This post is part of an occasional series on the AppExchange as Salesforce.com celebrates the seventh anniversary of its launch. The series will focus on some of the most interesting AppExchange applications of the last year.
Tango Card is another clever idea enabled for the AppExchange. Like some other ideas, this one helps to reduce business friction and enables vendors and customers to work better together.
At its simplest, Tango Card is a small gift distribution system but on a deeper level it is a customer service and support system that addresses problems long left untreated because the solution was once more expensive than the original problem. Tango Card provides users with a simple method of making small gifts of, say, five or ten dollars. This approach to gifting is being adopted by technology vendors to thank webinar participants for attending, to acknowledge a service shortfall and make amends with customers and by healthcare organizations to help tie incentives to healthy decisions, for example.
Making such a small gift once required going to a retail store and buying a gift card. The whole process could eat up valuable time that few people in business wanted to invest. But these small gifts are ideal for acknowledging someone’s value, for instance as an appreciation for something well done, which means there’s a need going unfilled.
Today, many companies use Starbucks cards as small spiffs for employees or partners. But what if the recipient is not a fan or doesn’t drink coffee? Tango Card solves this problem in a clever and unique way.
Each Tango Card is convertible into a range of gift cards so that the receiver can get something meaningful without a huge investment in time and effort by the donor. Currently Tango Cards are convertible into gift cards for Amazon, Nike, REI and Facebook as well as Starbucks — 20 different suppliers in all. And recipients also have the choice of donating the value of the card to charities — nine of the top non-profits so far and more are in the works. So now, when a company as small as a local real estate agency wants to thank someone for a lead, for example, it can simply give a Tango Card.
The Salesforce system provides the online backbone that enables subscribers to make purchases and direct them to recipients. Billing is tied to the user’s Tango Card account so what used to be a time consuming process can be handled in a few seconds from a desktop. Equally important, the Tango Card system uses the Salesforce reporting engine to help users track their spending and analyze its effectiveness.
In the near term CEO and founder, David Leeds, expects to begin involving neighborhood retailers in Tango Card offers to make them even more relevant to recipients.
The possibilities for this kind of gifting are very big and while it might be hard to say how it will unfold, it is nearly certain that without the ingenuity of Tango Card and the flexibility of the AppExchange, this solution would still be only a concept.