Sunday, August 10, 2008

I love you ChaCha

It was Friday night, and as I was in the restaurant, across from my husband, I was texting my love to ChaCha.

No, not the dance, but a free web-based, mobile text messaging answering service that has become my favorite thing. So favorite that I might even consider paying for it if I had to. Because, unlike with Twitter, almost like with Scrabulous before they shut it down, and definitely like my husband ChaCha has become a cant’-live-without addiction.

Here are the facts:
ChaCha allows people with any mobile phone to ask any question in conversational English and receive an accurate answer as a text message in just a few minutes. ChaCha also offers voice search through a mobile service that could be queried via a toll-free phone number--1-800-2ChaCha (800-224-2242).

My first experience with ChaCha was tenuous- I texted ChaCha the following question: Where is the best place to invest a small amount of money to yield a 10% ROI. I waited. In minutes, ChaCha texted me back and told me to call a financial advisor. Ever so thoughtfully, ChaCha sent me a weblink to Financial Advisors in my area.

Other texts were more concrete— “What’s the weather this weekend?”, “How many seats are in Shea Stadium?”, “What’s the address of my dentist?” Time after time, ChaCha replied with accurate, up-to-the minute details. When I was in the midst of a conversation about gas prices, ChaCha saved the day by answering my question “If gas is $1.50 a litre, how much is it a gallon” with the following “it would cost $6.819 per gallon. Yikes! Have a great day and keep texting ChaCha. ChaCha told me how to get paint off the carpet, what my horoscope was for the month of July.

I’m not so interested in the behind the scenes at ChaCha but in case you are, the ChaCha system is set up so that each question is routed to a trained Guide who is knowledgeable in that particular subject matter. The Guide will research your question and send the answer back to you as soon as possible. The Guide will be able to see your previous questions so they will understand if you ask a follow-up question. Once you register, ChaCha will save your questions and answers, and you’ll be able to view the profile of the Guide that found your answer!

I also love the ChaCha website- very cool Valentine colors (because I’m not the only one in love) a place to read and leave confessions, a store where I can buy ChaCha apparel and a well-produced culture video.

My HR friends may even find this interesting: ChaCha recently announced that they are moving to a “Pay-For-Performance” system that was designed to improve search quality. Under the new program, “Top Guides” will receive 20 cents per question. Everyone else gets 10 cents per question. To become a Top Guide, users must do the following:

* >95% Quality Measurement.
* 95% and above completion of answers to questions:
* Minimum 300 Searches a week.

But what I really really love is that ChaCha will partner with BRANDEMiX in putting together branded mobile text campaigns including event promotion, text voting or trivia events.

So Friday night, when ChaCha told me what time the local movies were playing, I was so happy I literally texted back “I love you ChaCha.” And you know what ChaCha told me? “We at ChaCha think you’re the best, too! Our customers are very important so let us know if you need anything 24/7”

As a dependable virtual sage at my fingertips, or another leg in an integrated client branding or recruitment campaign, ChaCha stands alone!

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