Going global from day one
How Annex Products partnered with Influx to become a global leader in smartphone mounting systems
The 5-person team behind Annex Products made a strategic decision to focus their management energy on growth and distribution. They asked Influx to help with customer support operations. The Quad Lock case is now a top-selling iPhone mounting system globally, with customers in 160 countries.
How would you describe your business in a couple of sentences?
Quad Lock® is the lightest, strongest and most secure smartphone mounting system on the market. We have a patented dual stage locking mechanism that makes it possible for a single case to provide a mounting solution for cycling, running, driving and much more.
How does creating a better customer experience fit into your broader business goals?
We originally grew our business through direct customer sales, and as a small team we were able to deliver a very personal customer experience. Now as the business scales maintaining this connection with customers and offering a consistent experience is extremely important and the reason why so many of our customers return.
Being a small team in a fast growing business, Influx gives us the ability to scale up support when needed without the need for extra head count.
How does working with Influx create a better experience for your customers?
As an Australian based global business, the bulk of our online sales and communications happen while we sleep, so Influx is able to support our customers 24/7 with fast accurate responses.
How important is scalability to your business success?
Being a small team in a fast growing business, Influx gives us the ability to scale up support when needed without the need for extra head count. This is a huge advantage and allows us to concentrate on growing the business and making great products.
What tools do you use to scale quickly as a business?
Part of our success to date has been the ability to leverage tools and services to achieve results that only a couple of years ago were the domain of large multi nationals. For example, Xero accounting software operating in 6 different currencies, Braintree and PayPal to accept and hold payments in local currencies, Shipwire to fulfil orders all over the world and Influx for customer support.
What types of things have you been able to accomplish while Influx has handled your support operations?
Being able to concentrate on the business has enabled us to grow our product offering, geographical markets and distribution to a point where Quad Lock is now sold in over 100 countries every month.
When do you think a company should look at working with a company like Influx?
For a startup company, there’s a lot to learn from your customers, especially in the early days. In saying this I still see Influx as a great service to bring in early as part of the overall customer support strategy, because like with most things in life and business, much of customer support subscribes to the 80/20 rule. Influx can take care of the 80% and startups can learn from the 20%. The other reason for working with Influx early is that it’s better to build a dam before the flood.
Much of customer support subscribes to the 80/20 rule. Influx can take care of the 80% and startups can learn from the 20%.
How did you handle support operations before Influx?
In the early days it was myself and my cofounder working out of a shared email account which is safe to say didn’t really work. From there we started using Zendesk and hiring staff to better service our customers.
How does you company run support while still working with Influx?
Nowadays, everyone in the business is plugged into Zendesk including Influx. This works well, as at any time, customer requests can be assigned to the appropriate employees with internal notes, and communications are fully tracked. Nowadays I do very few “tickets” but can be involved when needed and have helped writing macro responses that can be used by the whole team when needed. Every month, we look at a Zendesk report that shows us how our support is tracking from customer satisfaction to response time. This is now even more important when less involved in support as it keeps us across any potential issues and it keeps us in touch with the experience of our customers.