Argentinian Startup DebMedia is hoping to put an end to the hours spent waiting to talk to a human being at a customer service centre. Argentina Reports spoke to co-founder Juan Martín Balan about how something so frustrating can be improved with just a small injection of technology.
“There are help centres in which customers have to wait up to two hours in places where they can’t even use their phone, and they are stuck within four walls,” Balan said. “Nowadays, the solution is technologically very simple.”
For Balan and co-founder Nicolas Demner, the idea started as a way to manage traditional queue-management to optimise waiting time in customer service centres.
“We, the founders, realised two years ago that the product as is wasn’t satisfying the needs of our clients in all areas,” Balan explained. “It’s for that reason that we started creating the ‘Client Experience Automatisation’ as a more global and comprehensive concept.”
For example, DebMedia provides companies with the ability to streamline their waiting system, first of all by allowing clients to book appointments online. Then, when they arrive, they can follow the progress of the wait-time on their mobiles in real time, allowing them to run to the shops or pop to the cafe without the dread of them being called in their absence and missing their appointment.
This, along with DebMedia’s other innovative client experience improvements, means that clients are happier and less frustrated from the beginning of their experience with the company. The two parties, both company and client, are better able to communicate and have the opportunity to understand each other without extra frustrations getting in the way.
“It allows the companies to automate their customer experience processes and learn from the results,” Balan told us. “This frees up many unnecessary resources and personalises the client experience without supervision.”
For businesses, Client Experience Management (CEM) is becoming increasingly important as our obsessive review-culture can have serious consequences. Through the safe, faceless world of the internet, a complaint can easily transmorph into a raging rant with a satisfying flourish of a one-star review to conclude it. One bad review could have a real impact on a small business, dragging down the average review to average, or, worse still, poor.
However, the opposite is also true. For each service a person needs, they have a panoply of choices at their fingertips, and in order to choose just one, many will fall back on the reviews, and how good the customer service is. Using DebMedia’s innovative tech solutions to improve customer experience could be a real boost to a company.
As technology enters all spheres within the modern world, we asked Balan if he thought that with the advent of chatbots people would prefer speaking through technology rather than with a real person. Although he admitted that some prefer online help, he maintained that for now at least, humans play a large part in CEM.
“We think that for a few more years, clients will prefer to some extent -and depending on their level of satisfaction or anger- to speak with a person face-to-face,” he explained. “Of course, our job is to create an optimal distribution between digital and face-to-face clients.”
DebMedia is an Argentinian company but has been flitting around the South American continent to grow their business. They are currently a part of StartupChile, a seed accelerator with over 1,300 startups to date, and last month were mentioned in Parallel18, a five-month acceleration program based in Puerto Rico. Despite this most recent mention, Balan said that they would stay in Chile for the time being.
“We see Chile as a super-attractive country where startups are supported and very well received,” he said.
They are not the only Argentinian startup to fly the nest in search of better opportunities, as education portal startup Wisboo have also worked in both Chile and Puerto Rico.
“We are from Argentina, Argentina has a great startup ecosystem but the conditions in the surrounding market are not so good,” co-founder Ezequiel Carlsson told us in a video interview. “I think Chile has developed a great ecosystem for startups to thrive and get a boost in their environment, with a lot of help from the government. We found out that Puerto Rico has an amazing market as well, thanks to Parallel18 that uses funds from the government but is developed by startup people. So [for the best startup ecosystem in Latin America] I’d go for Chile or Puerto Rico I think.”
However, Fidori.com, CNBC and Techflier all place Buenos Aires in the top five for best Startup Cities in Latin America, and Argentina is showing much promise in the development of innovative startups, even if many of them do head overseas.