Omaha-based Median, a customer support software company focused on making customer interactions fast and in-context, made their public launch today with the beta release of their browser-based screen sharing software.
The tool allows companies to easily see what their customers are doing on their site in real time.
“Initially, our focus was on building a live chat product,” said Median co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Derek Homann. “[Now,] one of the core pieces of functionality for us is the browser-based screen sharing which allows anyone who uses your site or your application to just click one button and immediately see what people are doing in real-time without having to request permission or install software. It’s super lightweight.”
Homann, alongside co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Ben Stevinson, started working on their product full-time in June after they both left Flywheel. They exited their old jobs on a Friday and dove into Median on Monday morning.
Instead of waiting for a full launch of their chat and browser software, they decided to take the core browser-sharing piece of their product and sell it independently outside of their chat product. This enables companies that already subscribe to chat products to use Median’s browser sharing on its own.
Median’s focus is on customer support teams and ways to solve customer issues faster, while also increasing the quality of service a customer can get from existing chat services.
“We’ve seen chat as an option for customer service increase a lot. Many companies nowadays sit down and realize they have issues with actually handling their customer service,” said Stevinson. “They might do what a lot of companies do and [provide a customer support email address or a phone number] but they realize pretty quickly that phone support as a concept is hard to scale and it’s pretty expensive.”
“The ability to lower average handle time while simultaneously improving overall customer satisfaction is going to be a clear win for companies across the board,” said Homann.
Homann and Stevinson started looking at chat support as a pretty significant industry that was growing with a lot of players in the space and recognized that they could add high-value features to what already existed in the industry.
“The more we started talking to people in the industry [and] started talking to people who use and rely on chat, [we found that] they often have a hard time understanding the context that the user is in,” said Stevinson. “What we can actually do is reduce the time that it takes for [support action] to happen by letting the agent actually see the user’s web page.”
By building their screen sharing software to live entirely within a browser, Median’s product is fast to install and use.
The software also provides greater security over full-screen sharing software. Customer support agents can only see what is on the website that has the script installed, not what’s on any other web page or browser window.
“We have really fine grain control about what we’re sending over,” said Stevinson. “We make a promise to all of our customers and their end-users that we will provide the highest levels of security, ensuring their data is protected and they can focus solely on their business at hand.”
Homann and Stevinson said the software works in all browsers and on all mobile operating systems. This is only one piece of the software, though. Eventually Median will be releasing full-desktop screen sharing that can expand on their customer service abilities.
“[In] 2 or 3 months, we’ll make this into a full, stand-alone chat product, so people will actually be able to use the browser-based screen sharing standalone if they use another chat product,” said Homann. “Or they can use our full product which will have our browser-based screen sharing built into it as well as the standard chat product.”
Customers can visit Median’s website and sign up for a 30-day free trial. Homann and Stevinson believe that customers will stick around once they see the software and the value it provides.
“The initial product we tried to build was going to take a while to build before we could sell it,” said Stevinson. “This is a very small part of our software platform but it seems to be the piece that everyone is wanting.”
Homann and Stevinson plan on keeping the company lean while it grows. Median is bootstrapped and benefitting from a prototyping grant provided by the state of Nebraska through the Department of Economic Development.
The co-founders say that starting their software company in the Midwest also adds to their runway.
“Not only can you startup and be successful here, but it’s a good place for the software we’re building,” said Homann.
“I think that it’s a worthwhile place to be, I’ve been doing tech work in town for 4 years and the humans here are so great to be around,” said Stevinson. “Everyone is more than willing to go out of their way to do something really nice for most people. I think that’s something that’s really unique about Nebraska and the startup community.”
Christine McGuigan is the Managing Editor of Silicon Prairie News.