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As part of #Growthmakers we visited three companies located in Helsinki. Smartly.io an online advertising Saas company with a focus on customer service. Goodio, which produces healthy chocolate bars with principles of sustainability and wellbeing. Wolt, a food delivery service that in just a few years has expanded to over 32 cities. From this visit we had a lot of observations and insights from each company which you can find bellow:
Smartly.io – Insights
Smartly was a very interesting company with a very current approach to marketing. We started the day with Nicky Dolenc, who gave us an introduction to the company and Kristo Ovaska later visited us to answer our questions. Out of the visit I took three lessons with me, core service, testing, and culture that drives strategy.
On Core Service –
While investigating about Smartly.io my first impression was that the reason for their success was mainly their software. It provides an useful tool that is needed currently in marketing, Smartly adapts well to new SoMe platforms, and have a very good features such as templates, to make their customers’ job easier. However, it was interesting that one of their core services and success factor is their 24/7 customer support. Everyone at Smartly.io does customer support. As well, this is a factor in their hiring process, if the potential employee has skills to do customer support. This service adds value to their customers and it’s a differentiator against their competitors. When asking Kristo, “How did they had realized that it was a need for their customers?”. Kristo mentioned that they kept receiving emails and calls from their customers asking questions, so they knew it was going to be a need for their customers from very early stage. Connected to the customer support is testing and updating. Customer support 24/7 allows them to have instant feedback of their software. Due to this feedback, they are able to fix bugs and problems fast. Nicky mentioned that they have multiple updates during the day, sometimes up to twenty updates.
On testing that adds value –
Another aspect of testing that was interesting was of using testing to provide value to current customers. If they want to expand to a new SoMe platforms they search in their customer pool customers that would find it useful to go into that SoMe platform. They proceed to test the new tools with those customers. Providing early value to customers and obtaining feedback from the tests. Tests are done in three stages, first stage where they provide personal assistance (through the customer service), second stage where there is not personal assistance and third where the feature is made available to all customers.
On a culture that drives strategy –
One of the things I loved the most about Smartly was their roadmap / northern star. This roadmap is an illustration of their values and goals for the future. Through their explanation it was clear that their values decide their future, their culture drives their strategy. After reading Start with Why it is clear the need to have values and culture driving strategy. When facing problems and not knowing the next step to take, the best is to go back to your values and make the decision from your foundations.
“The impossible is just an opinion”
Before leaving Kristov told us the story of one of their first big customers, Rocket, and how everyone, from Facebook to other companies had told them it was going to be impossible to keep them as customers. Kristov answered back that their “impossible” was just an opinion.
Goodio – Insights
At Goodio we met Jukka Peltola, one of the co-founders of Goodio. We visited their offices and as they had just moved recently into them they were being renovated. Their plans for the future of the office were quite interesting. Jukka mentioned about making the office an experience where people could go to a coffee shop and see the process of the chocolate being made. From that moment we experienced what he meant with one of Goodio´s values which is transparency. We sat down and talked about how Goodio was created and the struggles the company faced at the beginning.
A value turns into a product –
Jukka talked about how he wanted to create a company people could trust. From the ingredients, to the packaging and marketing of the company. Their values are strongly based on transparency and sustainability. Before starting Goodio, he would always go to the supermarket and while reading the content of the food products, he would be surprised by all the chemicals they contained. He said “I can use my time to point fingers or I can use my time making a change.”
“Find something you are excited about and think how can you make it better?”
It makes you think, if one company is able to find the best and most sustainable way of making a product, how is it that other companies don’t do the same? In our conversation Jukka said “Find something you are excited about and think how can you make it better?” It was great to hear the passion Jukka has for his product.
Wolt – Insights
Wolt, the food delivery service, has an interesting company position. They provide value to customers and to restaurants, while managing a fleet of deliveries. Therefore their communications, tools and logistics have to be adapted for all of them to be able to provide the same level of value.
Connection between customers and restaurants – During our visit we met, Juhani Mykkänen, Co-founder of Wolt. One of the interesting aspects of Wolt is that to be able to provide a solution for hungry customers, they have to contact restaurants and make sure they are connected through a delivery fleet. Both of them go hand by hand. Without restaurants there is no customers, without customers there is no restaurants, and without them there is no Wolt. Therefore they have to pay attention to how the tools they provide to restaurants, customers and their own delivery fleet work together. Providing efficient and easy tools for all of them to be the connection between them all.
Normally when we order food we never think about how it was possible that we received our food and it is still warm. However, the level of logistics and optimization that goes into single trips was very interesting. Wolt uses algorithms that determine the best and fastest possible way to take a trip between available delivery orders. That means picking up the food from different restaurants and then taking them to the right directions. As mentioned by Juhani is not always as easy as going from A to B. Therefore, apart from being the connection between restaurants and costumers. Wolt provides high level value to all of them from the logistics and operations that they are able to offer.
This trip was good as all of the companies have different perspectives to their products and values. It was interesting to learn from each one of them. Specially learning the importance of creating you company on the foundation of values, which will later on drive your strategy. As well, understanding the differentiators all companies have, compared to the main product they offer. All companies are where they are because they understand their customers and are able to provide the right kind of value for each of them.