To say customer satisfaction is important to your business is an understatement.  Imagine if you came into work, and found out that half your customers left for your competitor.  If that does not make you start to sweat just thinking about revenue, acquisition costs, payroll and more I am not sure what will.  Sustaining a customer can be hard work, as each customers needs are unique.  We meet up with Jamison West co-founder of SmileBack a customer feedback system designed specifically for MSPs about the importance of customer satisfaction, and feedback. 

Video Transcription

Harry Brelsford 

Hey nation nation back with Jamison West. Happy New Year.

Jamison West 

Happy New Year.

Harry Brelsford 

All right. So where do we find you today? Are you in sunny Las Vegas?

Jamison West 

I am and it’s pretty sunny as usual.

Harry Brelsford 

Let’s go. Yeah, yes. Sunday in Austin. I tell you. I mean, I got a joke with you. But that was a really noticeable and positive change after 32 years in Seattle. I don’t know if you feel the same

Jamison West 

100% a major component of lie loss. Yes. Yeah.

Harry Brelsford 

So let’s talk about smile back  a company you founded what they do with what’s up, they got acquired what’s going on?

Jamison West 

Yes. And give you a little bit of history on the Smile Back. It kind of started back in you. You remember Brad Benner. He owned an MSP in Seattle a long, long time ago, I think I met Brad, literally on the same day I met you at SMB Nation. And Arne and Arlen Sorensen all at SMB Nation like 2006, I believe it was, yeah, it’s about right. So I got to know Brad, pretty well friendly competitor in Seattle, and an MSP up there. And we ended up making a lot of choices that were the same for our businesses and ultimately resulted in the acquisition of his MSP. And so I folded it under mine, which then became our Tyrian later through some other acquisitions. And he moved to Berlin shortly thereafter, and he had this idea for soft for, well, first, he started to build a company merging ConnectWise databases, just because he built it merging his into mind. We had a lot of great ideas, and one of them was to do CSAT you just felt like a big, big gap. And so smile back was born. Brad was the principal founder, me his German co founder, developer, Henrik, who was in Berlin, also, we’ve gotten to know and then I was the US contingent. So us formed company, and really connected to connect wise and ultimately AutoTask, Zendesk Freshdesk, doing CSAT and

Harry Brelsford 

customer satisfaction surveys, right?

Jamison West 

Customer satisfaction surveys, initially and very focused on, you know, integrating into every PSA that that MSPs use. And that was a great seven year journey. So it really started in, you know, it took a couple of years for it to spin up, because I was working on. And I spent the last four and a half years really as a fractional CEO. So really helping kind of, you know, helping with all the US stock, legal stuff, financial stuff. And it was fun to fund to be part of it. I made a couple of trips to Berlin to help with strategy work and, and stayed involved with finance and legal through that entire period. And ultimately, Brad and Henrik had shifted out of the principal operations of the business, we had a great general manager, gentleman named Andrew Wallace, who’s been running the company out of Berlin for the last couple years. And he had worked pretty close together. And it was time it was just time to, you know, mitigate that the original co founders were less operationally involved and make sure that this thing continued to have fuel to grow in the way that it has been. It was a great, great company. Great run a lot of fun.

Harry Brelsford 

Yeah. Yeah. So posts. Last time we talked to you. We were both headed into the ConnectWise. IT Nation I believe, is right around that time. So post it nation. ConnectWise acquired smile back. Right.

Jamison West 

Yeah. So I Yeah, absolutely. We had been starting to have conversations early in 2021. Of course, I’m so deeply involved in the ConnectWise world that I had, I had their ear, started talking to them, kind of spring of 2020 it will just wasn’t a good time, because as early COVID. And everybody kind of hit the pause button. Yeah, a conversation restarted spring of 2021. And, and we just went through that whole you know, it was it was it just made sense. Their their survey was, you know, less than desirable. The original ConnectWise survey, they had some components of better customer satisfaction surveys from other acquisitions, but they didn’t have a solution that was as focused as we were on on on CSAT. We’d also built a net promoter score survey. Yeah, you know, component that that went along with that a couple years ago. So we’d really become best of breed for both seasons. and basically customer feedback across the board CSAT and NPS. So it was great because, you know, we we hope to be done with the you know, we do we hope to get everything done and be able to announce that it nation but you know how these things go lots and lots of work just making sure that all the i’s are dotted and T’s are crossed. So there’s about two weeks after it nation made the announcement.

Harry Brelsford 

Yeah. Yeah, perfect. Wasn’t a another community in the space and I know they’re friendly with ConnectWise wasn’t that Taylor business group doing some of this as part of their motion? Does that ring a bell

Jamison West 

there are a couple other products I don’t know if tailor business group as a whole they have a software platform that they use to kind of manage metrics in the light. So they had had a survey component. You know, when we started smile back 70 years ago, there was really no competition in this space, but it’s it you know, I think that you know, one of the best complements is you know, replication right there are people who kind of we I bet there there are several Yeah, exactly. And there are there are several other solutions in the space that kind of border what we do there’s crew who and simple sat and some others Oh, I’ve heard a crew okay. Yeah, in simple SAT was a was at Thailand so they were doing similar stuff as well. Some CSAT work was the those were the guys who started pronto marketing, all of

Harry Brelsford 

that. No, yeah, Derek Derek Brown. Yeah, no, I haven’t thought of him in years. But

Jamison West 

there’s some other there’s some other products out there but you know, we had a very early lead we were we were larger are the early days and and it just got to have more of a presence from through you know, evolved formerly HTG and and in the ConnectWise community

Harry Brelsford 

No, I agree. Well, hey, we’ll end up this I mean, I know these are crazy times but with that said any shows them on the calendar where people might see you

Jamison West 

you know, there’s no I’ve got a lot of travel on the calendar it’s mostly for E Oh, I’ve got I do a lot of traveling for you know, I’m president of Las Vegas chapter and leaning in pretty heavily. I don’t have any immediate shows on the calendar except for our good friend Dave Siebel. I’m going to be at SMB Tech Best which is a virtual

Harry Brelsford 

Oh, that’s a virtual Okay, I won’t be on

Jamison West 

the road but I will be I will be presenting us and B Tech Best. So that’s it I’m glad to be there with Dave So that’s that’sone that’s coming up. Nothing you know, spring gets a little light and things will start picking up here. And I believe April May we’ll get a couple.

Harry Brelsford 

Yeah. Yeah, I agree. Yeah, I don’t I don’t currently have a current air travel reservation. It’s a really weird feeling. I think I’ll just go take a trip to take a trip.

Jamison West 

Though. Lots of those. They’re just not pretty. It conferences.

Harry Brelsford 

Alright, we’ll talk to you next quarter. Thanks. Alright. Thanks. Bye.