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Virtual Receptionist Reduces Startup Failure by Validating Customer Assumptions

To the average layman the long odds nature of most business venture may look like bad risk reward calculus, but to the CEO of successful business undertaking, it eventually comes down to making the right calls (or customer assumptions) after carefully analyzing past data or results. Businesses run on these making-the-right-calls–at-the-spur-of-the-moment customer assumptions: customers will buy our product because our product is superior; customers will take the risk of changing their existing supplier; product will sell itself; competitors will respond on expected lines (or manner time and budget will not be a factor; production of goods and services will remain uninterrupted and so on. Many of these customer assumptions do come true – especially those extrapolated with past data or results.

However, a startup – defined as a company in its first stage of operation – does not have the data or past results needed for calibrating customer assumptions. Finding customer assumptions is akin to finding the proverbial needle in a haystack, with eyes blindfolded, and many a startup has bitten the dust moving as they were in the wrong direction on un-validated set of customer assumptions. For example, a startup having unrealistic expectations from their target market will tend to overprice their product or service offering pushing it towards failure.

Startups working with validated customer assumptions are less prone to failure. They know their market inside out and design their product and service offerings accordingly. Since the product matches user need and expectation on multiple levels – price, features – it hits the right spots more often than not. The trick is involving the end user in the overall development of the product. The mantra should be – roll out your product or service offering as early as possible and keep iterating till it matches user needs and expectations.

The SuperReceptionist, a virtual receptionist product of Knowlarity, is a powerful startup enabler. It provides great value right from the bootstrap stage to eventual scale. It provides the tools required to test and validate various customer assumptions lowering the chances of startup failure. Here is how –

Starting quick and dirty

SuperReceptionist is easy to install, requiring little or no CAPEX. With comms up and running you can roll out your product and service at the early development stage avoiding disappointments later on.

Create a database of feedbacks

SuperReceptionist creates a database of call records that can be used to understand customer trends allowing tweaking and tuning product feature to user need and expectations. One feedback may not be much of a trend but when there are whole lots of it something will have to be done.

Pivoting when necessary

Timely pivoting can prevent a lot of headaches. Sometimes it is the difference between success and failure. A startup may have the right infrastructure in place but the business model may be wrong. SuperReceptionist helps startups to pivot early (by studying feedback from users) and avoid long dragged out failure.

Fail early start fresh

It is important to understand that a long dragged out failure can sap all your enthusiasm for your next business venture. Therefore, if you are going to fail, it is important to fail early, so you can use your experience to start afresh. SuperReceptionist will provide early feedback if your project is heading toward failure allowing you start afresh or pivot – whatever is necessary to increase your success rate.

Scaling up operations

While starting your organization failure is the last thing on your mind. You believe that the operation side of the business will take care of itself. Big Mistake! Scaling business is tough. You can end up with a deluge of customer calls taking most of your time and energy. SuperReceptionist ensures business continuity by scaling comms automatically helping you stay connected even as call volumes goes through the roof.

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