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Inc. Magazine Unveils Its Annual List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies – Infolink-exp Ranks No. 490 on the 2020 Inc. 5000

NEW YORK (PRWEB) AUGUST 14, 2020

Inc. magazine revealed that INFOLINK TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS is No. 490 on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. Intuit, Zappos, Under Armour, Microsoft, Patagonia, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees on the Inc. 5000.

READ THE FULL LIST HERE: INC.5000

“Our purpose at Infolink-Exp is to be a platform for growth to our customers in the smart technology space, as well as to our team, partners and investors, so we are truly honored to have made the Inc. 500 list this year. It validates the hard work everyone’s been doing to make that happen and the solutions we bring to the market” said Infolink’s CEO José A. González.

Not only have the companies on the 2020 Inc. 5000 been very competitive within their markets, but the list as a whole shows staggering growth compared with prior lists as well. The 2020 Inc. 5000 achieved an incredible three-year average growth of over 500 percent, and a median rate of 165 percent. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue was $209 billion in 2019, accounting for over 1 million jobs over the past three years.

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at http://www.inc.com/inc5000. The top 500 companies are also being featured in the September issue of Inc., available on newsstands August 12.

“The companies on this year’s Inc. 5000 come from nearly every realm of business,” says Inc. editor-in-chief Scott Omelianuk. “From health and software to media and hospitality, the 2020 list proves that no matter the sector, incredible growth is based on the foundations of tenacity and opportunism.”

The annual Inc. 5000 event honoring the companies on the list will be held virtually from October 23 to 27, 2020. As always, speakers will include some of the greatest innovators and business leaders of our generation.

More about Infolink-exp

Infolink-Exp partners with rapidly scaling IoT technology companies to help their users adopt, learn, and leverage smart technologies to transform their lives. We augment our clients support operations along the customer journey with services to their end-users and with data-driven insights on the customer experience using our Zahoree™ CX analytics platform, to increase adoption, customer retention and expand revenue. Infolink-exp serves the technology industry worldwide with operations in North America and Europe.

More about Inc. and Inc 5000

Methodology
The 2020 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2016 and 2019. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2016. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2019. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2016 is $100,000; the minimum for 2019 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Companies on the Inc. 500 are featured in Inc.’s September issue. They represent the top tier of the Inc. 5000, which can be found at http://www.inc.com/inc5000.

About Inc. Media
The world’s most trusted business-media brand, Inc. offers entrepreneurs the knowledge, tools, connections, and community to build great companies. Its award-winning multiplatform content reaches more than 50 million people each month across a variety of channels including websites, newsletters, social media, podcasts, and print. Its prestigious Inc. 5000 list, produced every year since 1982, analyzes company data to recognize the fastest-growing privately held businesses in the United States. The global recognition that comes with inclusion in the 5000 gives the founders of the best businesses an opportunity to engage with an exclusive community of their peers, and the credibility that helps them drive sales and recruit talent. The associated Inc. 5000 Conference is part of a highly acclaimed portfolio of bespoke events produced by Inc. For more information, visit http://www.inc.com.

 

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PODCAST: Using Better Customer Intelligence To Optimize Services

Listen to our CEO José A. González as he joins Betsy Westhafer and Tony Bodoh on the Really Know your Customer Podcast to talk about how Infolink-exp Customer Journey Support Model helps technology companies scale.

Really Know your Customer Podcast Website

 

“When a business is ready to scale, it’s no longer about the product or marketing. It’s all about keeping relationships with the customers” José González.

 

José González as a tech entrepreneur himself, knows the challenges that IoT/Tech companies encounter along the way as they experience growth. José brings all his expertise of the past 25 years to the table to chat with us on how to keep your customers happy and bring Customer Success best practices into the consumer based smart product marketplace.

If you are in charge of Customer Experience, Customer Success, Customer Support, and Marketing in a tech company, you can not miss this podcast! Stay with us to learn what it means to be a customer oriented company in the IoT/Smart B2C world.

