Businesses today for the most part still interact with customers the way they have in the past. More than 80 percent of communications with customers are done via paper mail. And even when businesses interact with customers online, most organizations do so using websites based on the Web 1.0 model. Both methods are way out of line with customer online behavior, says Steve Shivers, CEO and co-founder of doxo, who adds that his company offers a better alternative.
That alternative enables people to create directories of all the businesses they use but probably wouldn’t add to their personal directory list, Shivers says. And doxo makes it easy to populate those business directories by offering suggestions for specific businesses in user’s geographies and business categories to users of the solution. For every zipcode in the country, doxo gets a real-time survey of all the providers in that market to offer up to users.
The company leverages crowdsourcing paired with users’ telephone numbers to know what businesses are in which user’s areas. If there’s a business or business category not already in the doxo directory, a user can add it. Already, more than 28,000 businesses have been added by doxo users, and the directory is growing all the time as a result of these additions. It also can see if a business has e-mailed a specific customer in the past and ask that customer if he or she wants to add that businesses’ e-mail to his or her doxo directory.
But doxo is more than a business directory, it’s a conduit through which businesses can engage with their customers. In fact, that’s how it makes its money – by selling doxo subscriptions to businesses that want to use the platform to send things directly to users’ doxo accounts. Businesses usually start out with doxo as a means through which they can enable their customers to pay bills electronically. Doxo also offers businesses the ability to enable their customers to use popular services like DropBox to store their e-bills. Doxo can also be used by businesses to send their customers updates about products or services, or for other communications.
“The average American water company shouldn’t be building mobile apps, it’s just not in their wheelhouse,” says Shivers, who adds that neither should any organization not in the mobile app building expend the effort to create online bill pay capabilities itself when doxo can do the job for them.
Not only does doxo enable companies and customers to connect via the doxo mobile app and the web, but the company also provides its business customers with a website on which they can see lists and heat maps of the top providers of products and services in various carriers. For example, doxo lists 615 companies in the Phoenix area, which can be viewed by category and for which users can see other markets in which those businesses operate.
There are 75,000 to 100,000 companies that are in the addressable market for what doxo does, says Shivers, who adds that there’s no way these companies all want to build mobile apps – or can expect consumers to put all those different mobile apps on their cell phones.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi