Skipmenu Press Kit (Hong Kong)
Hong Kong Startup Exposes Companies Hiding Behind Hotline Mazes
What is Skipmenu?
Skipmenu is the app that kills all hotlines. It’s the fastest, easiest way to call customer service.
Ever called a company in desperation, only to be hit with a labyrinth of robot voice recordings telling you to “press 1” for this and “press 2” for that?
Skipmenu helps you skip through automated hotline menus in seconds by showing all the options on your Android or iPhone screen. Quickly tap through the options, and Skipmenu will connect you directly to customer support — on average 7x faster than usual.
Skipmenu has mapped over 800 hotlines from corporations in Hong Kong, including consumer “favourites” like HSBC, Bank of China, Standard Chartered, DBS, Manulife, AXA, AIA, Cathay Pacific, Dragonair, Octopus, MTR, PCCW, ThreeHK, China Mobile, SF Express, and Hong Kong Immigration Department.
“Calling companies is a real problem, but it’s not going away. When they added email support, we still had to call. Then they added live chat, we still had to call. Then they added social media, we still had to call. If you look at the stats, an overwhelming majority are calling more than anything else,” explained Chloe Chan, head of growth. “Corporations think these incredibly complicated phone menus will solve callers’ problems, but this just creates a group of irritated, angry customers who then proceed to vent their frustrations on social media.”
At less than 9 MB (the size of 4 photos), Skipmenu is one of the lightest apps today. “I hate apps that are big, bloated and useless. That’s why Skipmenu is small, secure and so simple, even my grandma uses it,” explained Gabriel Chan, the founder CEO. “It doesn’t run in the background or slow down your phone. It could save you over 2 hours a month in airtime. Even if you have a voice plan, no one likes wasting time listening to a robot.”
The Skipmenu app is comparable to an antivirus against automated phone menus that cost callers time, money and frustration.
The startup’s vision is to eventually replace all automated phone attendants with a visual interface, helping callers reach the customer service they deserve.
Skipmenu is based out of the Swire Blueprint Accelerator in Hong Kong, with an engineering lab in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Why did you make Skipmenu?
The idea was conceived when Gabriel was working at his previous startup back in 2013 — he and his team was struggling to do something as simple as ordering pizza. The idea was put on steroids after his close friend was diagnosed with a terminal illness in 2014. He should have been resting, but instead was forced to go through the stressful, frustrating experience of calling all sorts of hotlines, ranging from hospitals to insurance companies. This ordeal made it clear that telephony customer service is ripe for a revolution.
Who’s Behind Skipmenu?
Skipmenu was created by a team of serial entrepreneurs from Canada and Hong Kong, united by a passion to deliver value through technology.
As Skipper-in-Chief, Gabriel deeply understands every aspect of the business and oversees overall development and strategy.
Gabriel is an avid inventor and passionate technocrat. Among the technical startups he co-founded and led were social bookmarking app Soeie, collaborative notebook platform Thinkpanda, sports-betting decision-support system Sportschimp, a peer-to-peer marketplace for school notes and exam prep material Notewagon, and cross-platform classroom and lecture management suite Coursemodo, those technology was bought in 2014 by a Fortune-500 multinational in a bid to enter the edtech space.
Gabriel graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Sciences from Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo in Canada.
As CTO, Amine leads the development effort necessary for delivering a robust and consistent experience across different web and mobile devices with millions of users.
Amine has been coding since he first touched a computer, and has since worked in security, artificial intelligence, speech recognition, and gaming. He built one of the world’s first autonomous bots for first-person shooter video games, one of the first voice-controlled car stereo systems, and one of the first real-time multi-device education technology platforms. Amine fixes bugs he encounters, contributing to open source communities like Linux or co-ordinating with companies fix their issues.
Amine graduated from Software Engineering at the University of Ottawa with extensive experience in full life cycle software development process.
As head of growth, Chloe leads operational and strategic aspects to marketing and partnerships worldwide.
