Like every company that works in a B2B space, a lot of inboundli's success depends on providing good and timely support. Achieving this goal depends largely on the amount of resources that we can allocate to it and luckily for us, our friends at ActionBar launched a platform that can fundamentally change the way that companies provide customer support.
ActionBar allows to solve most customer inquiries without the need in FAQs, tutorials, emails and calls. This means higher customer satisfaction and a significant reduction in support costs. Over the past few weeks, we witnessed the power of the platform first hand and took a chance to interview Yohanan Hruschev, the Co-founder of ActionBar.
Before jumping into the interview, here is a brief explanation of how ActionBar works with inboundli:
For example, let’s assume that you would like to sort your social posts chronologically. You can open ActionBar and start typing the word “sort” in the search field. As you type, you will see a few actions that involve the word “sort” in inboundli.
If you select the action to “Sort by time shared in stats”, the tool will go to the Stats page in inboundli, highlight the sorting filter and will switch it to sort by “Time shared”. Once you complete the action, it will return a list of your social posts, sorted chronologically.
If you can’t complete your desired action by using ActionBar, you can open the chat support and still get help from a real person. To do that, you need to click on the text “Open chat support” under ActionBar’s text field.
Now that you know what ActionBar does, checkout the commentary below to learn more about Yohanan and his exciting new company.
Q. Can you provide us with an overview of your background?
A. My background is in Customer Success and Entrepreneurship. While working at a company called Duda, I had the opportunity to manage the Customer Success team in Israel. We operated in three different fields: sales, account management and customer service.
Before joining Duda, I launched and sold two businesses – a pub and a juice shop.
Q. How do you describe ActionBar?
A. ActionBar is a support tool that automatically carries out tasks for users on the web.
Rather than digging inside a website or app for how to do stuff, users just type what they want to do in their own words. ActionBar understands what they mean, and then does it for them.
From the company’s perspective, every time users type something into ActionBar, they essentially fill out a secret feedback form, letting the company know what features they’re looking for that are hard to find, and what features they wish existed.
Q. What inspired you to start ActionBar?
A. Let’s start with my co-founder and CTO, Yuval. Since he was a kid, it deeply bothered him that simple things in software are often frustratingly complicated. The more features there are, the more complicated it gets to use that program.
As for me, while working in Customer Success I was really frustrated that my team members and I wasted time and resources answering simple repetitive “how do I” questions.
The problem is that end-users often get overwhelmed or frustrated on the web because they cannot find functionality. Often, they end up leaving.
Companies lose money because too often they cannot pinpoint the user’s pain points, and end up answering a lot of repetitive support queries. This costs the company a ton of money.
Yuval and I discussed this problem and realized there had to be a better way.
Q. What’s the most difficult thing in running ActionBar?
A. Running any company is hard. You never have enough time to do all the things you want. When it comes to hiring, selling, fundraising and building a good product, it’s hard to combine all of them. When you try to take into account work-life balance, it gets even more complicated.
Good time management and efficiency is crucial to the success of any entrepreneur.
Think about it this way: You have to juggle 3 balls, while on a unicycle, on the edge of a cliff, and it’s actually 17 balls :).
Q. You’ve attended Seedcamp and learned a lot, what advice would you give to SaaS entrepreneurs who are starting now?
A. When starting any company, one of the most important things you can do is learn as much about your field as possible. Talk to as many smart people as you can. Never ever ever be shy to ask for help. Talk to people. Be bold. If someone doesn’t answer your email – follow up, and then again and again… Even if it means you have to follow up six times.
When you do talk to people, ask for intros to other people that they think can help. In the end, a great portion of success is having the right connections and learning from the right people.
Lastly, always try to add value to the people you speak with. What makes the startup community so magical is that it is, by its nature, synergetic. Everybody tries to help everybody.
Q. What can we expect to see from ActionBar in the near future?
A. So many things!
And much much more.
Q. In your opinion, what are the most important trends to watch out for in customer support?
A. Nowadays one of the hottest buzzwords is “Bots”. You hear headlines like “Chatbots are revolutionizing customer support” or “Chatbots will take over customer service”. The interesting thing about it is that chatbots are transactional, they try to “replace” the customer support rep and act like a human being.
What we learned is that most of the people don’t want to interact too long as it “wastes their time.” Why? Because humans have shorter attention span than goldfish, thanks to smartphones. It means people want to ask a question and get an instant answer – they want instant gratification for their need.
And that is exactly where ActionBar comes in, we don’t want to replace humans, but reduce the need for manpower in customer support.
Q. Anything else you’d like to add?
A. I just would like to say to any person that thinks to start his or her own business, any business: Do it. It’s very hard and it’s a real rollercoaster but it’s totally worth it. In the worst case scenario, you will learn a lot – About how to run a business, and most importantly, about yourself.
This knowledge is worth more than anything that any university or course can teach you. Good luck :)!