 Preview

Betsy: I’m excited to dive into this, Tony. We’re going to be talking about how you can utilize your customer support people as actual customer success people, what that look and why that’s important. José has a lot of other great insights on what it means to be customer centristic in this type of world.

Betsy: José, welcome to the show. It’s good to have you here.

José: Thanks for having me…

 

You can read the podcast transcript or listen it here:

Infolink-exp is a support partner to smart tech companies, delivering great customer experiences. If you’d like to explore working with us, feel free to Schedule a Discovery Call or visit our SCALE-SMART FAQ page.

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Webinar “The Emergence of the Transformation Economy”

DESIGNED FOR: CONSUMER IOT AND SMART TECH COMPANIES

Did You Miss Our Webinar? Watch It Here!

The Emergence of The Transformation Economy

Want to learn how to leverage your Customer Support and CX teams to generate revenue at your consumer IOT or smart tech company? On May 28th, 2020 we joined #1 Best Selling Author Tony Bodoh and Infolink-exp CEO José Antonio González on a live webinar. If you are in charge of  Customer Operations, Customer Experience, Customer Support, Customer Success, and Marketing in a technology company or startup you can not miss it!

Watch now to learn…

  • You’ll learn how a B2C smart tech company can use a customer success paradigm and their support team to guide customers to the outcomes they seek and to their highest potential.
  • About a silent revolution in our economy that few are aware about, which will create a shuffling of the companies that succeed, fail or transform.
  • How Customer Experience (CX) data should drive the optimization of your customer support operations.

Our team of leaders in global technology support is growing!

Meet our new Head of Operations at Infolink-exp Europe.

We are glad to welcome Marit Hov Bjellvag to our team! Her background of over 20 years in user and product support with global tech companies makes her the perfect leader for Infolink-exp’s expansion in Europe.

Her experience as a global IT manager for EMEA, America and APAC markets led her to work for well established brands in the IT space such as Cisco Systems, where she led product and customer support teams for Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Poland markets.

Infolink-exp Head of Operations – Europe (bottom-center) visiting Juarez, Mexico office.

Marit is a people person and seeker of customer solutions, while focused on improving and motivating her teams inside and outside of the workspace. Her pursuit of continuing learning environments and innovative industries led her to Infolink-exp, where she is now ready to serve our global clients and their users across Europe.

We are proud to welcome her to our growing team of leaders, driving the best customer experiences and customer transformation in the IoT space.

5 Shocking Stats on Bad Customer Experience

Earlier this year the world was shocked by a graphic video of David Dao, a Kentucky man, who was dragged off a United Flight, his face bloodied and body limp. But this wasn’t the first time United had problems. There was the famous 2009 music video, United Breaks Guitars, created after the bassist for the band Sons of Maxwell saw his $3500 Taylor bass guitar nonchalantly thrown to the ground by United baggage handlers.

Incidents like these and others turn viral on social media. They shock us, offend us, even outrage us. But are these highly visible events exceptions, or do they happen more often than we believe?

Unfortunately they’re just the tip of the iceberg. We researched the topic and found some shocking statistics about the pervasiveness of bad customer service in business today, and turned it into an infographic.

Here are some of the findings

86% of customers have to contact customer service multiple times for the same reason

Have you ever tried to get a problem resolved by calling a company’s customer service line, only to get no resolution? Fully 86% of customer service calls don’t’ resolve the issues the calls were about, forcing customers to call over and over again to try to get resolutions to the same problems.

85% are put on hold for too long

Do you think being put on hold for 5 minutes is a long time? That’s the time when people usually hang up the phone, because of the perception they’ve been left hanging for too long. And 85% of consumers calling into customer service lines feel like they’ve been put on hold for too long.

