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San Francisco, CA, April 1, 2014 - Olark live chat announces All Paws Support.

We are delighted to announce that we are adding a new tool to the Olark family.

Here at Olark, we take all-hands support so seriously that we are extending it. For too long, family pets and other animals have had their skills overlooked. Well, no more!

Starting today, we are launching a brand new “cat box” system. We have developed a platform especially for creatures lacking opposable thumbs. Now, if you are too busy to answer questions, your cat or dog can jump on chat and help you out!

Today Olark is hosting a one-off “put your pet on chat” day. Send us a message like you normally would, as we sit back and let our pets take the strain. We are so confident that the answers you get will be spot-on, we are off to go play ball.

At the moment, the program is limited to four-legged creatures, but before other animals cry foul, we can assure you that we are working hard on a fix.

Software features include:

  • Get rid of trolls with a “You are barking up the wrong tree” button
  • Put spam into a virtual litter tray
  • A new !collar command to ensure full integration with !lead
  • A special “How can I help Meow” attention grabber for new sign ups
  • A purr-fect emoticon to tell the animal operators that they are doing a good job

As always, we want to hear how you use the software and how you think it can be improved — try it out and give us a shout!

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Guru’s guide to happiness: Meet The Olark Team

Week two in our Meet the Olarker series.  Olark is adding new team members like crazy. We’ve expanded our coverage to European timezones recently.

This week meet Rhoda Meek, our newest Olarkian* who rises earlier than any of us. Not just because she’s living on a farm and has to tend to the livestock before starting her Olark day but also because she’s working remotely from a windy and stunningly beautiful island off the west coast of Scotland.

* 1 week and 3 days at interview time

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The Isle of Tiree ^ on a fine Scottish day when the rain isn’t falling sideways

Rhoda brings many superpowers to the Olark table including front end design and backend tech chops, language skills hitherto unknown to the team (Gaelic), a warmth and wit, an easy going, yet laser focused work ethic and a passion for helping people out of tight spots tech-wise.  Rhoda is currently restoring her family’s home on the island and I’m told she can fix or turn her hand to most anything.  We’re kind of amazed to have found her and she’s a welcome new addition to our team. When she comes to visit us here in San Francisco I have a leaky window and a door that gets stuck shut in winter that I’d like her to take a look at.

We recently sat down to a cup of tea with Rhoda

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1. What drew you to work for Olark?

I loved the product because it so clearly did what it said on the tin! I also loved the sense of humour and the fun attitude which emanated from the website. Plus, I love helping people!

2. What is your favorite thing about doing customer service and helping people?

I love the “lightbulb moment” – when I explain something in a way the person understands and it solves their problem. A great feeling.

3.  Before you came to Olark what was the most remarkable/weird/zany thing you’ve ever done?

Where to start… I have competed in the World Bog Snorkeling Championships, the World Worm Charming Championships, and I have jumped off Bognor Regis Pier dressed as a chicken as part of the Birdman competition…

4. What do you do like to do when you’re not working?

I work on renovating my house, I have a veg garden I tend lovingly, I work with sheep and cows and I crochet (but don’t hold that against me!)

5.  If you could stand at the podium and address all of the Olark customers, what would you say in your keynote address?

I would tell them that the single most important thing is to communicate well with your customers. Listen to them and respond. People like to know they are being listened to and Olark is a brilliant way of doing that. But just as importantly, they need to know that you are a hearing what they say – 360 degree feedback, baby!

6.  Final question:  if Hollywood were to make a biopic about your life, who would play you in the movie?

It would have to be Sandra Bullock. She rocks.

Okay then, another final question:  Anything else you’d like the world to know about you?

I’m Scottish and proud of it, my hens lay delicious eggs and one day I will succeed in making crochet cool.

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Rhoda is on chat most mornings PST and is our middle-of-the-night email outpost. Come by anytime and say hello.  Follow Rhoda’s blog and see what it’s like living next door to Wuthering Heights:  http://www.wodieskodie.com

later,

Bill T

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bill_t.jpgGuru’s guide to happiness: Meet The Olark Team

In re-reading some of my Guru’s Guide blog posts I realized that I spend a lot of time vaguely bragging about our crack CS team here Olark. I thought it would be good to introduce you so you’d get a feeling about who it is you’re chatting with when you have a question or bit of feedback for us. I’ve sat each of them down in the Olark coffee room and interviewed them to try and give you a hint of the who/what/where/why of our widely distributed but close as a family CS team.

This week, meet NicKO

Nick Oliverio, CS team ninja.

Nick hails from the great state of Michigan. Nick’s background is in public relations, the auto industry, and human resources (although his degree from Siena Heights University is in Psychology) . Nick has been with us for a year more or less and has brought many super powers to the table, not the least of which is that we fear/respect him for his accomplishments in scorpion eating and real-life ninja skills.

I recently sat down to talk with Nick:

1. What drew you to come work for olark – I like helping people, and Olark has a good product and I get to work with a really cool team.

2. What is your favorite thing about doing customer service and helping people? – I really enjoy when I can help people find their ‘aha!’ moments of how they’re going to really improve their customer interactions.

3.  Before you came to Olark what was the most remarkable/weird/zany thing you’ve ever done? -

I ate this scorpion …

(but since I’ve been working at Olark, I spent a month in Japan and that was pretty zany too)

4. What do you do like to do when you’re not working?

Climbing

Building things

Reading and spending time outside

Training to be a ninja

5.  If you could stand at the podium and address all of the Olark customers, what would you say in your keynote address? – Thanks! The work that you do, paying attention to your customers and giving them a good experience, makes the world a little better every day :)

6.  Final question:  If Hollywood were to make a bio-pic about your life, who would play you in the movie? – 3 way tie: if it were a mystery, Edward Norton. A rom com or drama, Elijah Wood. Action movie, Jason Statham

Okay, another final question:  Anything else you’d like to tell the world about yourself: – I constantly have too many tabs open. I used to think that was just one of my bad habits, but after talking to lots of Olark customers, I just want you to know you’re not alone. :)

NickO, on chat duty generally US east coast morning hours, Monday, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Come by and say howdy. Nick also joins me in doing our weekly Olark feature and info webinars.  http://olark.com/webinar and Http://olark.com/training

 

Ciao,

Bill T