I’m fascinated by the origin stories of companies, particularly in the customer service and experience space.
How they came about?
Why they came about?
I remember speaking to Mikel Svane back in 2012 about how he and his colleagues were frustrated at the state of customer service software, how unfriendly and hard to use it was and how they wanted to make it more beautiful and less boring. And that’s what drove Mikkel and his cofounders to start Zendesk.
Their story is not uncommon. Someone sees or experiences something that they don’t like, and they set about building a solution to solve that problem.
So, I thought I was potentially in for the same sort of story when offered the opportunity to chat to Elad Eran, Founder and CEO of Wix Answers, recently to find out more about their story.
However, Wix Answers has a very different origin story as it starts with Wix.com, one of the leading players in the website building platform space.
Eran was the fifth employee at Wix and served as the VP of customer solutions for nearly 12 years. In that time, he built their customer support team from 0 to 1,500 people.
Now, Wix’s approach to customer service has always been self-service led, which is understandable given the nature of their platform, economics and target audience. But, as they scaled their support team, Eran found that none of the tools in the market fit with what they wanted to do.
At the time, they wanted to see what help center articles their customer had been reading, and that couldn’t help them before they escalated their query. They believed this would give them more insight into how their knowledge base was performing and provide more context for their agents regarding the problems that their customers were seeking to solve.
So, driven by necessity, they started to build their own system.
They started with a knowledge base solution, added a connected ticketing system, more channels and a call center facility with inbound, outbound, interactive voice response (IVR) and call-back capabilities. They also built in analytics, smart routing, AI-enablement and elements of workforce management too.
Realizing what they had built, Wix spun out Wix Answers into the market as a stand-alone customer service platform just over a year ago with Eran as its founder and CEO. According to Eran “Now that CX has become such a strategic focus for many businesses, we realized we can help companies solve the same problems we faced at the beginning of our journey and decided to bring Wix Answers to the market.”
But, in an already crowded market, how likely is it that they will become a player?
Well, there are two things that I find really interesting about Wix Answers and their journey so far:
Add to that that Wix Answers continues to support Wix’s customer base of over 180 million users in 17 languages and has acquired their own customer base that now includes MyHeritage, Fiverr, Guesty, Wonderbly, and many more.
So, you could argue that they are already becoming a player.
Will they go further? That remains to be seen. But they are one to watch.
This post was originally published on Forbes.com.
Image credit Emily-Morter on Wunderstock (license)