A few weeks ago, TechHive published a headline that captures the anxiety and ickiness customers feel when talking to businesses. “It’s 2019. Why Can’t You Cancel Cable TV Online?”
It’s not just cable. Plenty of businesses, from doctor offices to internet service providers, do a poor job of communicating with customers. Between phones, emails, social media, review sites, and forms, companies are not responding fast enough—or at all.
Moreover, none of those methods are the ones customers want to use, nor do they make customers feel valued. PwC reports that 82 percent of consumers want more direct human interaction. Combine that with the reality that people overwhelmingly prefer text to email or voice. More than 80 percent read texts from businesses within five minutes, yet seldom answer an email or return a call.
That begs the question: Shouldn’t talking to a business be as simple as texting a friend?
How Peoplocity Prioritizes the Customer in Customer Experience
That’s what George Klein, founder and CEO of Peoplocity, is making a reality. As a serial entrepreneur, Klein saw customers encountering so much friction when trying to talk to businesses, it was easier for them to vent on social media.
“You make a phone call and get an automated phone attendant, get jerked around for 25 minutes till you finally get a human, and you’re so irritated you could scream,” he says. So Klein founded Peoplocity to build a two-way messaging platform for businesses that puts the customer in charge of how the conversation will go.
“You can just text your message and go on with your life, like you do with your buddy who you’re trying to find out if you’re going to have a beer with tonight,” he says. “Take away the friction. Better outcome.”
What’s Good for Customers Is Good for Businesses
This isn’t to say Peoplocity isn’t providing value to businesses. Quite the contrary. Customers send messages through their personalized mobile app, which Peoplocity’s platform delivers to the right person within each business. Then, businesses can proactively tell customers about updates, events, alerts, and more right through their mobile app.
“We also help the business route those messages more efficiently, answer those messages, and learn from the aggregate information of those messages,” Klein says. In fact, it was providing this value to businesses that inspired Executive VP Cathy Langlois to join Peoplocity.
“I came from a patient care background. We looked at employee satisfaction as a leading indicator of patient satisfaction,” Langlois says. “I was constantly working with departments on employee satisfaction and employee measurement, knowing it was an indicator of what was going to happen with our patient satisfaction.”
For Langlois, a communications platform that empowers both sides of the customer experience is a no-brainer. “I see it as a great differentiator for any business. It’s improving the customer experience in working with whatever systems you have, making it truly two-way.”
A Prime Opportunity for Midwest Tech Talent
As part of the slew of new tech companies in Indianapolis churning out ambitious ideas and creating new jobs in the Midwest, Peoplocity has already earned company-to-watch status. The startup has earned nominations two years in a row for the TechPoint Mira Awards, which celebrate “The Best of Tech in Indiana.”
Klein and Langlois have been meticulous in their growth plan, too. They want to attract the right tech talent. Namely, people who want to take charge of their future by getting in on the ground floor of building disruptive technology. “Someone who’s willing to do what it takes to get the job done,” Langlois says.
“There is room to grow from a developer role to a CTO,” adds Klein. “There is tons of room for growth as we build out the whole technology part of our organization.” And the talent that fulfills such roles? They’ll have the chance to take ownership in the company.
“We have kept aside equity since we didn’t have a founding technology person.” It’ll be a challenge with plenty on the horizon, but those challenges mean potentially career-defining accomplishments.
AI, Native React, and More
“Moving forward, AI is on the horizon,” Klein says. “We’re careful about it because again, when you think about your experience, there is nothing worse than a machine on the other end trying to guess what you want and getting it wrong,” he adds, pointing out that voice assistants like Siri still blunder on occasion. “The good news about our technology is because we’re getting all this data, we can learn the things that can be answered quickly.”
Also on the horizon is a move to Native React so larger businesses can easily brand Peoplocity’s app. And there’s still tons more to do on the business side, such as proactively sending out group communications to get ahead of customer and stakeholder issues. “That’s our latest big feature,” Klein says.
The Leadership and Culture at Peoplocity
From designing, developing, building and operating successful restaurants, clubs, and sports facilities, to reviving a 50-year-old failing furniture business, Klein is a seasoned serial entrepreneur who sees immense opportunity in Indianapolis’ burgeoning tech industry.
To seize that opportunity, Peoplocity emphasizes a fast, agile environment fastened together through open communication. “Everybody in our organization has input into the short-term and long-term of direction and vision of the company,” Klein says. In fact, that’s how he and Langlois work so well together. “Cathy is the perfect complement to my CEO-ship.”
“George is always thinking strategically, looking ahead,” Langlois said. That visionary quality aligns well with her operational superpowers. “He is always exploring new and different ideas. ‘This is what we have to work with, this is what we’re going to do. How do we creatively get there?’”
Klein sees that peanut-butter-and-jelly dynamic in Peoplocity’s leadership as a key driver of the company’s culture. Not to mention, something that organically creates accountability. “Cathy has the ability to take everything in and keep us focused on what we still have to get done today and out the door tomorrow,” he says.
See Yourself Thriving at Peoplocity?
If you’re excited by Peoplocity’s culture and vision for revolutionizing customer experience, then George and Cathy would love to hear from you. Reach them here, or follow Peoplocity on Twitter or LinkedIn to be among the first to see job posts.