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Bright & Early Podcast

Growing Geocodio with Michele Hansen




Episode Transcript

The following transcript has not yet been edited. I am slowly editing them, identifying speakers, and cleaning up issues; but I haven't gotten to this one yet. For now, it's helpful for some Ctrl+F action to find a pull quote.

Brian: Hey everyone and welcome to bright and early the podcast for people building early-stage startups.

I'm your host Brian Rhea.

I talk to entrepreneurs, product people, designers, and marketing pros to learn what works, what doesn't, and why; giving you at least one thing to apply to your business first thing tomorrow.

my guest today is Michele Hansen Michele is the co-founder of gioco do a bootstrap sass that offers hassle-free geocoding for thousands of customers including The Associated Press Amazon Expedia and more Michele welcome to bright and early hi everyone thanks so much for for coming on I first stumbled across gioco do and you and and your husband's work because you're you you're an earnest capital mentor so I'm just kind of curious how how's that X was that experience been like earnest capital fills a void in the market for funding options for bootstrappers and something that drew us to it was we could have seen ourselves using something like it three or four years ago we started gioco do as a side project nights and weekends almost six years ago now and it took from from that point to three and a half years in for us to be able to start transitioning to in full time so I went full-time first and then my co-founder husband partner and everything mattias he went part-time four months later and then full-time six months later and throughout all of that it was definitely difficult to juggle a full-time job a full-time side project and a family yeah and when we heard about earnest capital and and got to know Tyler who runs it and learned about there investment model and how it's so much more founder friendly than most of the investment options available it really resonated with us because something like that would have been really interesting and compelling to us five years ago and maybe would have made our transition to running our company full-time a lot smoother and a lot faster yeah well so let's let's rewind then back to back to the earliest that the origin story for gioco do how how did the idea first come about it came about because we needed it ourselves and how we figured out that we needed it was we had another product we were working on on the side and that was a mobile app that would help you find grocery store convenience store hours so now you can just type into Google grocery store hours and it'll show you all of the hours for all of the nearby stores and it's pretty seamless in 2012 that wasn't the case and you would have to remember which grocery stores were near you and then click five clicks deep in order to get to what their hours were on their website and so if you needed milk at midnight or a coffee at 3 a.m. it was a little bit of a hassle to figure out what was open and so we built this app that had that and a key feature of it was you opened it up and it had a map and it would show you everything that was open and in order to display that information we had to do code all of the addresses so geocoding is the process of converting an address into its coordinates and a computer does not understand addresses it only understands coordinates so every map you see online whether that's a store locator or anything else is using coordinates ok so for the app we needed 5,000 coordinates it's a number of stores we had in the app when we launched it and a problem was we could get 2500 for free per day from Google but we had 5000 stores in the app with 5000 addresses and we weren't allowed to store the data they have some really strict caching restrictions and they still do and so we were basically in this middle of the market because we could either get 2500 for free per day or we could pay tens of thousands of dollars for an enterprise contract that would give us a hundred thousand per day okay and we kind of looked around or like there's nothing there's nothing in between really and so so we built a pretty rudimentary geo coder for ourselves just to make that possible because it was pulling me in about three or four hundred dollars a month in ad revenue which was nowhere near full time but was definitely definitely helpful and we wanted to keep it going and as we continue to talk about the app and talk to our other friends who are developers about it it turned out that a lot of them also had this similar problem with geocoding and one of our friends is like you know why don't you just throw up a wall in front of it and then maybe you know people will pay for and that'll cover that a hosting cost so you can keep it going and not have to pay for it basically got it for free rather than paying Google twenty thousand dollars a year and were like yeah that's that had be awesome like would you just pay for its servers that was that that would be amazing so we continue to focus on our little opening hours app but we but we launched gioco do as well and we launched it in January of 2014 okay we had two tiny little digitalocean servers so it was running on for $20 a month so our definition of success for it was that if it covered its hosting cost so if it made $20 a month and we launched it and to our huge surprise it was on the front page of hacker news all day which we did not expect though it's really funny if you look at our Google Analytics because there's this massive spike on the first day that has never gone in a scale on the chart yet and a lot of that traffic died off really fast so if you're launching something you don't have to be front page of hacker news I'll tell you that from experience but anyway so we really didn't have very high expectations and a proof of that is that when we went to Bill customers so the way we decided to build people was we'll just roll up your whole usage for the month so that we save money on transaction fees rather than charging people for their API usage every day when we launched it around I want to say it was around