Finding out what’s behind your customers’ decision-making process is every business owner’s dream. In fact, companies are spending over $30 billion annually in customer surveys to try and figure it out. But somebody has to create those surveys with the right questions. Unfortunately, results are often inaccurate or not all-encompassing due to unintentional bias behind the questions.
Alpharetta-based Worthix, a 500 Startups company, uses artificial intelligence to ask relevant questions to each customer, starting with profile questions before moving into more complex inquiries about the product based on their previous answers. It motivates customers to take charge of their revenue decisions and provides your company data on what’s truly relevant to you. Instead of satisfaction, the platform measures “worthiness” — is it worth the effort, cost, and other factors.
“There is an enormous amount of bias that goes into questionnaires and that limits the topics that customers get to talk about,” says Guilherme Cerqueira, Founder and CEO. “That’s the beauty of Worthix. It’s the only methodology on the market that feeds questions according to how the customer is responding and gives them the freedom to expand on what truly matters to them.”
The Brazil-born serial entrepreneur grew Worthix in Silicon Valley before setting up a second office in Alpharetta this past April and recently closed a deal with FICO. Here, Cerqueria talks more about what motivated him to move from Silicon Valley to Georgia, why measuring worthiness is essential, and their expected market impact.
What’s your current funding status?
Worthix has secured investment of $1.7 million.
What problem are you solving with Worthix?
Worthix is the first customer survey technology that has built-in artificial intelligence, making it capable of pinpointing what’s behind customer motivations and decisions.
The vast majority of customer surveys lead nowhere because questionnaires are designed from the inside out with companies assuming they’re asking the right questions. The Worthix survey generates questions according to the answers your customers are giving, allowing you to see your company from your customers’ eyes without pre-conceived biases.
Worthix econometric algorithms and artificial intelligence pinpoint with scientific precision which customer experiences you should create to motivate loyalty and increase sales.
How’d you get the idea for it?
Worthix is a spin-off of QuestManager, my most prominent company. It was founded once I realized that the solutions offered by consumer research companies, such as customer satisfaction and NPS (Net Promoter Score) were frustrating their clients by not offering an irrefutable correlation to satisfaction results vs. churn and revenue.
Everybody has been measuring the same thing for decades, but now we are living in the customer experience economy era and what used to work in the past is now misleading companies. Blackberry, for example, was losing a tremendous amount of customers while their customer satisfaction index was peaking and now the same thing is happening with retailers all over the world.
How does Worthix use AI to ask the right questions?
Worthix works with macro stimulus and allows customers to write down what’s important for them based on stimulus. Artificial intelligence is a layman’s term for a very complex web of econometric algorithms, programming logic, and machine learning. In a nutshell, our software is able to track words from customer responses and group them into categories which are associated to behavior patterns, and from there, identify the relevant things among everything being said by customers.
At times, the responses Worthix gets will simply confirm, scientifically, what marketing executives already suspected but could not prove. At other times, the results are total shockers and the boys upstairs never even considered the true motivation behind their customers’ decisions.
Why measure worthiness instead of satisfaction?
The true determiner of where customers are putting their money is directly related to the cost/benefit variables that play in their head prior to the decision and those variables are what Worthix can calculate with scientific precision. Satisfaction, on its own, says very little about the buying decision. It’s actually just one among many other factors that Worthix is able to consider when determining a company’s worth.
One thing is abundantly clear in the current market: being satisfied alone will not keep a customer from taking his/her business to the competition. It’s the overall experience that really matters and there are several other dimensions besides satisfaction when we are talking about customer experiences.
What’s your expected market impact?
A recent Gartner report revealed that by 2017, 89 percent of marketers would be using customer experience as their primary differentiator. That means 9 out of 10 marketers across the entire spectrum of markets will, as of this year, be referring to customer experience to make their decisions.
If they use the wrong instrument to measure what is important to customers, they will make wrong decisions that can literally cost their business. Think about it: Amazon didn’t kill the retail industry, Netflix didn’t kill Blockbuster. They did not understand their customers’ needs and expectations fast enough. Worthix is a game changer because we can help companies to make great decisions by creating profitable customer experiences.
What’s your revenue model?
Worthix is a SaaS (software as a service) B2B company.
Who are your competitors and how do you stand out?
Our competitors are every old-school methodology used to survey customers such as NPS and Customer Satisfaction. These traditional models don’t correlate well with financial data and don’t answer the questions today’s market is asking. Worthix uses AI to reverse the process of understanding customers to an outside-in approach.
You started your company in Silicon Valley. Why did you choose to move here and continue growing your company in Atlanta?
There is no place in the world like the San Francisco Bay Area when it comes to startups and the technology ecosystem. I believe it’s crucial for every founder to spend some time there and breathe that air. We are keeping an office there because once you’ve done the networking, launched your product, and raised your round, it’s time to focus on traction.
You don’t need your entire organization to be in the Valley for traction. You need to be near your market and if your market is global, like Worthix, you need to be one flight away from any major city in the world, and Atlanta offers that. The Southeast offers a friendlier time zone when it comes to Europe and Latin America, so that also weighed in positively in choosing Atlanta as an additional location for Worthix. And last, but not least, we wanted to choose a city on the rise; a city we could grow with and this city is definitely rising.