We talked to Artsiom Markevich, CEO of Vocalls, about voicebots, and this is what he said:
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Artsiom Markevich: Thank you for asking. We are doing fine. As we all know, the pandemic has changed our lives, but I’m glad that we managed the pandemic without major problems.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Vocalls.
Artsiom Markevich: I founded Vocalls together with my friend Martin Čermák in 2017. Martin primarily deals with the technical and implementation part in the position of CTO, and I am responsible for the daily solution of operational matters, business processes, and the overall management of the company.
We first worked on the development of an application focused on automatic batch calls for call centers. But then we found out that we could enrich it with a voicebot powered by artificial intelligence. There are currently more than 15 people working in the team, and we are still growing because our product is in very high demand. We currently have customers, not only in the Czech Republic, but also in the EU countries, and I hope that we will expand even more in the future.
How does Vocalls innovate?
Artsiom Markevich: Our voicebots help reduce costs in call centers and automate repetitive processes. That gives operators room to focus on complex use cases and increases efficiency in improving the user experience. To prepare the solution, we use experiences in the field of AI, analytical skills, experience from the online world and business, including the verification of prototypes and ideas on client samples.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Artsiom Markevich: The pandemic did not affect our business finances at all, because our product suite is inherently accessible to support remote work. I think we’ve learned to live with this situation and adapted our processes to keep on building our business.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Artsiom Markevich: No, fortunately, we never had to make these hard decisions. We are a very small startup with an extremely efficient and enthusiastic team. Thanks to our clients, we even expanded our team during the pandemic, and in 2021 we are looking at further scaling.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Artsiom Markevich: When the pandemic began, we started using video conferences for meetings much more, and we realized that it is much more efficient in time for our clients and us. We also continuously improve customer experience with feedback automation. It is important to keep listening to what your customers say and act on it to provide a consistently great customer experience.
To be much more efficient, we use a CRM called Pipedrive.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Artsiom Markevich: No, we don’t benefit from any government grants. We tried to keep Vocalls afloat by ourselves.
Your final thoughts?
Artsiom Markevich: We focus primarily on the automation of communication, and we would like to bring people closer to its benefits. The pandemic has accelerated the need for digital processes, and I think that is one of the reasons why our product is currently very demanded.
By that, I mean that everything bad is good for something. That is why we should not give up our dreams and goals even during such a difficult time. So keep pushing, guys; 2021 could be your year!
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