BizBaby - Our Story
If you are a business owner or just starting out, our story is similar to yours, it’s full of ups and downs.
It’s full of serendipitous events and discovery. And as many other businesses, this one have emerged as a need of our own that we couldn’t fullfill.
Welcome to our Story Page. My name is Sergey Patrikeev, I'm a software and hardware engineer, serial entrepreneur and a business mentor. My grandad was a jet and rocket engine engineer, so it seems engineering is in our blood. I hope I made him proud.
For the last 12 years, I've been building various businesses and startups. Some of it worked, and some didn't. I successfully grew a few businesses past a few million dollar mark and in the process, I realized a few pretty sad truths.
Business owners, even these days, underestimate the power of technology.
We still use the same ancient landline phones as hundred years ago. The only thing that has changed is how we dial numbers. Even though the world moved on to texting over 30 years ago, there is still no texting capability when it comes to business phones.
What about emails? Nope. Most businesses today still use personal email accounts or Gmail/Outlook to connect with customers.
And I was one of those business owners, up until we hit $1M mark.
Of course we would have business email notifications that were sent from our website, but you couldn't reply to it as a customer. For regular communications, we would still use Gmail, something like firstname.lastname@example.org.
We didn't properly capture potential call or email leads, and didn't even have a proper voicemail system or professionally recorded welcome or voicemail greeting.
So now picture this:
Our customer would email us and we would copy the email address from Gmail to a website database search box and search to find if we have such a person as a customer.
Then if someone called our landline phone, we would type that incoming phone number into the same search box to locate if we have a customer with that number. If i had someone else calling at the same time, I had to hang up on the first customer, in order to speak to the second customer, since only 1 call could be processed at the same time. When we had 3 callers at the same time, 2 callers would just get a “busy tone” and wouldn't even be able to leave a voicemail. Any long conversations or complicated customer issues or requests during the busy time of the day would grind our entire customer service system to a halt.
When we needed to text someone, our customer service people would just use a personal phone to text a person, if it was urgent.
In all 3 examples, calling, emailing or texting, we had to constantly find out if this was an existing customer or someone else. There was no history of communication with that person since every new email was saved as a new email chain.
And we had to do that 100 times a day.
I was taking this as a normal day to day practice, since it's the only way I knew how to communicate with customers.
Forget about following up with customers or trying to exchange any information between other customer service employees. I had to leave hand written notes for each of our team members about who needed to be contacted, why and where.
I was doing that, and I am a software engineer who develops websites and applications for all kinds of systems.
I realized that something had to be done about this when I was creating training videos for new hires and it was the most ridiculous experience. It was not scalable. For every new person, we would need to buy an additional phone with a separate phone number, cheap $100 phone and $50 a month phone plan, just to be able to add an additional person into our customer service team. I would need to mail that phone to them if they worked remotely and then hope they would mail it back if it didn't work out.
I would need to constantly approve a new hire to access our Gmail account, and change password for everyone every time we would remove someone from our team.
We had no way to know if our customer service employees were actually making any calls or responding to emails on time. Or how many hours they actively worked and how many hours they did nothing. Our customers were writing reviews that nobody was responding to calls, and I realized that some days some of our workers would start answering calls 2 hours late.
When I wasn't around, they sounded rude and unapologetic with many of our customers.
It was a shit show.
Things were just completely broken.
And the worst thing, there was no solution, however it was obviously damaging our business.
We were loosing money and customers, fast!
The only available software online would cost us $50+ per agent per month, and it would require an insane amount of onboarding, training and integrations in order for us to start, to the point that it was not worth trying.
That's when I started looking into possibilities to create a system to handle all communications from one place, with unlimited call lines, even if 100 people called our phone number, we would be able to hire 100 customer service people and answer all 100 callers at the same time, without doing anything to scale up. It's already built in. 1 agent or 100, it doesn't matter. I could add an extra customer service person at any moment, even if they were at home or away.
This was a game changer for customer service, sales teams or recruiting teams.
Each team could have their own dedicated account with a dedicated phone number, if needed.
Emails, calls, texts, MMS, even fax. Though that last one is not implemented yet at the moment.
Landline is so dead! This is the future of business communications for small business and we made it available to you and made it super simple to use. Whatever the purpose you might have. There are literally 100s of uses for thisl.
I was recently selling some furniture and I didn't want to give my personal phone number to strangers. So I created a team for selling furniture which comes with a new phone number and email address just to do that. It only costs $19 per month. It worked great and I will probably keep using it for communicating with people outside of my trust circle, to avoid scam or spamming of my personal phone or email address.
Today BizBaby helps small businesses like yours to solve all of these problems we had.