January 20th or so and so come February 1st when we're gonna charge people we you had integrated stripe and and and everything but we actually hadn't written the billing code to to charge people ok yeah you had integrated stress right but we didn't have the script that would actually go in charge ok ok because we just hadn't expected anyone to pay for actual storage so we made 31 dollars that first month we were over the moon because I think after fees we are positive eight dollars which is amazing because it yes many people other people were paying us for this thing we needed and we didn't have to pay for ourselves and that's great and then on exactly that was that was our wild success I mean I I made a spreadsheet defining levels of success and the minimum was we have something we can use and we can keep our app running for yeah right and then and then a moderate success was we break even on it and then a wild success was anything above breakeven and then from there you know we continue to iterate on it we got so much feedback I mean we had hundreds of people email us about it because it was so clear that there need for this and there were a lot of other people in that middle of the market that we found ourselves in and with us were those hundreds of people that were emailing you or they are that is that purely coming still from that the hacker news live yeah where are we okay all right yeah because product wasn't around at the time product on I think launched a week after we did yeah it's funny because I I remember on that day with the crazy traffic from hacker news going to look at Google Analytics at our refers and one of the was this thing called product hunt and I was like what is this like never heard of this and so we were but yeah so all these people are emailing us and so getting tons of feedback and couple months later we ended up adding a spreadsheet upload option because it turned out that if you had a spreadsheet of addresses your only option to get that data geo coded was to send it to this guy who would get it back to you in a couple of days and people have said many times that you know if you can find a business where people are emailing spreadsheets to one another that's a really good option I want to say it might be Patrick McKenzie who started I was I was getting ready to say the same thing like this sounds perfect the crystallization of that example from from McKinsey about absolutely so you know through all of that feedback we just we continued iterating very slowly working on it at night working on weekends and it just it grew very slowly for a couple of years yeah yeah so I guess one of the things I wanted to ask is like what we're what were some of the early signs that told you you know I think we're onto something here and so obviously you know hanging out on the front page of hacker news for a day that sign that there's interest or buzz not necessarily signs that you've got a profitable business though and so house how soon I mean was it on that exact day that you're like oh wow yeah this this really can grow into something that we could go full-time on or was that not even on your mind what was the evolution of of that idea not only are we onto something but this could eventually be our full-time gig we didn't have that thought until I started considering going full-time okay and in hell over at what timeline are roughly is was was that idea so we got an early sense from that Lodge that there was something really interesting to people there was a real need for it in the market but we didn't really dream that it would be something we could go full-time on it was never intended to be a full-time job for us you know side projects were a combination of personal edification of getting to exercise skills and learn new things that might be more difficult in a corporate setting okay just having you know total freedom for what we want to learn and do and not really having any risk associated and then making extra money because you know what got us to launching about going from talking about launching projects to actually launching projects was when we learned how expensive daycare would be so so daycare is more expensive than State College and a majority of states and where we lived in DC at the time we're now in Virginia I'm is $25,000 a year and we had always talked about having side projects together I'm a product person my husband's a developer you put us together and we make stuff were you full-time are you full-time employed at different companies in those early days exactly we were at the same company okay we met at work we ended up both splitting away from there working other places for a couple of years and now we have Converged sure okay and and so we learned how expensive daycare was and we're like you know we can try to kill it at work and get bonuses and get raises but realistically are we gonna get an extra $25,000 in the next year and there was no and so you know we went from spending our weekends relaxing catching up on Game of Thrones and whatnot for an entire weekend to working as hard as we could so we ended up incorporating a week after our daughter was born and the opening hours app launched two months after she was born six weeks or two months after and when you're talking about where we were putting gioco do in front of our developer friends there is one day when Matias was on paternity leave and went down to visit some friends of ours at an incubator in DC called 1776 and put it in front of a bunch of our friends there and asked them what they thought and and so that was very integral or - it was you know this would be amazing if we can just defray the cost of daycare but we didn't really dream that would be a full-time gig and didn't really spend much time thinking about that instead it was this is great but this could all go away tomorrow because what if Google does this what if so-and-so does that what if something else comes into the market there were very very few moments when we enjoyed the gradual success we were having and instead it was more of a an anxiety of okay what if this doesn't continue what if things break what if this happens in the market what if people decide they don't like us you