According to Needle, a platform that helps brands identify product experts, when a consumer wants product information and recommendations, they're typically sent to a call center where they receive robotic responses from people who can't help them decide what to purchase. With Needle, however, companies identify their own product experts -- people who use their products and can provide expert advice -- and assign them to customers, making the entire product recommendation and sales process more effective.
Needle points out that a brand's most passionate fans, recruited from social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, will offer better customer service and advice than any call center since they are actually owners and advocates of the product. A company just has to install a Needle button on their product pages and assign a product expert to answer a customer's questions and give advice. This is done through online text, video or voice chats. In return for helping a brand sell its products, experts will earn points; they can then use these points to purchase the brand's products.
According to Needle, a chat with a Needle product expert is "the equivalent of having a personal shopper giving real-time reviews and recommendations to your customers based on rich, interactive dialogues."