Blog post by Bob Thompson on March 19, 2014
Since starting my business in 1998, I’ve shifted more and more of my computing to what we now call The Cloud. Email distribution, accounting, even our community web site is hosted on virtual servers these days. I really have no idea what the physical infrastructure looks like.
Terms like ASP, on-demand and SaaS have come and mostly gone, but the Cloud seems here to stay. The only physical computer you find now at CustomerThink HQ is my trusty laptop.
I even wrote an article about this trend, using the term LSEDIT — Let Someone Else Do IT. Because even though I have a tech background, having worked at IBM for 15 years, as a business owner I really don’t care about technology, only what it can do for my business.
Simply put: I want to use cloud-based services to level the playing field, to compete with bigger companies that have the resources needed to manage servers and other computing infrastructure.
Still, I’ve had to individually select and manage each of these services over the years. And in some cases, cloud-based services were not really designed for small businesses. I’ve suffered through some bad experiences using software designed for large enterprise techies, when I wanted something simple that “just worked.”
Sensing an opportunity to serve business owners and entrepreneurs like me, in 2005 Martin Senn co-founded Davinci Virtual Office Solutions to provide virtual work environments for SMBs. Through Davinci, you can offer customers a high-quality contact center experience, including receptionist services and web chat, without investing in the infrastructure. More on that in a moment.
Of course, sometimes you need physical locations for meetings or to appear more credible in a certain market. To solve that problem, Davinci also offers virtual office addresses and meeting spaces.
Speaking with Senn, it’s clear that a high-quality customer experience was engineered into their business strategy from Day One. If you want call center services, for example, you’ll get Davinci-trained employees, not some generic outsourcer. Impressively, this approach has earned the firm 15,000 customers.
That principle extends to Davinci’s online strategy, too. When visitors hit the web site, Davinci wants the experience to easy and proactive. In 2006, the company began using a chat solution from LivePerson, one of the big players in this space. Visit the Davinci site and you’ll see what I mean — a chat window pops up offering a conversation with a live agent.
Nice, but hardly ground breaking these days. However, the next stage in their digital experience strategy started about 18 months ago, using new analytics capabilities in LivePerson’s LiveEngage platform. Now the chat offers can be triggered more intelligently, using rules.
For example, chat sessions could be tailored to help confused prospects dwelling on an FAQ page. Or, to nudge a repeat visitor to buy with a discount. Senn says that this analytics-driven approach has boosted conversions by 3-4 percentage points — huge in an online business. They also have realized an increase in chat interactions, which just goes to show that relevant offers are more likely to stimulate engagement.
This chat technology clearly has helped Davinci’s business. But they didn’t stop there. Senn says they are rolling out the new chat solution to Davinci’s customers, which could help them improve their digital experiences.
Kudos to Senn and his partner for making customer experience a central theme in their business strategy, and for constantly innovating to help serve their clients. I just wish they had existed in 1998!