We talked to Greg Berezowski of NapoleonCat, a social media management tool that makes life easier for businesses and individuals all around the world and here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Greg Berezowski: Thank you for asking! Fortunately, we’re all good. We’ve been lucky enough not to get infected throughout the whole Covid-19 pandemic.
Nevertheless, the past few months have been challenging for us too. It’s not easy to run a business while your two boys are at home and you’re also working from home. Luckily, my partner has been extremely supportive, even though she also works full time. But I guess we all have to adjust to the new reality, don’t we?
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded NapoleonCat.
Greg Berezowski: I founded the company in 2013. Back then, the tool that we were developing was a bit different, and our main focus was on social media analytics. The reason for that was my previous experience.
Before NapoleonCat, I co-founded a digital marketing agency where I was responsible for social media, among others. At that time, social media were still relatively new, not as omnipresent as they are today.
I realized that my team was spending most of their time on repetitive tasks such as analyzing competitors or preparing social media reports. I felt like we needed to automate these tasks and gain more time for strategic activities. I headed the development of an internal tool that quickly caught the interest of other agencies. And that was the beginning of a new journey for NapoleonCat and me.
How does NapoleonCat innovate?
Greg Berezowski: As I mentioned before, the original idea of NapoleonCat was to support social media analytics and reporting. It was the response to my (or rather my team’s) own needs. Since then, we have continued to improve our tool based on two principles: listening to our customers and observing social media trends.
This has led us to expand beyond analytics in the direction of social customer service. At the moment, Social Inbox is our core product within the NapoleonCat platform. It helps marketing and customer service teams manage conversations with their customers across different social media channels at scale. And it was our response to how consumers’ use of social media evolved – from merely consuming content and communicating among themselves to communicating with brands and businesses on a daily basis.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Greg Berezowski: Coronavirus was quite merciful to NapoleonCat. We experienced increased churn in the first months of the pandemic with some segments of our customers, but at the same time noticed increased demand among other groups.
We run a business that supports the online activity of eCommerce and direct-to-consumer businesses. And since governments are successively closing down brick-and-mortar businesses, everyone is turning to online sales to survive this strangely surreal time and make their living in a new, different way.
The popularity of eCommerce and, specifically, social media commerce is constantly growing. NapoleonCat helps manage comments, messages, and other interactions that play a crucial role in growing engagement with customers and providing social customer care.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Greg Berezowski: Fortunately, we didn’t have to fire people. But we were forced to implement remote work. After a few months, it turned out to work just fine for us, and we decided to continue operating this way for good.
We’ve just said goodbye to our beautiful office in the center of Warsaw (I must admit it was a bit sad) and we’re moving to a new, much smaller office space with hot desks available for those of us who need or want to come and work at the office.
I must say that before the pandemic, I did not put much trust in remote work. But since March last year, the NapoleonCat team has been working almost entirely remotely, and they’re doing exceptionally well. It has changed my perception of working from home dramatically.
How did your customer relationship management evolve?
Greg Berezowski: I believe the Covid-19 pandemic is an excellent lesson of empathy for all of us. Although the crisis did not affect our company much, it hit many businesses and individuals, and we can’t remain indifferent.
We’ve always paid great attention to an individual approach, delivering authentic support and empathizing with the person on the other side of the screen. In this pandemic reality, we’re even more focused on this aspect of human connection.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Greg Berezowski: Fortunately, that wasn’t necessary.
Your final thoughts?
Greg Berezowski: We’re all in this pandemic together, even though the game is unfair for different businesses. For this reason, we should be playing as one team and supporting each other to get through this challenging time. The pandemic may not be affectig all of us at the moment, but if businesses fail, the knock-on effect will affect us all.
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