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253: Interview with Justin Maxwell of Smith.ai & Keypad

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Justin Maxwell of Smith.ai and Keypad joins us for an incredibly informative and in depth interview.  Most recently the design lead for Google’s Android Auto, Justin has designed products and built teams for Google, Apple, Mint (Intuit), Sony, and plenty of startups along the way.  Here are two of Justin's offerings that we discuss on Command Control Power:

-Smith.ai is a superior call answering & intake service for small & solo businesses. Their live, U.S.-based virtual receptionists capture & qualify leads, book new clients, and build better relationships with your existing clients.

-Keypad is the most advanced & affordable cloud phone system for small businesses.  Keypad offers call routing, call analytics, and many customizations to help you track your performance, and convert more leads.

-Justin takes us through not only the story of how he brought these businesses to life but his life at Apple as an interaction designer for Apple.com

-As we talk Smith.ai, Justin describes the look and feel of the site and how it relates to their customers

-Smith.ai acts as your virtual receptionist, to provide a layer between customers and your business.  At the same time, they are able to weed out all of the spam or unnecessary calls.

-Justin was mint.com's first UX hire and gave him good perspective on small businesses and their needs

-Their team essentially followed around small businesses over the course of a Summer to figure out what their needs were and what they found was that phone calls were the biggest pain point

-Instead of being a brick & mortar company, they utilized VoIP technology and highly skilled employees working from their locations

-"It all starts with a phone call"

-Jerry can't imagine running his business without Smith.ai at this point.  Even just not having to answer calls at client sites to try and make a sale

-Smith.ai's system uses machine learning to help the receptionists make the right decisions over the course of a call and provide the correct answers, versus reading from a script

-Joe & Justin discuss their easy to understand pricing as opposed to minute based pricing

-Keypad is an excellent complement to the Smith.ai service.  Instead of using services like Ring Central, Google Voice or Grasshopper, which can add latency to a call, they developed Keypad.

-You can sign up for the beta of Keypad here

-Simplicity is a focus of Keypad because of feedback the team has received about similar service offerings

-Justin discusses analytics to understand when volume is high or knowing when you need additional support

-Jerry mentions a possible higher tier offering for VIP support and how to tie it in to our monthly services plans

-Joe signs up right here on the show!

-Look out for service offerings in the chat space from Justin's team

248: Interview with Jeramy LeCompte and Daniel Allen of FLEXdesk by Rooted Consulting

Topics:

We have the great pleasure of having not one, but two guests on this week.  Jeramy LeCompte and Daniel Allen of Rooted Consulting join us to talk about their outsourced help desk service, FLEXdesk.

 Jeramy lecompte

Jeramy lecompte

 daniel allen

daniel allen

FLEXdesk is a flexible, outsourced HelpDesk service that allows you to quickly and easily scale your business with a highly qualified and experienced team without adding the expenses associated with traditional employees. This allows you to focus on customer support and gives you peace of mind to provide a great customer experience.

-Daniel answers some questions regarding minimum requirements and overall logistics of onboarding new clients

-Jeramy also talks about providing tier 1 and tier 2 support for their customers as well as offering tier 3 when necessary.

-Everyone on the FLEXdesk team has obtained at least Apple Certified Support Professional status

-They discuss the challenges that all teams face when dealing with a new end user that may be unfamiliar with the personnel

-Documentation is key and makes the handoff seamless to the FLEXdesk team

-Some benefits of FLEXdesk:
    -Allows you to free up time to focus on building your business
    -Takes out the need to hire a full time employee
    -Reduces costs in training and on-boarding 

-Scheduling and prioritizing is a critical aspect of how they operate

-Looking to get started?  Email support@rootedconsulting.org to reach out to a member of the team.  Or visit www.rootedconsulting.org/flexdesk

 

213: "Building your Brand" with Erin Bury - Managing Director of Eighty-Eight Agency

Erin Bury is senior agency leader and marketer & former startup journalist. She currently is Managing Director at Eighty-Eight, a Toronto-based creative communications agency that works with technology and consumer clients. Eighty-Eight Agency has appeared in AdWeek, AdAge, and dozens of other publications around the world, and they've worked with clients including Yellow Pages, Torstar, and multiple fast-growing startups.

Prior to Eighty-Eight, Erin was Managing Editor at BetaKit, a publication that reports on startups and innovation. She ran the editorial side, and put together research reports for the BetaKit Insights trend research product. Within months of launching, BetaKit was #32 on Techmeme’s top 100 tech publications in the world. 

Erin Bury is a journalism graduate who writes a column for the Financial Post, and has written for publications including The Globe and Mail, Business Insider, and Marketing Magazine. She comments frequently in the press about marketing and entrepreneurship, and has appeared in publications including The New York Times, Forbes, CNN, Profit, Inc., and Canadian Business. She also is a weekly tech commentator on CTV News.

Erin is a frequent speaker at events across North America, and is represented by the National Speakers Bureau. She has led workshops and hosted events for companies including Price Waterhouse Coopers, Square Canada, Microsoft Canada, and Jenny Craig. 

She was also named one of Marketing Magazine's top 30 Under 30 marketers, journalists & PR pros in August 2012. Find her on Twitter at @erinbury or email erin@eightyeightagency.com.

 

Here is Erin's Workbook - "10 keys to building a great personal brand" that she presented at the recent ACES Conference in Phoenix, AZ

 

 

 

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