know what were all those things um and I think it was it wasn't even told we'd been running the company for a year and a half and we actually didn't even take any money out of the out of the company for a long time yeah yeah we we were just scared that it would go away and so we just kind of kept her husband so what did you did you need to do anything along the way there to mitigate against those existential risks from the market or did you learn over time oh those are those are actually irrational fears we've got a free week yeah we fit in a really good spot in the market and there will be competitors but we've got a decent moat here do is is which of those two which of those two was it or was it a mixture of both their concern about what could happen in the market and with our product was constant and I would say is constant at no point have I ever sat back and thought to myself that we have a great moat actually I think we have a terrible one and you know because geocoding it's integral to the Internet and to providing services online but it's also a commodity it's I tell people sometimes it's the equivalent of selling wood into the software industry everybody needs it and so it's a volume business but there isn't necessarily huge space for differentiation where we differentiate is on trying to make it easier for people like so for example a knows great documentation that's not only providing a better product experience and more affordable pricing also making it easier for people to connect to other pieces of data so there are people who are using coordinates to make maps which is the most common use case but there's also a lot of pieces of data that are only available if you have the coordinates so for example time zones or congressional districts that that information is only available if you have the coordinates so where we have tried to differentiate ourselves in an extremely competitive mark is to eliminate steps in people's processes so if you use any other service and you want to know so you have someone's address and you want to know what their congressman's phone number is because you want them to call Congress about let's say you run a nonprofit you would have to first take their address then convert it to the coordinates and then take the coordinates and then hit one API that will give you the congressional district and then hit another API that will tell you the Congress person's name and phone number so you just had to go through several steps to just get that one and piece of information that's all you care about and we make it so that you can get go from the address to just having the phone number and you don't have to deal with multiple api's with multiple terms of use and formats and and things like that but that's just a small example of how the business we're in is very competitive and we are constantly looking for ways to make things easier for our customers yep but I don't think the geocoding industry itself leads itself to defensible moats and I think that's why you see a lot of the vast majority of our competitors have really strict Terms of Use so we're one of the few gioco doors that will let you store the data in your database most will not let you store it they won't let you manipulate the data they won't let you use it for anything except showing it on their brand of map and I think that's because it is somewhat of a commodity yeah so that's that's pretty interesting so if you if you scroll down to the bottom of geo kotya or geo code I owe you there's like a dozen you know use cases like political and civic data HIPPA compliance real estate teachers students academics etc which kind of gets back to what you were just describing which is part of your it sounds like anyway part of your competitive advantage or additional value that you're offering is that you have dug into some of specific use cases and discovered what is the what are some of the most common and most likely next steps that our users take with this data let's make that easier and that's where your competitive advantage comes from yeah that's the carved out here so how did you how did you go about discovering and uncovering those dozen ish or so and I'm sure there are more yeah how did you go about discovering those use cases and yeah taking your users a step or two further in their workflow to save them time one of our most important values as as a business and what drives why we do this is to be customer friendly and to build a product that is something that if we were the customers ourselves that we would want to use and part of that is talking to our customers a lot and that means talking to them in support settings and in sales settings but also finding the time to sit down and interview them about their process and learn why it is that they need this in the first place and what is the overall goal they're trying to get to and that has been one of the most helpful things for our business is being open to feedback when people reach out to us and saving it and categorizing it and then proactively asking for it and going out to people and saying you're using this from us why what what is the overall reason you're doing this you know we know that coordinates are not stamps people don't collect them for the fun of it they're trying to do something else and so what is that other thing they're trying to do and what are other steps in the process they're taking and where are they spending a lot of time or spending a lot of money or they don't like one a vendor that they have to for some reason because of their terms or how the how they have to use them or some annoyance there's some manual step they're doing exactly exactly so so um fairly often I'm I sit down with our customers over the phone yeah and just try to understand what what are they doing and where are they in that process and and how might we help them better and you know sometimes people can very clearly articulate what those other frustrations are so for example from past year or so we've heard from banks and insurance companies that they they so they need to get the FIPS codes for all of the addresses they might make a mortgage for for example and a FIPS code is basically the census