Some of the best businesses have been based on simple ideas that solve everyday problems. One of the unfortunate problems we, as consumers, sometimes encounter is poor customer service. It can be a frustrating procedure, during which you are confronted by forms, telephone queues, and other issues. It was one such experience that compelled James Walker to create Resolver.
I caught up with Walker to get an insight into how he launched this start-up and how he is helping consumers overcome complaints.
What gave you the idea for the company and how did you get started?
My boiler broke down and I had an insurance policy with a utilities company. I paid for a repair and the engineer told me he would fix it the next day but never came back. When I chased the repair they said it was fixed and I needed to pay another £50 ($75) as it was a new issue. I had no choice but to pay as I needed to get the boiler working. I spent four months trying to get money back and realized that there was nothing that actually helped me resolve my issue. There were lots of sources of information, but nothing that proactively helped me and that’s when I came up with the idea for Resolver.
Does the fact that you offer a free service give you an edge over the competition?
We are out to do the right thing for consumers. We believe that you should treat consumers the same as you would want to be treated. We do not sell data, market to, or charge customers but instead provide them with a service that helps them to resolve their own problems without cost or charge. Our competitor is simply the consumers who decide to take on the task themselves. We provide a necessary service; as long as businesses offer poor customer service and delay complaints procedures with bureaucracy, we will be here to help.
How was the process of partnering with MoneySavingExpert.com?
Our agreement with MoneySavingExpert.com is amazing and we are very proud to be working with such an established consumer-focused U.K. brand. This is the first time they have ever allowed anyone else to use their brand, so for us to work with such a strong organization was a major achievement. We had to prove ourselves and earn their trust which, was hard work, but in the end we established a strong working relationship.
How did you fund the launch of your startup?
We started with four friends putting in what we could afford and building the proof of concept. It ended up being a lot bigger than we had expected and we began to build a network of contacts through friends and other associates. We have never turned to crowdfunding but we have opted for recommendation funding – where we have been recommended and continue to expand so I hope we are still doing it right!
You have previously been raised in the U.K. Parliament as an example to those making efforts to improve complaints procedures – what is it that makes you stand out?
In some ways we have picked a boring area of the market – no one likes complaints and no one wants them, except us and, actually, I love them because it is about making a real difference for consumers. PwC calls us a donut brand as we are a circle around the consumer helping them to engage with their businesses more effectively. There are 260 million complaints per annum in the U.K. and yet 45 percent of consumers are not satisfied with how they are addressed. We met with Member of Parliament Oliver Lewin after he spoke in Parliament and he described us as an inspiration on how to improve service to consumers. We now know more about where organizations are failing their customers, and we are better positioned than any consultancy firm to improve their service because we live and breathe complaints.
What was the biggest challenge you faced with the business, and how did you overcome it?
Resolver has been about changing an entire market, so we knew it would not be easy. Those in the consumer support sector did not trust us to begin with, as they wondered what our intentions were and how we generated revenue. We have had the same issues with companies. We now have support across the consumer support community and all companies that we meet with proactively engage with us. The task is not complete as there are more to convince and more services to build, but I think the best way to overcome this not to fear appearing to be as ‘annoying’. For example, if I do not get a response to my email, I will follow up with another and continue at regular intervals until I get a response.
The post Entrepreneur Spotlight Series: James Walker, founder, Resolver appeared first on Power More.
Source: Power More Business