work culture

Influx Year in Review: 2017

Photo of Michael De Wildt
by   Michael De Wildt
December 21, 2017

2017 highlights:

  • We’re up to 100 staff!
  • Launched cryptocurrency support
  • Launched live chat support as a service
  • New rostering tools
  • Phone support coming in 2018 — request here

Goodbye 2017, hello 2018!

Influx turned four years old in December. From our early roots as a niche tech support business, we’re now helping companies in cryptocurrency, video streaming, gaming, collaborative travel, CDNs, network monitoring, and influencer marketing — plus many more!

Few if any of these markets existed ten years ago, and it’s exciting to see us helping these companies succeed.

Our clients are also based all around the world. We’re working with companies in the US, Canada, UK, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Israel, Italy, Switzerland, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand. As an internal milestone, we’ve figured out how to reach, onboard, and retain clients globally.

eCommerce, SaaS, and tech support continue to be our main focuses, but we’re starting to help in new areas, too. Native app support and pre-sales are two fascinating areas where we’re just scratching the surface.

Something is clear to me as I look at our end of year metrics: support as a service is working.

Our product is a combination of people and technology. We build recruiting and management networks to find, train, retain, and coordinate the best people. We then develop technology that connects to our clients’ help desks to better match people with the needs of our clients (in real time).

We’re proudly pro-human. Though we think AI powered support will happen eventually — maybe in 5 to 10 years — for our clients, tech augmented support by smart humans is the best solution. That’s what we deliver.

Our people are central to everything we do. 80% of our remote staff have worked with us for more than eight months. For a growing business, that number was higher than I expected. Our happiest clients always reference our people by name as a reason for working with us.

Last year, we talked about providing consistently high quality customer service. This year, we actually did it, proving that all types of businesses can create value by investing in their support teams.

This case study we published four months ago shows how our clients are thinking differently about their conversational investments.

Michelle at Manly Bands is building their business faster by investing in customer service. Support isn’t an afterthought; it’s a premeditated growth channel. It’s driving referrals and positive reviews. Their company is profitable and taking on Amazon directly.

I think we’re moving into a world where more online businesses are going to be thinking strategically about their customer conversations. This means founders and managers will be investing more time and energy into improving their conversational experiences.

I believe Influx is perfectly placed to become a strategic partner with more companies — big and small. We’re not just helping with faster and better responses; we’re helping drive revenue and growth.

With that in mind, we just updated our primary selling proposition on our homepage:

We want to help more online businesses grow faster through excellent, 24/7 customer service.

Our 2018 plans will continue on that trend (more on that later on in the blog post).

But enough about the future! Here are some of the highlights from this year.

We’re up to 100 staff

We hire our teams in Indonesia, Jamaica, and Kenya. We chose these regions because we found we could find the best people there, we didn’t have to ‘untrain’ them from bad habits learned in traditional call centers, and it gave us 24/7 coverage while allowing everyone to work regular hours.

This model works. Many of our people are advancing their careers as well: Agents are moving into ops management, marketing, analytics, and account management roles.

Cryptocurrency support

Bitcoin is exploding, and so are the businesses building experiences to make buying, selling, and holding Bitcoin easier.

We now have more than 20 agents and managers who understand cryptocurrency markets. Their knowledge makes it easier for us to deliver 24/7 customer service for these types of companies.

Better rostering software

We’ve identified support inbox zero as something that all of our clients want. 100% inbox zero requires agents to be actively logged in 100% of the time. To do this, we needed to build better rostering tools.

Our new rostering application sits inside our ‘people app’ which normalizes data from all the major help desks and lets us create our own management tools. These tools make it easier for both agents and managers to work more effectively. They also make it easier to manage the managers and coordinate our entire workforce.

Live chat support as a service

In May, we published our own live chat success stats and made live chat support available to our clients. Live chat support as a service is now available to all companies.

We’re also testing new pricing models. We’ve found the range of chat experience expectations to be a huge success across all company types.

If you’re interested in live chat or you want a quick demo, get in touch with us.

Easier invoicing

We’ve identified the need for clients to see all responses associated with their monthly bill. To do this, we recreated our invoicing tab to make it easy to grab invoices and see all responses associated with each invoice.

If you have an account already, check out the new invoicing area here.

What’s coming in 2018

Perhaps our most requested feature after live chat has been phone support. Similar to live chat, everyone’s idea of what they want from a phone experience can be quite different, so we’re going slowly make phone support available to a small group of clients in the new year.

If you’re interested in joining our phone support beta group, get in touch with us.

We still have one more week

While it’s fun to look back at the last year and think about next year, it’s also important to look at what’s happening right now; and currently, we’re in the busiest support season of the year. Our eCommerce clients are seeing a big wave of holiday-related tickets. Our software clients are taking their own holidays, and they expect us to step in and manage their help desks in the meantime.

I wanted to end with a big thank you to all of our agents and managers who are currently getting us through this busy period. Thanks, everyone! You’re making tens of thousands of people successful this holiday season. Not many people can say that 😁

Can Support as a Service help your business?

About the author

Photo of Michael De Wildt

Michael De Wildt

Co-founder and Chief Delivery Officer hard at work, ensuring Influx exceeds client expectations. Radical Candor is his management bible. Outside the office, he is a kitesurfer and a snowboarder.