How We Plan to Rebuild in The Post COVID Economy | Interview with Matt McConnell
Thrive Global featured Intradiem CEO Matt McConnell in a series on How Business Leaders Plan To Rebuild In The Post COVID Economy. Read these highlights from the interview, covering Matt’s vision of helping companies increase the level of customer service they deliver using intelligent automation technology.
Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
I wanted to create software that allowed companies to provide employee training during downtimes, instead of interrupting the flow of the workday. I experienced this in my first role, constantly being plucked away from my desk to complete training, to only then be stuck working late to make up for lost time.
Fun fact: the concept of Intradiem was actually written out on a bar napkin!
Can you share a story about a mistake you made when you were first starting your business? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
A mistake I made starting out was assuming every person was similar to myself. That they were motivated by the same things, had the same interests and same set of problems. Therefore, I thought I could design a product aligned to these similar behaviors, which I quickly realized was not the case.
The biggest lesson I learned was to fall in love with a problem, not a product. […] Intradiem’s early days of success were tied to asking our customers the right questions, and using their insights to create a better product.
Can you share with our readers a few of the challenges you faced during [the COVID-19 pandemic] crisis?
The pandemic has undoubtedly presented a challenging economic climate, but since the onset of COVID-19, Intradiem has made our intentions very clear:
First, prioritizing our employees and avoiding any staff cutbacks. Next is taking care of our customers and making sure they have the support they need from us. And lastly, using this time to extend our lead in the market. All of these goals are connected and begins with a commitment first to our Intradiem team.
We invest in our employees and ultimately, they will power Intradiem to achieve both our short and long-term business goals.
Can you share a few of the opportunities that you anticipate in the Post-COVID economy?
A great way to [recoup lost revenues and be profitable in the new market landscape] is by relying on technology that empowers people to work smarter, and helps companies grow faster.
McKinsey Global Institute’s “The Future of Work in America” report solidifies this notion, revealing that: “less than 5 percent of occupations can be automated in their entirety, but within 60 percent of jobs, at least 30 percent of activities could be automated by adapting currently demonstrated technologies.”
Soon, we’ll start to see more companies look to automation as a way to drive cost savings and guarantee peak efficiency across all facets of their business. Contrary to popular opinion, this will not be a robot takeover, rather, a means of empowering employees to succeed with additional support from emerging technologies.
How do you think the COVID pandemic might permanently change the way we behave, act or live?
I believe this trend will be here to stay long after the COVID-19 dust settles. Especially within contact centers, we will see a sustained shift away from physical call centers to remote agent models. […] Security and productivity concerns have limited remote workforce models in the past, but now we see work-from-home is possible and sustainable. We help our customers directly manage a remote workforce that used to be in-house: that’s the real power of Workforce Automation.
What do you personally plan to do to rebuild and grow your business or organization in the Post-COVID Economy?
If you do right by [customers], growth will follow.
Topline growth [in saturated industries] is stagnant, so the only way to increase profit is to cut costs. Workforce automation is a proven way to achieve this, while simultaneously improving agent engagement and customer experience.
My vision is that automation will shape the future of work in contact centers[…].
A ‘Life Lesson’ Quote that has been relevant in your life?
I never wanted to look back on my career and think of what could have been, so early on I took a risk and started my own company. What scared and motivated me was never taking that leap of faith. Starting Intradiem was my way of daring mighty things and leaving a lasting legacy.