New case study: Children's Miracle Network Hospitals

Metaverse Announces Expanded Partnership with Zendesk to Execute Joint Go-to-Market Strategies

Enhanced collaboration between two industry leaders ensures brands’ support teams deliver better customer service

ZendeskMetaverse Mod Squad, the worldwide leader in digital engagement services, today announced an expanded partnership with Zendesk Inc. — one that will help brands and enterprises around the world communicate more effectively with customers.

“Today’s wired consumer expects best-in-class service without delay from the companies they interact with,” says Amy Pritchard, founder and CEO of Metaverse Mod Squad. “With an increasing number of touch points available to the customer, many companies find it hard to efficiently communicate across all channels. We provide flexible managed services that allow marquee brands to meet their customers where they’re having these conversations, in the languages they speak, 24/7/365.”

As companies rely more upon customer-relationship management tools, Metaverse sees an opportunity to ensure that the resulting customer-support sessions retain a human touch.

“Metaverse has worked with more than 100 clients to facilitate the integration of the Zendesk cloud-based customer support platform into their tool sets,” says Pritchard. “We’re excited about this new aspect of our partnership, which includes becoming an Authorized Zendesk Reseller in Zendesk’s BPO program. We have a long history of managing help desks for clients who are using the Zendesk platform, and the integration enhances the value of what each company has to offer individually. ”

IMG_0027 copyMetaverse’s custom installation of the Zendesk solution provides clients with a more integrated strategy, combining all elements of support — such as social, chat, phone, and ticket — into a single provider. These additional features and functionality are available without necessitating additional hires.

Notes Pritchard, “Our core services revolve around providing user engagement and support for the world’s favorite brands. We have more than 10,000 Mods around the globe who serve as the voice of our clients, helping to bring these companies and their customers closer together. Our expanded partnership with Zendesk brings a whole new level of engagement to companies that might not otherwise have the resources to provide this kind of exceptional support to their customers. Plus we just like them.”

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Moderation by the Mods

Our Mods have a pretty groovy rep to uphold. We travel through the digital world on our shiny virtual Vespas, cruising the streets as we patrol our clients’ communities. When it comes to online moderation, there’s no resource quite like the Mods.

Who Are the Mods?

Our 10,000+ Mods come from all across the globe, from college students to stay-at-home moms to industry pros working a side gig. Men and women, young and old, we speak more than 50 languages and dialects and live in more than 50 countries. If it sounds like a disparate group, it is, but we have more in common than you’d suspect.

IMG_9730 copyOur Mods are web-savvy. We are no digital novices. The Mods are experienced online professionals with backgrounds in customer support, community management, social media, even tech support. Yes, our managers look after the Mods as we support the world’s coolest brands, but the Mods don’t need any hand-holding either. Each Mod knows the ropes; and each one has specialized fields of interest, with a background to match.

Our Mods also share an essential element: passion. That’s the driving force that sets us apart from your run-of-the-mill cube-farm workers. At Metaverse, we thrive on that passion, and use it to match our clients’ needs with the Mods who best fulfill their requirements:

  • Region and native language? Check.
  • Work experience? We’ve got it covered.
  • Availability at certain times or days? No problem.
  • An inherent understanding of your community and a passion for your brand? We have just the Mods for you!

Okay, you have a clearer vision of who makes up our Squad of Mods. But when they’re deployed to moderate content and engage with users online, what exactly does that entail?

IMG_9849 copyMetaverse Moderation

Mods are always out there serving as the voice of many of the world’s best companies. With today’s customers communicating with their favorite brands and with other enthusiasts, it’s a tough task to keep up with all the chatter. Companies know that in order to have meaningful conversations with their fans and customers, they need to respond to compliments and complaints 24/7. That’s where the Mods can help.

Across all platforms (websites, social media, mobile, apps, games), the Mods are monitoring and engaging in conversations with users worldwide. We make sure that the rules of the community are upheld and that there’s a safe, welcoming environment for all who participate. The Mods also review content posted by the audience (text, photos, videos) and assist virtual visitors. We’ll pass along critical information to the product owner in the case of a serious situation, and  keep an eye out for libelous material, copyright infringement, abusive or illegal behavior, and spam. (That’s when we’re wearing our community-watch hats.)

Chances are, you’ve already experienced our Mods hard at work without even realizing it. If you’ve spent any time interacting with companies online via communities, forums, social media, or support portals, you may have been engaging with one of our Mods. And we’ll bet it was a positive interaction.

The Mods of Metaverse. We are the ultimate resource for companies looking to connect with their customers in today’s online and mobile universe. We are unique. We are united.

We are the Mods.

This entry was posted in Best Practices, Community, Customer Support, Digital Engagement, Mods, News and Events, Social Media and tagged , , , , , by ModSquad. Bookmark the permalink.

You know you’re a mod when…

If you spend time surfing the net, you know there are tons of “You know you’re a [insert identifier] when….” So, I thought: why not make one for our most mysterious (and wonderful, and rewarding) profession?