84% of customer service agents can’t answer the questions

Not being able to answer questions is so frustrating, principally because you call customer service to get your questions answer and your problems solved. A lot of this is either a training problem, a hiring problem, a process-flow problem or all three.

82% of customer service agencies are impolite or unfriendly

Now this goes directly counter to the purpose of customer service, which is to help customers. When you call into a help line you’re usually irritated, angry, and frustrated. If the customer service rep who answers is unfriendly or short with you, it could be the spark that makes you explode. The fact that 82% of reps are insensitive to the emotional state of the people calling in is completely unacceptable.

83% of consumers have to repeat the same information to multiple reps

This is my pet peeve. I have seen my emotional state go from mildly frustrated to infuriated in just a matter of minutes when I’ve been bounced from rep to rep, only to repeats my story three or more times. Unfortunately this is way too common as well.

5 negative customer experiences

5 negative customer experiences [infographic]

 

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Customer Loyalty on the Cloud is priceless

Sales and marketing gurus love to focus on how to create more awareness, generate more leads, and close more sales. It’s what’s “sexy” in the blogging world.

But the old refrain, “It’s easier to sell to existing customers than to new ones,” is truer now than ever before.

In our infographic on Customer Loyalty In The Cloud” we share some of the key business benefits of loyalty for cloud vendors:

Loyalty tips

  • Communicate with your customers
  • Provide great customer service and support
  • Optimize your customer’s experience
  • Build employee loyalty

Why is Loyalty Imperative

  • It costs 5 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one
  • 80% of revenue for most companies comes from 20% of their customers
  • It’s easier to sell a new product to your existing customer base than to new customers
  • 91% of dissatisfied customers who switch to another company will never come back
Customer loyalty on the cloud

Customer loyalty on the cloud [infographic]

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Customer Experience Management through service…beyond operational metrics

We all like graphs! It’s something that comes natural, especially in the customer support business. We all want to know where we stand when it comes to response times, ticket volumes, resolution times, top issues, CSAT, NPS, etc. And all of that is more than ok to measure, as it helps us improve our customer support operations and services.

Reports, whether dynamically generated or periodic, help us to have a clear understanding of how we are doing, so we can diagnose issues, implement actions/changes and then measure again, to hopefully confirm a positive impact.

Design, monitor and measure in alignment with Ideal Customer Experience

But how do we measure our customer’s experience with our product or brand? How do we perform customer experience management when it comes to support and service. That is not something that is easily achieved, and operational metrics like CSAT do not tell the whole story. We must come up with ways to LISTEN to the Voice of the Customer (VOC) along all the key touchpoints in our customer’s journey. Many of those, we know, happen as the customer interacts with our support and service teams. Whatever we measure needs to be aligned with the “ideal” customer experience we’d like for our product or brand to deliver. For example, what is a given customer (or persona) willing to do and not willing to do in order to contact us for a solution (e.g. yes to calling on the phone, but no to self-searching our KB)?, and what does the data tell us about how we’re complying with those wishes?

Monitoring our adherence to the right “hows” of delivering the ideal customer experience is an art, not a science, and must start with mapping the customer journey so that we know what those key touchpoints and moments-of-truth are in the first place. Then comes the creative process of deciding how we’re going to deliver (talent, channels, coverage, policies, etc) and what we must pay attention to on the back end. That will will most certainly need a combination of operational metrics and our observation of customer behavior and feedback any way that makes sense.

Fix, but delight too: the Customer Experience difference

We all know a great customer support experience can be the best thing when it comes to customer retention, hopefully creating product brand advocates in the process. But how exactly do you know what type of experience your client will consider great? And therefore, how do you design it?

A b2b software company might need to design customer support processes where quick turnaround, fast resolution time, preciseness are key attributes of a successful interaction. Customers want things fixed, and they want them fixed now.

On the other hand, we tend to believe that a b2c or e-commerce company might benefit a lot more from focusing on the softer, human aspects of the interaction: empathy, patience, hand-holding, wow! Not that these attributes aren’t important in all settings, but the emphasis on them is usually more or less depending on the type of support or assistance being provided.

