DALLAS, Sept. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Mark Bunting, a successful serial entrepreneur and veteran technology C-Suite marketing executive, today announced the launch of Grata, a first-of-its-kind social media platform that connects frontline service employees with customers and employers, creating deep, long-lasting connections that fuel topline growth, accelerate careers, deepen customer experiences and spread gratitude.
Leveraging best practices from social media platforms like Uber, Indeed and LinkedIn, Grata gives cashiers, grocery baggers, health care workers, baristas, restaurant professionals, auto repair technicians, retail sales associates and other front-of-house workers an opportunity to document their successes while simultaneously building their own book of business.
Through Grata, which is free for employees and customers, employees can network, showcase their great deeds and highlight their value proposition like their white-collar contemporaries have for years via social media platforms like LinkedIn.
When customers use the Grata app, they can show their gratitude for good customer service by providing positive ratings for employees while building a portfolio of great service employees they want to use again and again and even earn points and rewards. In some instances, customers will have the option to tip for exceptional service.
Employers will have the ability to purchase access to customer experience tools and employee performance data via a SaaS (software as a service) API integration, allowing businesses to connect more deeply with customers, recognize great employee performance, incentivize and retain staff and drive customer experience and growth.
“COVID-19 is transforming the retail environment and heightening every touchpoint between front-facing employees and customers,” said Bunting, who most recently served as Global CMO at Rackspace and earlier in his career founded SkyTV. “Businesses can’t afford to ignore their most valuable employees—clerks, retail sales associates and others who serve as their most visible brand ambassadors. Low-touch and no-touch are redefining the very meaning of ‘service,’ so it is imperative we have tools to engage and monitor while providing the recognition and documentation of the great efforts of customer-facing employees.”
Bunting got the idea for the social platform after a positive experience visiting a Home Depot. On his way out of the store, he stopped by the manager’s counter to compliment the associate who helped him, but the manager wasn’t there, and Bunting realized that there was no mechanism to ensure that his praise reached the right audience. Bunting also wished he had some way of connecting with the associate in the future, so that he could continue to seek out his advice whenever he visited the store.
With Grata, short for gratitude and Italian for grateful, Bunting recognized that employers would now have a platform to proactively search out highly rated talent, such as cashiers or mechanics and even filter by seeking only the highest rated performers, such as a 4.5 rating or greater, whom they’d gladly pay a premium to find and invest in for the long term.
In the United States, there are approximately 80 million service-sector employees—a $3.42 billion addressable market. But surprisingly little customer generated performance data exists on these frontline workers. What’s more, service-sector jobs have some of the highest employee turnover rates. Grata’s employee data and analytics via API integration provide companies with access to otherwise unavailable insights, allowing them to invest in employees who routinely go above and beyond, helping to drive revenue growth and reduce expenses associated with hiring and training new staff.
Operating like a mix between Uber, Indeed and LinkedIn, Grata is a new app that gives clerks, retail sales associates and other service-sector employees an opportunity to network, showcase their experience and highlight their value proposition. With Grata, employees can create profiles, and customers share their gratitude via a rating system. The higher the rating, the more ROI they demonstrate to their employers. Like most social media platforms, Grata is always free for employees and customers. The company earns revenue by charging employers 99 cents per employee, per month to purchase API integration with data and analytics, allowing businesses to monitor employee performance, incentivize staff and drive KPIs through individual accountability.