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: You know you’re a Mod when…

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  • Your nearest colleague is probably 600 kilometers away, but you get along and chit-chat as if you were sitting side by side.
  • In your team, so many different time zones are represented that you never know if you have to greet saying “Good morning” or “Good evening.”
  • You’ve been greeted by your project manager or colleagues with a 9GAG image or a gif. Multiple times.
  • Your typical “work background noise” isn’t keyboard-typing, or phones ringing – it’s your kids playing, your dogs barking, and your dishwasher running.
  • urlYou’ve worked in your jammies at least once…. a day.
  • Cuddling your pet while you work is the best stress-reliever. Ever.
  • You have received so many, “Oh, come and visit me, I’d love to meet you!” invitations by your colleagues from all over the world, that you’ll need two lifetimes to visit them all for real.
  • You’ve actually traveled to some unknown destination to stay at your colleague’s place!
  • You accidentally learned one or more words in a foreign language by working in a multi-language team.
  • 3886337471_4117fd9aacYou know everything about the conference call function in Skype.
  • You know all the most recent trends in social networks.
  • Coffee is your best friend, and closest confidant. Snacks are a close second.
  • You do and learn something new every day, and interact with lots of different people you could have never met with a traditional job.
  • You’ve already worked from a beach resort, or fancy hotel, because your schedule is so fantastic, and your working tools can fit in a bag.
  • You love all the perks your job has, and would never go back to a nine to five one!

And you?
What would you add to the list?

Lara Greco
Bilingual Mod

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Celebrating The Power of Customer Service Staff

It’s national Customer Service Week!  In celebration, we asked a few of our prime customer service folks a bit about the field, and what they love about it.  What we received was a wonderful doctrine regarding Customer Service!

  • Customer Support is not just answering a phone or responding to an email.  It’s helping people!

unnamed“Helping people is always enjoyable, and you get the chance to positively impact a lot of people with every customer service interaction.  We’ll fix a problem, or answer a question, for one person and it can spread like wildfire.  They’ll tell a friend, who tells a friend, and on it goes.  That same ripple effect hits our team, when they discuss a great person they got to help, and the client when the positive feedback lands at their door.” –Josh Smith

Our Jack-Of-All-Trades, Josh Smith, has been with Metaverse for 2 years and 2 months, but has been in the field for 12 years. (Side note: based on my conversation with Josh about his Customer Service tenure, his photo might just be about the age he started customer service!)

  • Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 10.12.32 AMCustomer Service is not just coordinating an answer to a customer, it’s being responsible for providing the best answer:

“[I am most proud of…] The level of ownership each of us take for what we deliver to our clients and their customers.  I’ve never enjoyed such strong team-based work towards common goals before joining MMS almost two years ago.” –Chris Nichols

The wonderfully thorough and detail-oriented Chris Nichols has been in the Customer Service field for 17 years, and with Metaverse Mod Squad for two years. (Delightful side note: He also insists his photo is not upside-down. +1 Point for a unique outlook!)

  • The soul of Customer Service is quality, efficiency, and a desire to above and beyond:

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 10.11.07 AM“I always stress quality over quantity with my teams and clients. That is always my goal when providing support. Nothing makes me more frustrated as a customer then being shuffled along, provided an answer that has nothing to do with my support request, or when a support request goes nowhere for hours or maybe even days. If we provide quality support, we not only make our clients look awesome, but it can improve customers’ experience and make them feel like there is a person that cares on the other side of their support request.” –Jay Biros

Jay Biros (and his high-caliber approach) has been in Customer Service for 5 years, and with Metaverse Mod Squad for a little over 3 years.

  • Customer Service deserves respect as it spans all disciplines and soaks into all industries:

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 10.10.06 AM“I think customer service is an integrated aspect in every single business you work in, no matter the industry. We call it a rather generic name now but it really has a deeper meaning because it’s no longer “just” about serving the customer. It’s about engagement, repertoire, retention and really connecting with the customer (however brief) on that level. I draw my inspiration from those stories of customers who come back and say “You know I was having a really bad day. I appreciate you and what you did to help make it better.” To hear that isn’t only heartwarming, it’s reaffirmation that what you are doing makes a difference, however small. You never know how far that difference really means to someone.” –Kelly Goelz-Clendenning

The fantastically driven Kelly Goelz-Clendenning has been with Metaverse Mod Squad for over 2 years, and in the customer support field for over 14.

We appreciate our staff, and it’s so lovely to take a moment out and appreciate the discipline, and those who engage in it – so, Happiest of Happy Customer Service Week to you and yours!

Izzy Neis
Director of Strategy & Engagement

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Music Monday – Fresh jams for Community Manager Appreciation Day

Anna Calvi's new track will be the highlight our CM Appreciation Day tunes

Happy Community Manager Appreciation Day! It’s important today to not only recognize the CMs running online communities, but the entire teams it requires to successfully pull it off. The customer service reps and moderation teams that are the foundation for what a community manager does deserve credit for keeping the high level processes chugging. Thank you to everyone at Metaverse for all of the hard work you put in keeping communities active and thriving!

