Q: What does your business do?
A: Hively is the simplest way to gather real-time customer feedback and reward your employees for providing exceptional customer service. Our goal is to help companies understand the importance of measuring customer happiness and to motivate their employees to provide great customer service.
Q: What problem does it solve?
A: Most companies try to measure customer satisfaction with surveys. But surveys have a low response rate, they’re time-consuming to manage and the data is hard to act upon. Instead Hively lets your customers give you feedback by simply clicking on a happy, satisfied or unhappy face every time they get an email from someone at your company.
Every time you get feedback you earn points and get ranked on a leaderboard so you can see who on your team is performing the best. You can also reward top performing employees directly through Hively by sending them Kudos and rewards with digital gift cards.
Q: How did you come up with this business idea?
A: For over a decade we worked in an industry where businesses emailed customers daily and managers had no way of telling if their employees were making their customers happy and solving their problems. We liked the concept of gathering customer feedback online but knew surveys were not the answer. We wanted to simplify the process, make it real time and make it fun. So we came up with Hively.
Q: What are your biggest challenges?
A: When you’re bootstrapping you have to make different decisions. You can’t go as fast as you’d like (which can also be a good thing) and you have to prioritize actions within very narrow constraints. However, having now had the experience of bootstrapping and raising outside capital, so far I’d say the challenges from bootstrapping are much easier to deal with.
Q: What are your goals for the company?
A: To provide a valuable solution to businesses that solves a real problem and show them this can be done with out complicated, expensive, enterprise software. If we can do that we know we can build a healthy, sustainable business that will help create jobs for Oregonians doing something we enjoy.
Q: Do you have any news to share about your company’s evolution, new products or partnerships?
A: Yes! We recently partnered with a great company up in Seattle called Tango Card. Tango Card delivers a digital gift card that can be used as cash, to purchase other gift cards or donated to charity. We have integrated their application to power our new Kudos employee feedback and rewards feature. This lets employees earn real time rewards for delivering great customer service.
Q: Are you looking for funding?
A: Not at this time.
Q: Have you been an entrepreneur before?
A: Yes. This is the second venture for me and my business partner. Our first was another tech start up here in Portland called ShiftWise. We started that company in 2002 and exited in 2010. ShiftWise is still a very successful company delivering staffing software to the healthcare industry.
Q: What brought you to OEN?
A: We get tons of support and education from OEN. The networking events are great but the focused topic discussion talks from successful CEOs are my favorite.
Q: What has been the biggest surprise in your entrepreneurial experience to date?
A: Perhaps it’s just a Portland thing, but I’m constantly surprised by how generous other successful entrepreneurs are with their time, advice and support. When you’re starting out all advice is good advice and getting it so easily from people you look up to and respect is fantastic.
Q: What has been the best entrepreneurial advice you’ve received?
A: Be patient. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t believe the hype. Stay focused on your vision and listen to your customers.