Take for example the online shopping site Zappos. Their customer support processes encourage support agents to go out of their way to create a WOW moment on every call they receive from their customers. Zappos has created a brand for themselves around service, which is what customers mostly rave about. They feel they’re being helped by real people.

With the advent of the cloud, SaaS and other types of subscription models, customer support of technology products must take a page out of the best customer service organizations out there. Yes, it’s about fixing the problem, but if you want that subscription to be renewed next month, you better leave your customer feeling pretty good too!

From Social Support to Social Customer Engagement

Customer support through Internet social channels is certainly not something new. It has been around for more than a few years now, with bulletin boards, forums and other open discussion sites being the original set of channels companies used. What has changed is the role of the people monitoring those discussions on behalf of companies. The community manager, mostly a marketing role in many companies, has now evolved into a more robust role, that of the Social Customer Engagement Agent.

Social Customer Engagement Agents (SCEAs) sit at the intersection of customer support and marketing. Customer service and support is indeed the “new” marketing. A good, hopefully great, experience is the only thing that keeps customers coming back to a brand nowadays, in many ultracompetitive industries. Therefore, SCEAs have a dual responsibility for monitoring social networks (increasingly through software to that effect), reacting to customers concerns, comments, rants and issues preemptively, leveraging the power of expert users and promoters help resolve issues and questions directly, but also carefully caring for your brand online with every post and interaction.

What does this mean exactly for Customer Support or Customer Success organizations? Well, it means that the people in charge of your social media support cannot have the same training/mindset/skills of support engineers responding to support tickets on e-mail or picking up support phone calls. The discussions are markedly different, and not necessarily issue or problem specific. Although it is plausible to have hybrid agents who do both, you should also consider specialized SCEAs, budget permitting, that provide those dimensions of online social literacy and CX/branding sensibility while engaging with customers. That said, the function of SCEAs is not magic, and must be designed and managed as an operation of its own, process and policy included.

Finally, here are some helpful facts about social networks, as it applies to customer support:

According to Pew Research Center’s Internet Project Library Survey (September 2013): 71% of online adults use Facebook, while 18% of online adults use Twitter.

Facebook is the preferred channel when it comes to social media support.

The demographics are:

90% of 18-29 years old use social media, while 78% of 30-49 years old and 65% of 50-64 years do.

Follow through, so simple yet…

It is quite common to “throw out there” idealisms on how much customers matter to us, it’s quite easy to say and even advertise the idea of how important our customers are, how customers come first, how customer service oriented we are. But just how true is that? Is this a reality all throughout the customers’ journey with us? Or is it more focused on the sales phase?

Engaging customers and getting them to adopt our product is just the initial phase of what can hopefully be a long term relationship. Now its time to follow trough with the promises we made.

Following through means making our customer feel appreciated, and when is our greatest opportunity to do so? When they reach out to us if issues arise, when they are the most vulnerable. That is the perfect opportunity to turn what can be a “sour” moment into an opportunity to provide them with great customer support that will keep them coming back for more of what we offer.

It is at this time when we can shine and make them feel that they got more than just a product or service, they got our commitment to helping them make their life easier. This is a no-brainer. Taking care of our customers and providing them with great customer support experiences is the key to customer loyalty and creating brand ambassadors.

Follow through means doing what we say we would do, being on top of customer issues and inquiries without our customer having to ask again, offering a bit more than they expected, surprising them with our follow up. Follow through needs to be a practice that we embed into our workflows and processes, not just a loose guideline, or something we leave up to the talent or discretion of each support agent. And we need to measure it.

And what are the benefits of designing your support around your customer? What does this mean in numbers? Well according to the Harvard Business School, increasing customer retention by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.

So we need to start following through with our promises to our clients, their loyalty depends on it.