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INNOVATORS VS COVID 19

The Challenge of Digitalizing between Fear and Uncertainty: Finance Industry Forced Update

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Juan Carlos González Expediente Azul

We talked to Juan Carlos González, CEO at Expediente Azul, the financial broker, and here is what he said about it.

First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?

Juan Carlos González: We are doing fine.

Lucky for us, we moved to a little farm outside the city in Dec 2019, so lucking us down wasn’t that painful. Nevertheless, we are in constant contact with our family and friends to help them with the struggle COVID has created for all of us. 

Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Expediente Azul.

Juan Carlos González: Back in 2003, Roberto and I founded a software factory that we grew and sold in 2013. We continued with our entrepreneurial journey by ourselves. 

I managed a financing firm focused on placing loans for small and medium-sized companies. From 2013 to 2019, I was able to help more than 100 companies with $14 million in loans and leasing projects.

On the other hand, Roberto continued with the software development world, creating apps that achieved plenty of prices and funding in at least four countries in LATAM.

After a couple of years of learning from the financial industry, I found out that it is complex and expensive to gather all required documents to calculate the risk needed to sell money: 15+ requisites for people and 40+ for companies. I called Roberto to share my frustration with him. We created the first version of Expediente Azul.

How does Expediente Azul innovate?

Juan Carlos González: We are the only SAAS platform obsessively focused on automating follow-up, digitalizing requisites gathering, and securing the process for integrating folders needed to process any financial product

How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?

Juan Carlos González: COVID’s impact started in March 2020. Roberto and I got a little bit anxious due to all uncertainty that all our customers were facing (and so do we).

We focused our creativity and attitude on helping them staying alive; in some cases, we gave for free our services to help struggling firms survive. We invested plenty of time developing our own #SocialSelling process and created material to help our customers do the same. 

June arrived, and we wanted to reduce churn. We created our first customer success program.

2020 treated us well. In 2019, we achieved 1.8 revenue growth, 50% less churn, and our team grew from 4 to 7, along with three strategic partnerships in Mexico, 1 in Ecuador, and 1 in Chile.

Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?

Juan Carlos González: We learned that focusing on our customer success is a great business. Yes, that’s logical, but we put that logic to serve our objectives.

We were tempted to grow our sales team supposing that plenty of our current customers were going to churn. We needed to decide that our current customers are more important than those who we don’t know yet.

What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?

Juan Carlos González: Here are the tools, software, and management skills that we use in our company.

Tools

  •  Pipedrive CRM
  •  LinkedIn
  •  Zapier
  •  Typeform
  •  Mailigen
  •  Zoom

Management skills

  •  Be cool under pressure
  •  Customer service 
  •  Public relations

Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?

Juan Carlos González: They include;

Internationally: Blend, Fileinvite, EziDocs, Floify

Locally: Kikoya

Substitutes: Custom made software platforms

Your final thoughts?

Juan Carlos González: We think that 2021 is the year that digital transformation, specifically digital sale and customer success system, needs to have a high priority in order to positively leverage on the damage that COVID has poured all over our economic activities.

Your website?

www.expedienteazul.com

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