Being Customer Focused with Tristan Barnum of Voxox

Customer focused

Is your personal mission to keep growing? Do you want to turn your company into a well-oiled machine with scalable, reproducible revenue? Well, the way to do it is simple: focus on the customer.

But everyone says they're customer-focused, right? So how can you do more than say it? As a business owner, how can you make choices that prioritize finding ways to expedite and streamline processes that will ultimately keep your customers happy?

Tristan Barnum has a few suggestions. Tristan is the CMO at Voxox and has made a career of looking at innovative ways to keep consumer needs at the heart of a business.

What common tools, programs, and/or software are forward thinking businesses using?

It's all about next-gen CRM and marketing automation tools (all the good stuff that helps us manage customer relationships) coupled with cutting edge analytics. We want to be able to measure all key areas of the business and then turn on a dime and respond to data we are collecting.

Why is that kind of measurability so important?

You must understand exactly what's happening to be able to execute. With the right mix of tools (Mixpanel/Hubspot/ZenDesk), we've been able to check into what our users want; and then (using Atlassian's Jira) feed that information back to all the departments that make our software and services work.

How have communication practices changed, and how can businesses maximize efficiency in their organizations?

Spam is dead. This means blasting the same email to everyone on your prospect list is not the most effective strategy. We are in an era of personalizing everything. Instead of shouting messages about your company, solve specific challenges for your customers. For example, if someone wants to talk on social media, then you might be better off engaging with them on social media. It's all about paying attention to the preferred channels of your customers. If you do, they'll see you as a company that really gets it. You don't have to win every single customer, but focus on getting the right customers that share your vision and values.

How do cloud communications benefit businesses in their communications ventures, and how would you explain those benefits to a client who isn't familiar with the concept of the cloud?

Today, people are working in blurry ways. Often, when I'm not at work, I'm still working. No one is really unplugged and everyone expects the ability to plug in at any time. I expect to be able to call, text, send a video, or make a conference call wherever I am. When you can find a solution that lets you communicate however you want and reach people the way they want to be reached - wherever you are - you have flexibility so that business opportunities aren't lost. That's a huge benefit of cloud communications.

Another benefit is that, unlike a physical store, your business can control its image and look larger than it is as a result of using the latest and greatest cloud communications tools. If you have a professional phone number for your business, seamless ways to reach your customer-facing staff, a top notch CRM system, etc., your small business can look very slick. Sometimes it can even impress more so than a huge enterprise that has to deal with updating on-premise equipment with a rigid feature set that's too challenging to update quickly. When using cloud-centric technology, your business operations feel modern to you and your customers.

Please explain some positive experiences that either you or your client have had with the following.

VOIP:

VoIP is great all around, be it for cost savings, feature flexibility, or convenience. One great benefit of VoIP is its disaster recovery options. For example, we've heard various stories from customers and partners such as this one:

A business in Florida is using a VoIP phone system. A hurricane hits and disables local infrastructure. However, since the business is leveraging VoIP and cloud-based communications, its customers are still able to call the main business line and are seamlessly routed to a data center in New York, and then just as seamlessly routed out to employees' cell phone numbers. Employees who are able to take calls can keep the day-to-day business dealings up and running. In the event that no one is able to pick up, the voicemail is still fully functional and buys the business some time to address the issues without completely going off the grid.

Hosted PBX:

An early childhood education provider with more than 400 franchised schools nationwide approached Voxox in need of a phone solution. Most staff spend the majority of their time teaching, so the schools had no need for many phone lines; but they did need a phone system to receive incoming calls from parents, placing calls to the corporate headquarters, etc. Some new schools needed a working telephone number while facilities were being built to interact with the local community. Voxox was able to offer the schools a hosted PBX phone system - a reliable, high quality, affordable solution that addressed their needs and allowed them to call other school locations, as well as the corporate office, for free.  Additionally, the local phone numbers could be rerouted to the corporate office while construction was in progress, and then could be transferred back to new schools once construction was complete. Rolling out new schools on the same phone system has been easy and affordable.

Unified Communications:

Everyone has different preferences on how they like to communicate, and this is exactly what we are seeing with our consumer app users who have benefited from the Voxox consumer app's wide range of unified communications features. Our consumer users, typically Millennials ages 19-35, represent the majority of the app's most active users. In recent surveys we conducted on favorite Voxox consumer app features, our users voiced their opinions as follows:
  • Survey respondents are primarily using the app to communicate with friends (as compared to family) both locally and internationally. 52 percent of respondents use the app to call local friends, and 20 percent call friends in another country; as opposed to only 13.8 percent who are calling family in another country or 7.5 percent who are calling local family. Similarly, 58.5 percent of respondents use the app to text local friends, and 21 percent text friends in another country; as opposed to only 7.5 percent who are texting local family or 8.9 percent who are texting family in another country.
  • Voxox users report a crossover in usage. Nearly half of those surveyed (43 percent) not only use Voxox for personal communications, but also use Voxox for work. These findings speak to a bigger trend in which people want to use apps that can suit their needs both at work and in their free time.
  • Voice calling is the favorite feature. In an age where texting has become pervasive, 82 percent of respondents reported that voice calling is the feature they use most within the app. (The Voxox app offers a wide range of capabilities, which include worldwide calling and related voice features, such as a free phone number, call forwarding, voicemail transcription, and much more; as well as worldwide texting, faxing, text language translation, media sharing, group messaging, and more.)

 

A powerful OTT service, Voxox is revolutionizing the way consumers communicate by allowing users to connect with Voxox and non-Voxox contacts alike - without ever having to leave the app. All Voxox-to-Voxox communication is free, as is all inbound communication to Voxox accounts from non-Voxox contacts. Users also receive free credit for their Voxox account, which is topped up every month, allowing a limited amount of outbound communications at no cost.

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