Monday, May 16, 2022

Everything gets digital, but human interaction is not going anywhere

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Sabine Elsässer
Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

PicUP digital calls enable organisations to ring their customers with branded, contextualised, convenient and super engaging experiences

Please introduce yourself and your startup PicUP to our readers

I’m Lior Shacham, the CEO and one of the co-founders of PicUP, an startup transforming the phone channel, with what we call digital calls. Our goal at PicUP is to create the next-gen of communications, by adding personalised digital layers to modernise the good old-fashioned phone call. 
While other channels like apps and web interfaces are digitally optimised, the medium of calls has been left behind, failing to meet the modern consumer expectations. But PicUP changes that. Our digital calls enable organisations to ring their customers with branded, contextualised, convenient and super engaging experiences, blending the power of human interaction with digital superpowers.

With our digital call technology, you can see it’s your bank calling, seeing their logo, an image of your banker and the reason he or she’s calling. It’s all on your screen before you pick up the phone. You can also click a ‘call me later’ button to reschedule and click another button to convert to chat or sign forms while talking with the caller. We have fine-tuned the art of making phone calls transparent, engaging and informative. 

How did you get the idea of PicUP?

I think every true entrepreneur has a radar for things that are “broken” in some way. We looked around and realised that the phone channel is like a black hole. The phone channel is the second-largest sales channel for services after the physical one (stores and branches), way ahead of pure digital channels. 

Just think about taking a mortgage, a loan or a complex insurance policy. Billions of dollars get through the telephone channel every day, and yet, nobody likes the intrusive and annoying experience of receiving an unidentified phone call and the inefficiency of a voice-only experience.

Why did you decide to start with PicUP?

When we played around with the idea of ‘fixing’ the phone channel, we realised that combining digital with voice would be the solution. We were confident we could build this technology and felt it would be an amazing journey – a journey that we must start.

What is the vision behind PicUP?

Our goal is to transform the way phone calls look and what they feel like, to help businesses engage better and for consumers to enjoy wonderful conversations. By partnering with Vodafone and other leading telecom and financial companies, we want to transform any business call, from your bank, your doctor, the delivery guy and the technician. We truly believe all calls will become digital in a few years and we are leading the charge. 

How difficult was the start and which challenges have you had to overcome?

Getting huge telecom companies and heavy financial institutions to integrate a small startup tech inside their consumer apps, installed in millions of devices isn’t difficult…it’s almost impossible! We had to overcome every existing technology, privacy, security and usability barrier, and convince them they must do it, or be left behind. 

Who is your target audience?

Telcos, financial services, insurers and almost every B2C company out there. One of our clients just told us that although 100% of the people who are interested in his product learn about the product via digital channels, the actual sale process occurs almost only via the phone channel. 

What is the USP of your startup?

Our platform is the only tool enabling organisations in completely transforming the customer experience of their outbound calls, adding a beautiful personalised visual, interactive digital layer on top of every regular phone call they make.

Can you describe your typical workday?

Basically, it’s the same work every day – solving new problems we never faced before and getting people to believe we can really change the world together. A typical work day will involve meetings with clients and prospects around the globe and working with my team on different domains.

Where do you see yourself and your startup PicUP in five years?

We’re building a platform that can serve almost every company in the world. I think in 5-7 years digital calls from businesses, that combine voice and visual layers, will become the standard of modern conversations. And we are the team driving that change. 

What 3 tips would you give to founders?

Don’t give up. Creating something new and getting people to adopt it is super hard. Just keep going and solve every new problem you face.

Listen. If you’re a founder, you already know a lot. Now open up and listen carefully to every interaction. That’s the best way to learn and really understand your reality.

Everything gets digital, but human interaction is not going anywhere. Build strong relationships with your team, your clients, your investors and advisors. 

More information you will find here

Thank you Lior Shacham for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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