02/17/2011 03:40 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Tello Lets You Give Customer Service Feedback Instantly

This post is part of a new series from HuffPostTech, Socialized, that will profile a different social startup--from apps to services to websites--every day. Want to be featured on the site? Email us about your startup, which should have a social media component and be less than two years old, at

With instantaneous feedback by mobile or web, Tello is like a revamped Yelp that helps companies, as well as consumers, improve their experience.

What it is:
Optimized for mobile use, the Tello app lets customers give instant feedback for the shops, restaurants, and other businesses they interact with, on the go. For companies, it provides quick, easily accessible opinions, in realtime, that help them improve their services.

Tello aggregates ratings for specific employees at specific locations, so that customers inform themselves before making their decisions, and companies can see how their employees are doing. Unlike other feedback sites, Tello lets companies harness the power of crowdsourcing to hone in on the strengths and weakness of their operations, while also engaging the public to promote better customer relationships.

How it works:

The app's simple interface provides users with "Ratings," "Search," and "Rate Nearby" buttons that let them instantly rate or look up businesses in the area. Using the GPS-enabled Localeze to aggregate business listings, consumers can rate not only the business itself, but the specific employee they interact with. A customer could give a simple thumbs up or down to the cafe, while still sitting there, and add a brief comment if he feels like it.

Businesses can pay for a dashboard letting companies see how their different employees rank in the Tello system, or more broadly, get a peek into the realtime results of customers passing through. Customers can even request that businesses respond to their comment, opening up a dialogue between them.

Why you'd use it:

Tello is designed for on-the-go, instantaneous use--it doesn't promote the lengthy replies that a Yelp does, but instead, makes it super simple for anyone to give their 30-second impression by phone. Users can also check their own profile when they're out if they need to remember how they felt about a certain establishment. Reviews can also be shared via Twitter and Facebook.

For businesses, Tello has the potential to tap into hugely useful data, both simple and specific. Specific employees can get feedback directly from the people they serve. Tello empowers both customer and company to deal with real problems, or offer well-deserved praise.

Tello founder Joe Beninato puts it this way on his blog: "I've often wanted to thank someone for doing a great job for me by letting their boss know, but finding their boss is really hard. I've also often wanted to give some feedback about how someone could have done a better job, but the fear of a confrontation always took over." The idea apparently originated from the truck bumper stickers that say something like, "How Am I Driving? Call 1-800-BUS-BABY"--Tello is a virtual bumper sticker for every employee.

How to get it: Visit to see the service for yourself. Tello is available as both iPhone and Android apps.

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