We talked to Ben Argeband founder of Swordfish, about identity resolution systems, and this is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Ben Argeband: Thankfully, all is well.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Swordfish.
Ben Argeband: I originally started out broking data lists. Then creating data. Then creating data partnerships, then alas, a leading B2B Data Company!
How does Swordfish innovate?
Ben Argeband: Customers, customers & customers. We dive extremely deep into our customer’s pain points – less problem solving but more problem finding. When we understand problems correctly, the solution usually appears quite instantly. Our Customer Success Team Leader, Dan Lahat, is the eyes and ears of our company. Without listening to our customer success feedback, we would cease innovating. We are passionate about serving customers.
For our extensive contact information in our B2B database (email addresses, cell / mobile phone numbers, direct dial telephone numbers, personal email addresses, and other supplemental contact info), we strive to provide the cleanest and most accurate data on the market, through over 200+ real-time data and verification sources. We add new data sources constantly, and this is what sets us apart.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Ben Argeband: I think everyone took a hit. But oddly, we had a sudden change in the different types of contracts and customers we were onboarding – more on the enterprise level.
Our smaller company monthly subscription churn rate was quite high, understandably due to SMB’s trying to cut costs and letting people go. I think it all balanced out, though. We are already having our best year on record in this Q1 of 2021.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Ben Argeband: Thankfully, no. We just had some delays in taking on new staff during March 2020 as we were mindful of what is about to happen. We weren’t sure if this was the end of humanity as we know it! But it all worked out. I just had to take some cautionary few months in the hiring process, aka “a freeze”. Now we are continuing to grow, and so has our Team.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Ben Argeband: All in-house tools except our live chat. A considerable amount of time and investment was put into understanding our customer journey and deducing what “needs” to happen for customers to have a successful journey. This is overlooked quite a lot, and also for us at the beginning.
Now there are triggers in place to try and steer our customers to a successful “aha” moment – which obviously isn’t everyone, but it makes sense to do your best. This was done by working backward to deduce what needs to happen and setting triggers for each point.
This drastically helped segment our customers and customer messaging and ultimately conversion a lot better.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Ben Argeband: Nope. None. Our financials are strong due to our extensive customer base.
Your final thoughts?
Ben Argeband: This was a wild past year! But it just shows that you have to keep some time-tested principles in line. Dot all your i’s, cross all your t’s. Don’t overspend. Keep finding problems, keep improving and keep moving forward. It will all be okay.
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