Michalis A. Michael of DigitalMR tells us how they use strong data analytics and market research background to solve business problems.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded DigitalMR.
Michalis A. Michael: I was a corporate executive in the market research and data analytics space for 20 years before I founded DMR (then called DigitalMR). I had run multi-country P&Ls out of Eastern Europe and the US when I decided to become an entrepreneur in order to build something of value to the business community. In 2010 there was no specialist company in digital market research, so this is how DigitalMR was born. We pivoted in 2012 to become a technology company using AI for text analytics and adjusted our main use case in 2019 to be customer experience management (CXM) after 7 years of focused R&D.
Do you have small habits that made a meaningful impact on your life and business?
Michalis A. Michael: Daily stand-up meetings to align the whole organization at the beginning of every day. I use slack to list and share my tasks of the day, as does the rest of the DMR team. I exercise almost every day if meetings allow. I sleep a minimum of 7 hours. I ask myself if what I am currently doing contributes to my quarterly objectives and key results (OKRs), and if not, I stop doing it.
How does DigitalMR market its product/services online?
Michalis A. Michael: Website, blog, publishing articles in relevant media (targeting high ranking media with the help of our PR agency), socializing content on Twitter, LinkedIn, FB, and YouTube.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Michalis A. Michael: We use Benchmark One (previously known as Hatchbuck) for marketing automation and CRM. We have DMR accounts on social media as well as my own accounts, which I use for business as @DMR_CEO.
What is your hiring policy/process, and how do you retain your employees?
Michalis A. Michael: We mainly hire entry-level team members and promote from within. We advertise jobs on our website and other recruitment sites, including LinkedIn. We never use recruitment agencies.
How are you funding your growth?
Michalis A. Michael: I bootstrapped up to now, with a couple of friends & family rounds and 7 R&D grants from the UK Government and the EU. We are currently raising a SEED round to create our first sales team and confirm our repeatable sales model.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Michalis A. Michael: We compete with Customer Experience management software vendors as well as social media monitoring companies. Our R&D in AI for insights puts us ahead of the game. We will always carry out R&D and implement new ideas that solve real business problems for our clients.
Tell us a customer success story of yours.
Michalis A. Michael: We have won a multi-year 360 CXM contract with a top-tier multinational in an Eastern European country. We gather/ingest and integrate customer interactions from 8 internal and external sources, including telephone calls, chats, emails to their contact centers, open-ended survey responses, and social media posts about their brands and competitors. Thousands of customer interactions are analyzed by custom machine learning models that were trained to understand the said Eastern European language for Sentiment, Reason for contact, and Customer Journey stage. With the help of our proprietary AI, we discover emerging customer pain points and help pacify detractors while nurturing passives and promoters to become fierce advocates. The immediate and primary outcome is to reduce customer churn and by extension, improve retention.
Your final thoughts?
Michalis A. Michael: 90% of the companies out there only use surveys to receive customer feedback in order to improve customer experience. Surveys are very limiting and sometimes misleading because they rely on samples of customers who do not always answer with the facts. There are thousands of customer interactions that organizations don’t listen to because it is difficult to accurately analyze languages other than English. Our proprietary approach with AI to distill actionable information from big unstructured data such as text in ANY language, audio, and images from customer interactions will become ubiquitous in a few years. It is the only way to discover the true customer pain points that really matter and fix them.