identifiers that you can use to connect across many different government datasets and in order to comply with federal fair lending requirements banks are required to report on all of the FIPS codes and statistical areas and other key data to ensure that they are lending to everyone fairly and so we supply that data and we have for several years but we heard from them that they also need it historically because they might have their loan portfolio from 2016 that has additional compliance needs this time and they need to run the whole thing through at once and so listening to them and hearing okay not only what not only that they needed historical census tracks but why and what does their world look like and what does their process look like right now and where where are they struggling in that process and why is it difficult for them and it turned out that the tool that a lot of our customers were we're using basically the only other tool for this online unless you buy a huge software package that does tons of other things related to banking compliance where there's a tool the government has where you can enter one address at a time and if you have a loan portfolio over ten years with twenty million addresses in it you're not going to sit there and do it one at a time and so companies were building it themselves or you know having to buy much larger software packages in order to do this one thing so we're like you know that's a good opportunity for us to come in make this easier for them eliminate some hassle in that process make it cheaper a [Music] good time to pause for a second and let you know that this podcast is brought to you by transistor FM transistor offers you professional podcast hosting and analytics they host this podcast I am a huge fan and I'm not the only one I just searched Twitter for recommend the transistor FM and yeah there are plenty of folks in here will Qing saying I cannot recommend transistor FM enough the attention and care and my Justin and John Buddha put into their customers and product can't be beat totally true Sammy Xu Kurtz saying for hosting I can highly recommend transistor FM they make distributing to all major platforms and ease it goes on and on listen if you're thinking about starting a podcast look no further go to transistor FM and if you decide to sign up let them know that Bryon's India yeah yeah how do you can how did you confirm or how do you confirm that one one customers use case that you're talking to on the phone and similar to the one you just described that if you go if you go and build that for them that it's going to be profitable across you know some meaningful percentage of your customer base how do you think through that you never know that but you can do research with your own customers and research in the market so for example if we're a hearing from someone and I'm saying you know this is something that thanks for doing and so you know my first thing would be okay what is this they're talking about in the first place you know I am NOT an expert in thinking compliance but someone can go out and figure out okay how you know how many banks are there in the in the country how many of them are the size of this customer that's reaching out to because you know a huge bank has very different needs than a community bank that is definitely very different characteristics the number of loans they're making that what their vendor relationships are like you know how much they're relying on vendors or student house and also just understanding the the broader need that they're there looking at in this case it was compliance with federal fair lending requirements and then also looking at our customer base so saying okay how many how many banks and insurance companies do we already have who you know ever they've ever signed out or sort of signed up or they have sent us an email they have expressed interest you know can we reach out to them and say we've heard from other people that there is an interest for historical census data is this something you also have a need for would you be able to tell me more about it and then and if they say no say well what do you need instead what does this look for you guys and just basically just try to get into their head as it relates to this process you know you never know whether something is going to be successful I think sometimes there is a tendency to try to gather lots and lots of numerical data to give yourself confidence in the form of charts and I don't think that always reflects reality and and to an extent you know if I can know okay I know that I've got a handful of customers who have a reasonably good lifetime value or potential for lifetime value here let's do this and then we'll often find out that oh there's this other use case for this that we didn't even realize so for example I mentioned that thanks use census data there is also a company that is an investor and they invest in in lots of startups it's not earnest capital but it's another investor and they have an international network of companies and mentors and founders we're always looking to connect and I was talking to them about census data I don't know about a year ago and they're saying how they started using it from us so that they could see who are all of startups and mentors and investors in the same city and using metropolitan statistical areas for that so basically tell you everyone who is in the Chicago area they wanted to have a meet-up for everyone which is something that is difficult to do unless you have that piece of connecting data so they are not a bank but they also have this use case with you know thousands and thousands of addresses at a time and and that's a pretty good customer for us and so I find through an iterative process of interviewing and releasing features we can discover what else people need and I am always surprised by the breadth of customers that we have and delighted to discover that there are niches within industries that I never even realized they're there and they're using us like I feel like I come across very frigid when I find that out because it's just so much fun to learn about so many different types of businesses yeah you said they're like through an