As a product manager in my past life, I had the fortune to lead multiple functions and teams. For most parts of my career, I happened to work in teams that were distributed and spread across the globe. While having a distributed team allows for high thought diversity, it also comes with its unique set of challenges in coordination & communication. When folks are spread out not just in geography and location, but also in functions, information exchange among them is always a challenge. Take for example sales or success teams at a large tech company. More often than not, they need to tap (ping… in the online world :D) multiple shoulders in a single work day to access basic information they need to serve customers. In many cases, this information lies with few & far away experts – the engineers, the product managers – or neatly in some document or folders most don’t even know exists! To top it off, for the shoulder being tapped, sharing this information diligently or urgently is not a priority, or heck, even part of their job descriptions (yes, I was one of those frequently tapped shoulders 🙂).
This lack of access to information creates delays and inefficiencies, negatively impacting the customer experience. It can also end up hurting morale and lowering motivation for the customer-facing teams who constantly feel they’re at the mercy of others to be able to do their job well.
In the past 5 years of my career, I always found myself at the epicenter of these dynamics where I could directly observe the day to day work (and should I say challenges and frustration) of these customer facing teams and how the side-effects trickle down to every other function of a company and hence the revenue margins.
During my time at Tekion, I ended up talking about this with Chaitanya, my engineering manager partner. From his 15+ years in the industry managing many globally spread engineering & technical support teams, he was quickly able to relate to all these problems. In our 7+ long hours chat that night, we both not just discussed all this at length but ended up recalling so many personal anecdotes where we witnessed the frustration of accessing information in a company first hand.
I still find it mind boggling and ironic that the customer facing teams whose sole reason for existence is sharing the most updated information with customers end up struggling so much to access even the most basic information in a company. And importantly why no one has cared to solve it so far!
This was an opportunity we didn’t want to miss.
We decided to start validating this problem statement further and in the last few months have spoken to 100+ enterprises. Not so surprisingly, we found that while everyone agreed information is the key, they also agreed how hard it was for them to get the right information at the time they needed it the most. With distributed teams and so many remote teams mushrooming in the post covid world, the challenge has become even more daunting. From these 100+ calls, we were able to synthesize a few key learnings:
On average, an employee has access to at least 3 different tools to consume information necessary to do their daily work. Astonishingly, in some bigger companies, we found the number of tools can even go upto 12.
Not just the global MNCs, in the post covid world, to tap the best talent, more & more companies are becoming remote & distributed – if not in entirety, at least some significant parts/teams are remote – which effectively increases everyone’s reliance on asynchronous & written communication leading to more softwares & tools. Interestingly, most of these softwares don’t talk to each other, ending up localizing information making the situation worse.
Our most counterintuitive learning was that companies were trying to solve customer satisfaction head-on – better communication training for their employees, more hierarchy & managers, specialized teams & expert designations, better pays – while totally overlooking the information access challenge underneath which was often cited as the #1 blocker when we spoke to on-ground employees.
We quickly realized that by creating a platform that could help employees quickly and easily access any information, we could help companies drive better customer experience positively impacting customer acquisition & retention.
And so, we set out to create DocuStack!
In the past few months, we have worked very closely with multiple stakeholders across many different companies to truly understand their needs and challenges when accessing information. The result is a powerful and intuitive tool that can help teams to better serve their customers and drive profits. And we are very proud to say we are currently inviting companies to participate in our Beta.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
(not) Over & (definitely not) out. 🙂