Chloe is an expert on social media marketing on WeChat, Weibo, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Periscope, on which she was an early adopter featured on the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. As a teenager, she was immersed in the world of online marketing and began to explore the commercial potential. At age 15, she founded Eyecandys.com, an e-commerce cosmetics business that she grew to 70,000 customers. Chloe further honed her expertise on data-driven optimization as the head of growth for various e-commerce businesses, including Petitecherry.com, Sweetymagic.com, Pinkicon.com and Joshin.com.hk.
Skipmenu is a smartphone app serving visual phone menus. Skipmenu helps callers skip through automated phone menus in seconds by showing all the options on the screen. Released in 2016 May, Skipmenu offers users access to thousands of hotlines, growing daily. Skipmenu is available on iOS and Android in Canada and Hong Kong, and is expanding soon to the United States, United Kingdom, and Singapore.
“A truly killer app? Hong Kong-designed ‘hotline killer’ avoids hanging on phone forever”— 19 May, 2016 by the South China Morning Post.
“Taking the torment out of customer helpline calls” — 2 Jun, 2016 by Tech in Asia.
“A phone directory hack app” — 19 Jul, 2016 by China Daily Asia.
“6 New Apps That Will Make Your Life Easier” — 21 June, 2016 by Sassy Hong Kong.
“Hong Kong’s first ‘hotline killer’ app lets you skip the audio menus and get straight to a human” — 15 June, 2016 by Coconuts Hongkong.
“Skipmenu Exposes Companies Hiding Behind Call Centre Menus” — 28 June, 2016 by Startups HK.
“Interview with Skipmenu, an app that kills all hotlines” — 30 Jul, 2016 by Jumpstart Magazine.
“Skip Hong Kong’s Touch Tone Menus & Strap a Subwoofer to Your Wrist” — 30 June, 2016 by HK Magazine.
“The Best Smartphone Apps for Hong Kong” — 24 May, 2016 by the HK Hub.
“Skipmenu Aims to Save Your Time Calling Hong Kong Hotline Numbers” — 19 May, 2016 by Expats.hk.
Media Kit Goodies — photos, videos and GIFs
All the assets here can be downloaded in high resolution on Dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/f9sohlnufsd85tt/AACO8woMfguuxByz_EdDgDtva?dl=0
Skipmenu Calling HSBC Hotline 7X Faster Video
Product Images (Android)
Product Images (iPhone)
App Store Screenshots
Hate automated phone menus telling you to press 1 & press 2? Skipmenu shows simple visual menus of customer service hotlines. Save time and reach a live rep 5x faster!
Skipmenu is the FASTEST way to call customer service. We turn robot voice phone menus into interactive text versions that you can SEE, not HEAR.
Skipmenu is simple:
1. Dial any phone number from the app, keypad or contacts **
2. If the number has a menu, we’ll show it.
3. Select your menu options. Hit “Dial.”
4. Sit back and relax!
Skipmenu is useful when you don’t have time to waste. Need to call to change or cancel a flight booking? Search the airline in our built-in Phone Directory, tap your desired options and we’ll connect you to the customer service agent in 30s or less.
Our action-packed features get you through customer service hell:
- One-stop Phone Book: comes with 1000+ company phone numbers, so you never waste time looking them up. Includes banks, internet/TV/cable/mobile providers, airlines, insurance companies, government agencies, and more!
- 100% Secure: inputs and actions are encrypted and totally anonymous.
- Save Money: actual call only starts AFTER you’ve selected your menu options, so you don’t waste your billed minutes or airtime.
- Multi-language: we have English, Traditional and Simplified Chinese phone menus.
- Auto-launch: visual menu automatically loads if the number you’re calling has one. Skipmenu doesn’t need to run in the background. Just download, open the app once, then forget it!
Ready to say goodbye to the robot voice?
Skip menus with Skipmenu — you’ll never want to call customer service without it!