Guilherme Honório of Smart NX tells us how to reduce average service time, average wait time, and more.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Guilherme Honório: We have the privilege to have our income originating from Smart NX, a company that is well immersed in the current context of digitalization of the market. We are all 100% at home and working in the home office with the minimum possible contact. We only need to leave for basic necessities like health and food.
Of course, a year later, day-to-day stress and social isolation have become more difficult to manage. We have been looking for alternatives, such as physical exercises and new activities for children. But yes, we need to get back to normal life as soon as possible. For sure, it is not possible to live forever in this context.
Tell us about yourself, your career, how you founded Smart NX.
Guilherme Honório: Since I was a child, I dreamt of owning a business. I come from a very humble family, and with very few references to entrepreneurship, this added to challenges onto my entrepreneurial journey. In addition, Brazil is a country where entrepreneurship is by far the most favorable option to succeed.
From the early years, it was clear that attitude and purpose could not miss in my daily life. In the first years as a professional, the desire and goal of being a reference in everything he did, made Hiperroll grow up in Guarda Mirim (2006) and reach the position of Technology Manager (2010). In this 4-year trajectory, it was possible to learn from the journey what a company really is. At that time, Information Technology had little notoriety in strategic decisions, but it was always present in all internal projects of top management, and this became routine because, in 90% of the executed projects, software was needed.
And to be a reference, it was necessary to be obsessed with knowledge and be available in any company initiative. The combination of attitude, purpose, knowledge, disposition, and focus on results has, over the years, won new positions and reached Information Technology Management. These are some of the examples of results obtained. Reduction by 80% of the sector’s costs, Systemic shutdown incident index fulfilled an annual SLA of 99.3% availability, and all projects were implemented and delivered on time. Upon realizing that he could go much further and in conversation with one of the partners of Hiperrol Embalagens to carry out his resignation. This partner requested to work as a Legal Entity, something that at the time was not so common in Brazil. After accepting the terms, I took the first step in my entrepreneurial journey, and I never stopped. I have already created 6 companies to date, which are: Konnect T.I – Computer and Network Maintenance; Embracom – Internet Radio Provider; Voe Voip – IP Telephony Resellers; Manager BS – CRM and Sales Management Software; Smart NX – Software for Relationship with Customers and Ucred – Software for managing rental guarantees by credit card.
At present, some of the businesses have either closed apart from Smart NX and Ucred, or I am no longer part of the corporate structure. However, each of these companies offered a great deal of learning about business practices, such as People Management, Finance, Commercial & Sales, Marketing, Products, and Business Administration, among others.
Smart NX today has been in the market for 6 years, serves more than 250 brands. Among them are 52 large retailers in Brazil, and it was chosen among retailers as the main relationship solution. Besides, we serve 2 of the world’s largest companies, and every day, more than 20,000 users in Brazil use the solutions, which impact an average of 15 million consumers per month. We are a reference in the multichannel customer relationship and management market.
How does Smart NX innovate?
Guilherme Honório: We have a very clear routine with a defined focus on the client. The whole team has come up with the solutions we have, and as a leader, we can deliver success to our clients. I have invested a lot in generating empowering tips. Today, our strong culture focuses on the customer and values declared to the entire company as wrong by action and not by omission, dive deep, fall in love with what you do, create a safe and conducive environment for innovation through our more than 100 employees.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business, and how are you dealing with it?
Guilherme Honório: It created a world of opportunities, of course, that at the beginning was not so easy to identify. Today we have well-defined structures of the needs that we can solve. As far as we can go together with our customers and the market, we are more prepared and mature. We have our internal challenges of scaling teams, tools. Customers’ difficulties are digitally transformed. Our mission is to increasingly align customer expectations and the possibilities that the new standard has brought, and how they can benefit from this digitalization of processes.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Guilherme Honório: Yes, this challenge was totally different, simply because I do not know the strength and impact it would have on the world and especially on the businesses I conduct. I certainly learned two great lessons during this pandemic.
1 – Every crisis brings opportunities; focus on mapping them.
2 – Start making decisions when you have good or bad data; some attitudes need more information to be taken.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Guilherme Honório: You need to be the light. There is no point in doing without organizing and measuring daily, weekly or monthly. Basically, my schedule has turned into a crisis meeting with daily conversation routines with the team, and I created a Trello to help me with the actions that needed greater or lesser focus.
In short, Gmail, daily routines with the team, and Trello.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Guilherme Honório: Currently, we fall under several segments, so we compete with big players like Zendesk or IBM and even the company’s internal programmer. Our focus is on clearly demonstrating our company’s maturity in transforming customer relationship channels into real analysis opportunities, insight, and business performance. Our job is to build a partnership with our customers, and together, we create the best digital journey for the company, whether in Customer Service, Telesales, or Collection. The focus is always on the channel’s final goal, with an agile delivery thinking about the best cost-benefit ratio for the business, using robots or humans in the process.
Your final thoughts?
Guilherme Honório: It is crises that make the business prove its value and purpose. Surely after COVID, Smart NX will come out much stronger and transformed, but the daily challenges are not easy. In this period, take care of your most valuable asset, Your team!
It will help you go through this very difficult path, and certainly with a lot of resilience and strong purpose, not only the left companies, but everyone will be stronger and transformed.