iterative process of talking to customers of customers regularly you said before like fairly often was the phrase that you use so what give me a sense give us a sense for what what is fairly often how many customers a week per month like what's your what's your cadence there we have interview recruitment emails that trigger based on a series of actions so I have an email that goes out all this is through intercom which for example the first time after we charged someone an email we'll send out to them asking to learn more about what they're trying to do and so those emails will all go out on the 1st of the month when we charge our pay-as-you-go customers which is generally what people sign up for to start so the week the first week of the month is always super busy for me because I end up having so many conversations people and and sometimes people just want to email back and forth and sometimes they want to have a call and it really depends and then throughout the month we have other emails that go out I also have if people cancel an email goes out and I might set up a call with them yeah um they interviews our time consuming and they can also be exhausting so I think I usually I usually aim for about one to two a week and I try to have them be about an hour each okay getting into someone else's head and focusing on really having that much empathy for someone else it is it takes a lot of energy and I love doing it because I learned so much about what they're trying to do but it is I mean I will admit that it is tiring because it's warm of acting is a natural actor they wouldn't they wouldn't find it takes so much energy um okay yeah yeah so what percentage what percentage of folks take you up on the take you up on that offer to hop on the phone or at least give some feedback like what's what's a good benchmark that listeners who implement this practice as soon as somebody starts paying us money we're gonna automate an email and ask for some time like what's a benchmark percentage that they should be able to measure and say okay cool we're within range here or wow hardly anybody is responding to this we need to rewrite this email I would say 2% is a good one to aim for okay and and I and I would say let's say if you have 20 customers a month if you can get two of them on the phone with you who will talk to you for half an hour about what they're trying to do you're doing really really well even if you only talk to one person and this is the first outside of a customer service or a sales setting I think it's really important to differentiate those different ways of talking to customers because they're very different you know in customer service someone specifically what why do you make that distinction yes so when you're doing in a customer service setting someone has a problem they're looking to solve and usually they want to get back to whatever it was they were doing whether that problem is learning about what your service does or figuring out why an error is occurring or figuring out how to implement it their mindset at that moment is that they just want to get this over with and get the thing yeah it's not the right time to ask them to sort of sit down on your proverbial talk-show couch and learn about what they're doing in a sales setting their people might confuse the empathy for trying to sell you things yeah and trying to use that against them yep and so we definitely have times when a potential customer is talking to us and telling us about what their needs are and what their process is but the way I can port myself and in those settings is very different than I would in an interview um in an interview you know in sales setting you're trying to impress them and you're trying to get them to sign on and you're trying to say here's what you need here's what we do let's do it in an interview it's all about them and you're not trying to impress them you certainly want to make sure that they're not trying to impress you because otherwise you're not going to get a genuine reflection of what it is they're trying to do so I will notice that my tone of voices is different in different contexts that especially the questions I ask and and how I respond the questions is very very different so for example when you're doing an interview if someone asks you a question about yourself or about your own experience you have to turn it back onto them right away you have to deflect that right away versus in a sales setting you're building a relationship so you might actually want to relate to them a little bit it's just a very different different dance yeah and it's complete sense yeah and it's hard to do those both at the same time and so you know for example after someone signs up and if it is something that we had one or two sales calls but because we don't always because very often people will just sign up and start using it and we never hear from them but if we did you know if it's you know sort of an enterprise deal and we had a couple of phone calls with them I intentionally wait at least six months before I try to reach out to them for an interview I want to make sure that you know they're comfortable to service everything is working fine and that also that it doesn't somehow get confused as being part of the sales process because I think people rightly have a lot of barriers up when they are being sold to they are you know for very good reasons you know more suspicious and more careful yeah as they as they should be as I am personally um and so in an interview you want them to be like to be able to open up to you and you want to you want to be able to say what are you struggling with and you want to be able to get an honest reaction back and and not that kind of awkward impress each other you know courtship dance that goes on during sales we'll have a few minutes left here but I wanted to go back and just get it get a ask a couple of questions about when when you and Matias made the transition from your from salaried positions into working on gioco do full-time that that transition is a challenge and a struggle that every bootstrapper wonders about faces stumbles through whatever so I'm just kind of curious like what was that you know tactically