Symbl for Startups founder profile: Chatfully makes omnichannel communication simple and affordable
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Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of customer inquiries that accrue across social media accounts, web chats and text messages? Chatfully is on a mission to simplify omnichannel communication so that any business, no matter how small its team is, can easily engage quality leads and chat one-to-one at scale.
The Symbl for Startups team spoke with co-founder CJ Terral to learn about this startup’s innovative pricing model, the importance of omnichannel communication for teams of every size and the two core principles that drive his business forward. Read Terral’s answers in full below.
Tell me how the idea for Chatfully came about. What market need does it fulfill?
CJ Terral: My co-founder Chris started and scaled several call centers in Florida. They were doing quite well, but one of them wasn’t getting as many callbacks as the others despite the employee headcount.
He figured texting seemed to be popular among his friends, so maybe he could get a higher response rate with leads through texts. Once the campaign began, he doubled his response rate by using texting compared to calling while reaching out to 50,000 to 100,000 people on a monthly basis. That ended up tripling their revenue within four months.
When Chris and I joined forces, we realized most local and growing businesses have two main communication needs: The first is getting more leads to reply and second is communicating with them at scale in less time. We thought through how those businesses could get several times more replies than email and engage thousands of contacts in minutes rather than weeks. We envisioned building Chatfully to help them solve those pain points.
When did you discover Symbl.ai’s API, and how did you know it was the right fit for Chatfully?
CT: It was a few years after Chris and I became friends and started working on the concept. We had built our own beta, launched and gone on from there, but we discovered Symbl.ai’s API only within recent months [of this interview].
We assessed other robust technology platforms that automate conversations, but I have been most impressed by the competence, compassion and curiosity of Symbl.ai’s leadership team that has continued investing time in getting to know me. At Chatfully, we strive to help our customers in similar ways through empathy and empowerment.
Can you explain some of the benefits of human-to-human speech analysis as it pertains to sales and service?
CT: There are two key issues that we’re solving for micro-SMBs and SMBs, which each have unique use cases. Often, their main issue is simply not getting enough leads. For larger businesses with enough leads, being SMEs and enterprises, there is a need to engage with those leads faster so that they can save on costs and scale faster. These are key ways that human-to-human speech analysis can increasingly help our particular users.
These teams wear many hats. They just want something that plugs in and works in minutes without training. Many teams don’t have the budget to hire full-time coders to customize it. Our platform is built for these lean and fast-paced environments.
Unlike most businesses in our market, customers only pay for customer engagement rather than per-seat/license. It’s a win-win for our customers, because we grow as they grow. Our customers like this approach because it’s transparent, favorable to their business model and scalable. That way they’re always happy to pay more for results.
How does Chatfully compare to other kinds of customer messaging software?
CT: We are positioned with two types of competitors. One type is the all-in-one platform that has everything and charges a large premium to enterprise clients. The second type is those that focus on automating communication entirely on social channels. For teams that want enterprise-level omnichannel chat that can be learned in minutes while also providing human-to-human chat (proven to grow revenue) with some automation, we are the solution for you.
Chatfully is a plug-and-play omnichannel chat platform, allowing any sized team to learn it in minutes. It’s also affordable enough for the small and midsize teams to fit it into their communication budget.
Which Chatfully features have users been most excited about thus far?
CT: It depends on the business. If they’re a micro-SMB they’re typically most excited about the web chat feature. It’s free until users go beyond a certain volume or want complete customization. This is helpful since other web chats can be effective but very complex or costly.
For SMBs, having the option to text with their customers 1:1 or engage thousands of customers in minutes is transformational. Those teams can literally save weeks of prospecting time which they come to realize as a radical workflow improvement. Chatfully offers that, customizable workflows, and much more.
How do you anticipate Chatfully evolving in 2022?
CT: Simplicity and affordability are our two principles. Our goal is to make Chatfully simple to start, simple to use on an ongoing basis and affordable to scale with.
As we add more channels, these two principles will remain our focus. We can see Symbl.ai playing a part in furthering our mission to streamline communication, so that when teams are unavailable on Chatfully’s channels they integrate with Symbl.ai, the API can help chat with their customers.
We aim to enable constant availability for service and sales so they can build relationships at any scale. The opportunity is available for ambitious teams who are ready to stand out in the market.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.