Experticity Inc. is a software and technology services company, founded in 2001 by CEO D.L. Baron, and headquartered in Seattle, Washington. Experticity is the pioneer of live on-screen expert staffing technologies, and has been developing remote service solutions for the retail industry since 2005. Experticity's award-winning electronic customer-service systems include proprietary technologies that enable companies to allocate live, on-screen customer service experts and service providers from remote locations, using real-time, two-way video, audio and data screens to provide customers with a personalized, one-on-one service experience.
Experticity formally ceased operations on August 5, 2010, after trying unsuccessfully to weather the recession by cutting most of its staff and going into "hibernation mode." The company had been gaining significant traction with retail stores and other partners prior to the economic crisis of late 2008 and 2009, when "everything stopped," said founder and CEO DL Baron in an email to TechFlash.
The company is said to provide Expertize, a logical in-store extension of Web/phone support, which allows the customers to receive assistance from sales and service experts on-site or at-home. Experticity aims to help retailers help customers, using technology for in-store computer kiosks that would allow shoppers to touch a flat-panel screen and then get questions answered from a customer service agent who may be located thousands of miles away. Its technology, as a software platform, is installed on a kiosk or computer monitor, and it includes two components that are connected over two-way audio/video: the "Customer Station," a customer-facing component of Expertize that consists of a touch-screen outfitted with a camera and microphone; and the "Agent Station," controlled by a Live Video Expert who assists the customer by presenting information on-screen in order to arrive at the intended outcome.
Experticity is the only retail-specific solution that engages shoppers at the point of service, delivering live two-way video interactions between consumers and expert sales agents who can be served up from any remote location. Through a broadband connection transmitting data and voice, the customer and Live Video Expert can see and hear each other. In addition to helping customers and taking orders, video agents can also suggest accessories or sale items that customers might want to purchase, or show and print them a in-store map if the customer desires. The technology solution also enables the expert assistant to check whether items are on the floor, if they may be in the back room, at a nearby store, or if an item is out-of-stock they can special-order items.
Remote expert service agents are supplied by the retailer, consumer goods manufacturer or a third party, and can be accessed by the consumer according to language and skill, giving retailers a new vehicle for ensuring customers receive face-to-face service when and where they need it. This self-service support technology was also designed to allow retailers to improve staffing efficiencies by optimizing store associates between peak and slow hours.
On May 2, 2007, Red Herring announced that Experticity is a recipient of Red Herring 100 Spring, an award given to the top 100 private technology companies based in North America, which recognizes the 100 "most promising" companies driving the future of technology. Joel Dreyfuss, Editor-in-Chief of Red Herring, described the importance of the company's tradition of identifying new and innovative technology companies and entrepreneurs:
|“||Having received more than 800 submissions, it is clear that we are witnessing a new outburst of creativity. With venture capital flowing again, it’s exciting to see technology innovators and business investors collaborate to create disruptive technologies. The Red Herring 100 North America companies are impressive up-and-comers, and definitely the ones to watch.||”|
- About Us, Experticity.
- Jayne O'Donnell. Electronics retailers find service sells, USA TODAY, July 24, 2008.
- Experticity Offers Live Customer Support With NCR EasyPoint(TM) Kiosks, Reuters, January 7, 2008.
- Experticity Inc. Company Overview, BusinessWeek, November 30, 2009.
- Todd Bishop. Seattle startup Experticity ceases operations after eight years, TechFlash, August 6, 2010.
- Definition of Expertize [ex • per • tize]–verb (used with object). Increasing sales and reducing costs while providing a better customer experience. <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Expertize/>
- FAQ. What is Expertize?, experticity.com.
- John Cook. Startup brings expert advice -- if not experts -- to stores, seattlepi.com, October 14, 2005.
- Software Solution, Experticity.
- Liz Parks. Video kiosks link shoppers to off-site customer service agents, STORES Magazine, October 2007.
- Evan Schuman. Staples Trial: 2-Way Live Video Kiosk That Controls Payment, Scanners, StorefrontBacktalk, July 18, 2008.
- Experticity to offer live customer support with NCR EasyPoint kiosks, selfservice.org, January 8, 2008.
- Interactive displays alleviate labor shortage, DigitalSignageToday.com, June, 21, 2007.
- Red Herring Reveals Winners of the Red Herring 100 Spring 2007 (PDF), Red Herring, May 2, 2007.