practically financially like what was that transition like and what advice would you have for folks who maybe who may be approaching that that milestone making the transition to full time is such a huge decision and there are so many different factors that you're thinking about for us there there was the security that both of us were working on it and both of us had full-time jobs so the biggest concern that we had for a long time was health insurance which is exorbitantly expensive in the United States yes and with me going full time only that shielded us a little bit from that expense but you know because we have a family and because we are constantly scanning our competitive environment we didn't make it take it lightly I think we waited until our revenue was about four times my salary before I went full-time I'd really enjoyed the company I was at but they were going through a transition and I decided that I I wanted to leave regardless so I didn't know at first whether I was going to work on JUCO do full-time or go get a job okay and I actually interviewed it a couple of places some of them are really cool amazing companies and I would have worked with people I'd worked with in the past and I realized as I was interviewing with one of them that I was like you know I just can't get as excited about this as I can about working at gioco do and that doesn't really seem fair to you know to you know cuz I in in not position specifically my manager would have been an old manager I'd had who was a great manager and I really liked her a lot and and I was you know getting off the phone with the VP of the department and at this well-known brand name remote company and it was like Wow like if I am getting off that call right now and as we talked about business I think about what we're doing in gioco do rather than what I would do as a member of that organization that really says something to me but it took me about a month of working through this and just kind of doing basically just doing basic maintenance work on JUCO do and Marique on doing the house to think through what I wanted to do because it was so scary because you know I think especially as a parent there is this this obligation that you know this is not the time in your life to take risks it was how I felt that you know I need to make the decisions that are the most stable for our family rather than the ones that are the most personally edifying and I felt that weight very strongly that I would be irresponsible as a parent to do the thing that would make me happier and as I talked through this with people I knew you know they pointed out to me that you know you'll be a better parent if you're doing something that makes you happy so maybe that you know your revenue is you know not the exact fixed line that a twice a month salary check would be but you'll probably be a happier person and a better and a more engaged parents if if you're doing something that makes you happy and if you're doing something it makes you happy your potential to make more money and to turn it into something very stable it is higher and that was really hard advice for me to hear but I'm glad I had good people around me to tell that because that ended up being the case yeah yeah looking yeah congratulations on that and and on all that you've been doing with with gioco do Michele how can how can listeners find and follow you online so I'm on Twitter it's probably the the best way to interact with me and like many of us I probably spend too much time on Twitter I always love talking to people who are getting their own businesses going and trying trying to get it off the ground or or make it grow I love talking about customer interviews and spreading the gospel of talking to your customers I think it's so valuable it was revelatory for me as a product manager when I learned how to interview customers and I think it's something that every bootstrapped entrepreneur should know how to do so if you just find me on twitter & JW hanson and we can tweet about business life sports other things i also we try to go to microcon so we went we went last year for the first time and it was such an amazing experience it's a really great community some excellent speakers um well I had I had the opportunity to give a short attendee talk so I'm talking about the other speakers is it micro comp is a fantastic experience and they they have an immersion for people who are already full time and then a version for people who are getting something off the ground and so if you are listening and you're gonna be at microphones next year we are doing our best to try try to make it next year and would love to would love to talk to you sweet yeah I have not been yet but I usually go I it is I have blocked I have blocked it out on my calendar this this upcoming year I definitely want to be there so I look forward to - to meeting you in person if we if we both make it yeah that would be awesome excellent my guest today has been Michele Hansen Michele thank you once again so so much for everything you share thank you for having me this is a lot of fun all righty my friends got a hot mug of tea here with me ready to do some closing thoughts and that was a really great I really enjoyed hearing about their business and in their journey through it just always so fascinating to me these what seemed like crazy niche businesses that are yeah completely supporting a family and you know given someone a job that they really enjoy doing and you know who would have known you know geocoding information super super interesting and I mean what a perfect example of replacing a workflow of people passing spreadsheets back and forth right one thing that I think is really fascinating and interesting about the way that they have gone about growing their business and even though Michelle is you know saying that their their defensive mode she's she's still a little bit nervous about it I I think it's interesting the way they've gone about it to to offer really great user experiences to those you know a couple dozen or so used cases specific niches specific industries and that they that they're delivering an amazing user experience on an API so I just I like that that idea usually