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Point Shout : Mobile App to Listen, Engage and React to Customers’ Needs

http://www.pointshout.com/

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We had an interesting chat with Mr. “Ionut Danifeld”, Co-Founder at the Brussels – Belgium based start-up “PointShout”

Below is the interview we conducted with him:

1. What is it exactly that you do and what your start-up is all about?

Established in 2013, Point Shout is a subscription based mobile & web app solution that enables businesses to listen, engage & react more effectively to their customers’ needs. We facilitate easier customer feedback while improving customer loyalty.

2. When has your startup been founded? And what stage is your startup currently at?

We started developing in January 2014 and we officially launched Point Shout in September 2014. Our product is fully functional on iOS and Android devices.

3. What is your startup’s business model and how does it work?

The Point Shout mobile app offers an easy, modern and effective solution for consumers to share their opinion about the different products & services in the market, by answering a simple survey directly on their smart device.

4. How did your team meet? And who in your team does what?

Ionut Danifeld found Mihai Tudose in the AIESEC community. He wanted to find a tech co-founder in order to build the MVP.

Ionut Danifeld – Marketing & Business Development
Mihai Tudose  – Application developer

5. What, exactly, makes you different from existing options, what will make your product and/or service stand out in the marketplace? In other words what’s unique about you and what’s new about what you make?

The Point Shout mobile app offers an easy, modern and effective solution for consumers to share their opinion about the different products & services in the market, by answering a simple survey directly on their smart device.

6. What is your growth like? And what milestones has your startup achieved so far?

- We have 3 reseller’s of Point Shout in: Belgium, UK and Denmark
- We are going to test our service in Belgium: asian fusion restaurant
(rocksaltchillipeppers.be), fashion boutique (mistermen.be) and a shop retailer
(oxfam.be)  
- We where also exhibitors at Web Summit in Dublin as Alpha Startups. 

7. Who are your competitors? And what is your start-up’s competitive advantage over them?

Our unique approach is that we are combining 3 services in order to track customer experience: customer feedback – customer loyalty – push notifications.

http://fluidsurveys.com/
http://www.zonkafeedback.com/
http://www.loopsurvey.com/
http://www.quicktapsurvey.com/
http://www.yoooble.com/
http://touchpointmetrics.com/
http://www.surveypal.com/en/

8. What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?

In order to make our problem global we decided to create partnerships with different agencies, so they can integrate Point Shout as part of services that they offer to their clients. 

9. What are the key things about your field that outsiders don’t understand?

They are many models of tracking customer feedback. Completing a survey on a paper is still one model, which is unfortunately very inefficient: time consuming to analyze the data and response rate is very low.

Also customers are on the move and they don’t have time to fill different surveys.

10. Why are you going to succeed?

We received positive feedback from our partners and from users, that the UX makes a big difference compared with competition.

Also our pricing model is really flexible and affordable for any small or big company.

11. If your startup succeeds, what additional areas might you be able to expand into?

We are going to implement to new ways to track customer experience and to help companies to improve customer feedback. We are thinking to develop a beacon platform.

12. Why did you choose this idea and concept to build your start-up based on?

Ionut Danifeld, one of the Co-founder came up with the idea and creating the team.

The story: the idea came from a personal experience: after taking dinner in the city and having a bad experience, I’ve realized that they don’t have a method of collecting my feedback.

Doing a research I’ve realized that the stores, restaurants, hotels and any other shops that I visit, don’t have a customer feedback solution.

13. What have you learned so far from launching your idea?

We had and we have still 2 milestones: budget and sales. Since we are a startup, our budget is still limited and we are very wise where we invest money. Also sales experience is a big milestone for every startup. Attracting customers is difficult and entrepreneurs are lacking in this field. 

14. Six months from now, what’s going to be your biggest problem?

Probably convincing companies that they need to invest in customer experience in a smart way. Making them understand that client voice should be heard and they should find a way to track it.

15. What’s the benefit for the customer/user?

For our customers we offer a fast, qualitative and real time solution to track customer feedback. Also we are helping our customers to retarget their clients via push notifications.

For users we are giving them an anonymous solution to feedback the business that they visit in exchange for a incentive offered by that company. 

16. How did customers / users find out about you?

Our main communication channels remains social media, mostly Twitter. We interact with companies on Twitter and try to engage in conversation. Also, our business partners are approaching companies.

17. Who are your current customers / users? Who are your target customers / users?

As I’ve said before. we are going to test our service in Belgium: asian fusion restaurant (rocksaltchillipeppers.be), fashion boutique (mistermen.be) and a shop retailer (oxfam.be).

18. Where do new customers / users come from and what makes new customers/users try you?

Our target is any retail or hospitality business. At the moment we are focusing on retail chains in the following countries:
- Belgium
- Netherlands
- UK
- Denmark
- France
- Germany
But we aim for a global product since can be applicable anywhere.

19. What do your customers / users say about your product and/or service?

They think is a different approach, compared with other businesses present in the market. Also our pricing model makes a big difference compared with compassionate.

20. How are you going to scale?

Efficient  marketing and also participating to relevant events and meetings is going to be our key to success. Also creating more partnerships like the ones we have, is going to be our focus.

21. What’s the biggest missing feature? The one thing customers/users keep asking for?

3rd party integration is a frequent question that we receive. At the moment we don’t offer this feature, but it’s something but we can offer.

Also we are thinking to develop a beacon platform to push customer feedback to the next level.

22. Are you going to internationalize? And if yes how are you planning to expand your start-up’s operations accordingly?

We are actually aiming for a global presence and we are trying to achieve this via different business partnerships. We searching for mostly for retail agencies that have already a pool of clients in the retail sector and want to add an extra service to their portfolio.

23. How big do you think you can get? Why? And how you are planning to achieve your goals?

We really believe with the right approach and growth rate we can be one the big players in the customer feedback space. We understand what consumers want and how important is time for them.

24. Are you looking to hire a new workforce? And if yes, what job vacancies do you currently offer and where can potential applicants contact you at?

We are actually searching for Sales Partners, that can work with us. We are offering a commission from every transaction.  We are not searching for experience, just the right motivation to make extra money.

They can send an email to: contact@pointshout.com

25. Are you looking for partnership opportunities or funding from Venture Capitals (VC) or other funding sources? Or your business is self-sustainable? And if the first option applies where can potential partners / investors contact you at?

We just started to apply to different Accelerators Programs and Business Angels.
We are open to any meeting and they can send an email to: ionut.danifeld@pointshout.com

26. What advice do you have for fresh entrepreneurs?

We have 3 advice’s:
- get the right team, with a minimum of 2 co-founders: IT & Marketing
- test your idea with a MVP (Minimum viable product)
- develop partnerships that can help you grow faster

27. Finally, do you have any other comments that you would like to add?

Improving customer feedback should be the focus for any retail or hospitality business that wants to grow and innovate.

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