So today, to give some love to all of our peeps, I’m streaming some great tunes to make your work day just a little more enjoyable. Look forward to tracks from:

  • Anna Calvi
  • Bear Hands
  • Andrew Belle
  • Cold War Kids
  • The Radio Dept
  • …and as always, much more!

To get down on this set just click this link. It will download a .pls file, which will open a stream in iTunes or music player of choice. Or, if you want, just plug this URL directly into the “Play from URL” option: http://91.121.119.152:16642

I’ll be streaming until 6pm Eastern.

Chase

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Music Monday – NYC Edition

We’re back to it for Metaverse Mod Squad Music Monday! I spent the last week in my favorite city, New York. This week’s Music Monday playlist is inspired by that wonderful place… with songs either about, or written by artists from, New York City. And a couple cool tracks thrown in just for fun. Featured artists:

  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • Simon and Garfunkel
  • The Magnetic Fields
  • Yeasayer
  • LCD Soundsystem
  • The Polyamorous Affair
  • And more….
To get down on this cool set just click this link. It will download a .pls file, which will open a stream in iTunes or music player of choice. Or, if you want, just plug this URL directly into the “Play from URL” option: http://91.121.119.152:13564

I’ll be streaming from 12:30-3pm Pacific Time.

-Chase

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Avatar – Part 2: Origins of the word

Excitement continues to build for the theater release of James Cameron’s upcoming epic, “Avatar,” on December 18th. The film is a 3D science-fiction action movie starring Sam Worthington as Jake Sully, a paralyzed Marine who becomes reborn as an alien species – his “Avatar.”

While it’s uncertain exactly how the movie intends to use it, Cameron’s use of the word “avatar” is probably different than the one we encounter in our industry and the hype surrounding the film inspired us to delve into the word itself. This three part blog series will explore the use of the word avatar as we know it, the origins of the word and the varying cases in which the word “avatar” has been applied.

In the first part of this series we discussed the word avatar and gave the modern definition as a graphical representation of one’s self, personality or alter-ego while engaging in online communication. Avatars take on many forms in the computing world, but the word itself dates back thousands of years.

The word “avatar” comes from the Sanskrit word अवतार (avata-ra) which means “descent” or “coming down from far away.” The idea comes from the Hindu religion, where it implies a descent from a higher realm of spiritual being into lower forms of existence. Many of these ancient avatars were said to have had special powers and were used for certain purposes on Earth. This concept dates back to 500 BC and earlier, used for years in oral traditions before being recorded in an ancient Hindu text known as the Garuda Purana.

The Gurada Purana tells of the ten avatars used by the god Vishnu to perform special tasks in the human realm. Vishnu’s avatars, known as Daśāvatāra, took many forms such as a tortoise, boar and even the Buddha himself.

It wasn’t until thousands of years later that the term avatar as we know it made an appearance in the realm of the metaverse. Arguably the first use of “avatar” in computing games comes from Ultima IV, an RPG released in 1985. The player is tasked by the character Lord British to become the Avatar, a shining example of spiritual enlightenment to ensure peace.

It is interesting to note the theme of limitation used to describe the Hindu avatars. Avatars were a “lower form” of being, limited in what they could do in comparison with their godly nature. In many ways our avatars are limited versions of ourselves. Even though they escape aesthetic barriers, they are not granted the level of function that we have as physical human beings.

Read More: Avatar – Part 1: Defining the Modern Avatar and Avatar – Part 3: Future of the avatar

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Rocking the Metaverse introduces live music to Twinity

For about the last month, Koinup has been sponsoring the Rocking the Metaverse tour, the 1st ever cross-world music tour. Fittingly, the tour ended today in Twinity, making it the first ever live music event to hit the somewhat new virtual world. Twinity has a realistic take on virtual worlds, modeling its spaces after real world locations with the first being a replica of Berlin. A virtual Singapore and London are also on the way.

Dizzy Banjo rocks out in Berlin

Dizzy Banjo rocks out in Berlin

Second Life music stars Dizzy Banjo, Grace Mcdunnough, Slim Warrior and DoubleDown Tandino have been traversing the metaverse, bringing live music to Second Life, OpenSim, Metaplace and now Twinity. It’s been a groundbreaking tour, bringing fans of the musicians in Second Life across several virtual world platforms and now introducing the live music event to Twinity.

Folks in the virtual world business that I’ve talked to in the past sometimes speak of a future where there are no individual virtual worlds, just one main interface that all users connect to and interact. While this virtual “new world” will likely never come into existence as it is envisioned, Rocking the Metaverse is a good demonstration of a way that seperate clients can link and share content.

And as for Twinity, there is no news yet but I suspect the tour stop today will lead in to more live music events for the platform. Live music has been such a big part of the virtual world landscape that it seems only natural it should be brought into a fledgling one, especially one that is realistically modeled after real world locations. Imagine seeing your favorite band playing a concert in Singapore and you don’t even have to leave your laptop. While this may be the final stop for Rocking the Metaverse, it certainly isn’t the final stop in expanding the live music experience in virtual worlds.

Chase Straight

Music Community Manager

The Electric Panda Blog

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