we think about fantastic user experience as being like a really nice UI with you know beautiful transitions that lasts just the right amount of time and delight the eye and in just the right way but instead you know what they are doing is that they are saving their customers a couple of additional next steps through their through the delivery of their data which I've done through customer interviews through you know knowing their people and getting them yeah and talking to them getting them on the phone what was the other thing they also you know they were they reduce anxiety by allowing their customers to store the data so Michelle mentioned that they're one of the only people in their industry that allows for this that they are in a commodity market and so and it sounds like many of their customers have responded to that through with with with a scarcity approach you know of trying to make it really difficult for you customer to be able to kind of grab this and run it's almost like it's just an untrusting way of looking at your customers what gioco do is doing is saying we're going to reduce your anxiety that we you know what if what if something happens to our service and this data that you've been fetching and that you've been needing is suddenly unavailable well hey you don't have to worry about that with us let us put your mind at ease and so I'll link to it in the show notes but there's a there's something I'm 97 percent sure that I've mentioned it here on this show but Bob Mesta and the folks at the at the rewired group talked about the forces of progress of push-pull anxiety and habit and when that when the consumer when a customer is making a purchasing decision those four forces are at play so I will link to a talk that Bob has given on this bobbin and Chris and an article that I have written about this I she was talking there that really just left out at me that oh they have identified that in this market people have people could have some anxiety because of the way that their competitors are behaving and they have responded not by you know going along and doing the exact same thing just the opposite by being very open handed and differentiating their offering in that way that's a fascinating approach I'm curious if that that sparks anything for you let me know um let's see she did yes she talked about you know saving and categorizing feedback from customers that's that's something that has come up several times now in other conversations that yeah the idea of categorizing your qualitative feedback you know analyzing it in some way and pulling those sentences out whether it's somebody on the phone or it's through your customer service portal or whatever software whatever you might be using that is you're getting this you know these these streams of feedback from customers to you know pull quotes put them into a spreadsheet a Trello board enjoy HQ whatever whatever you might decide to use to pull those quotes out categorize them tag them so that you can refer to them down the road that they don't just become some ephemeral conversation that you had with a customer or that is some interaction on on customer support that was fascinating well it's yeah and so in those in those conversations you know she talked about getting to like what's the thing that you're trying to do here people don't collect coordinates for fun they don't their customers do not want coordinates they want to do something else and so what are they where are they spending their time where are they spending their money what what are they trying to get what are they trying to get done they don't they don't want coordinates they want to do something else and so by digging into those next steps geocode EO is helping their customers to save time save money make money or make them happier in their job not just delivering that not delivering data faster than anybody else not delivering the most data more than anybody else but helping them get their job done faster more reliably removing additional steps down the road I was really helpful to hear Michele talk about that experience with with conducting those those customer interviews and their process for sure of kicking that email out when somebody signs up this I think that this is huge and that the the time to talk to a customer is after they have immediately hired or fired you so after they've signed up or after they've cancelled this is like becoming well pretty pretty well recognized approach to which customers should I be talking to well the ones who have just signed up or just started paying or the ones who have said you are no longer right for me I'm out those are the people who have a very near near term experience that they can talk to you about realistically without like you know if you talk to somebody three months down the road about their purchasing decision you're likely to get you know some some like unintended like well-intentioned bias and reframing of history like there is not going to be intentional it's just not going to be not going to be as valuable so I guess the so on that note I'll also link to this in the show notes I've got a jobs to be done interview guide that if the things that Michelle was talking about resonate and you think I really need to try that out for my business I know that I should be doing that you can either just search for Brian ray jobs to be done interview guide or just click on it down there in the show notes so you can read that article I've got a couple of resources that you might be interested in signing up to receive hopefully that will help you out if you if you need actual help then hit me up and I'd be more than happy to to give you some give you some assistance there and see if we might be able to work together on that I think that just about does it as always I would love to hear what you all thought was there anything from this interview that left out at you something that you want to apply to your business first thing tomorrow you can hit me up on Twitter brh the a if you're listening on breaker leave a comment on this episode I'll check in on those from time to time and until next week thanks for listening


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