Interview with Daniel Zielinski, Partner Marketing Manager at LiveChat
From being listed on the Warsaw stock exchange to pivoting to a SaaS model in 2009, LiveChat has continued on an exciting and strong growth path. As a platform which serves both customer support and online sales, LiveChat strives to constantly offer new and robust features for its customers, including developers. We had the opportunity to chat with Partner Marketing Manager Daniel Zielinksi to understand more about how LiveChat and its outlook on the future of customer support in an increasingly automated world. Bonus: a special discount for HostAdvice readers.
HA: Tell us a little bit about your background and how you came to be the Partner Marketing Manager at LiveChat.
I joined LiveChat in 2013 as a support agent and then worked in customer support for a couple of years. At the time I had zero marketing knowledge, but I had experience working with third parties, analyzing incoming partnerships and coordinating projects. I had no problem talking to customers and third parties, which helped me when I joined the marketing department.
HA: LiveChat has had the distinction of being traded publicly on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (LVC) since 2014. Can you tell us a bit about that journey?
We’ve been on the market for 15 years now, and over that time we’ve made a couple of business decisions that resulted in being listed on the Warsaw stock exchange. At the beginning, LiveChat was an enterprise-oriented, on premise application - the sales process lasted for 6 to 18 months, and the product wasn’t flexible enough in terms of developing new functionalities. It was hard for us to scale, so we’ve decided to change the product and pivot from the classic sales model to SaaS in 2009. We’ve introduced a subscription model with a few different product tiers which differ in functionalities so that we could serve the entire market. And it has been a great decision for us because since then LiveChat has been on a strong growth trajectory.
HA: LiveChat is an online chat and help desk software. How do you see the future of customer service, online chats and help desk software in the future, especially in the age of more and more AI technology?
We welcome any advancements in AI in the field of customer service. We don’t view AI and technology as competition; rather, we see the challenge as how to combine these technologies and work together to better assist our customers. With that, we’ve decided to roll out a new product called BotEngine – a chat bot platform for building and deploying conversational chat bots to talk to customers and to provide information to users. We’re really excited about this release, and strongly believe it will bring tremendous value to all aspects of running a business.
HA: How do you define your market? Who is your specific target audience within that market?
We are in a very competitive market of around 60 providers, and we’re aren’t the cheapest, but we make up for that by providing a rich set of features and careful attention to details.
The advantage of LiveChat is that it can be used for both customer service and online sales, which gives us the edge to serve customers in almost all industries. It means that pretty much any business with online visitors is our potential customer. If we had to breakdown our clients per industry, e-commerce, hosting, forex, travel and education would be our largest segments.
HA: You offer a product called the Developer Console that lets developers create and publish their own apps. Can you tell us more about that?
Our Developer Console is more of a set of tools and resources that developers can use to deploy features in LiveChat and extend its functionalities. But that's not the most important thing; it's a part of something bigger – the Developer Program. With that we aim to help developers build novel, smart solutions that complement, improve or extend the reach of LiveChat.
HA: Who is your typical customer? Do you have clients in Europe and throughout the world? What's the breakdown? Can you name us some of your biggest customers?
Our customers all have same challenges. None of them have a way to scale their help desk after they start receiving a certain threshold with customer emails and calls. We can help them with this, at the same time assisting them in increasing their sales numbers and providing great customer experience via live chat.
We have over 21,000 customers all over the world, ranging from enterprise to SMB customers. Two-thirds are from English-speaking countries, and over 35% of our customers are in the USA. Paypal, ASUS, GoDaddy, Best Buy, Macy’s, Adobe and IKEA are a few of our biggest customers.
HA: Your headquarters are in Wroclaw, Poland. How many employees do you currently have? Any plans to open up a new office any time soon?
We have 75 employees, including marketers, engineers, and technical support.
Many of our employees have been with us for quite a long time, and we’re quite proud of that. As for the future, we intend to continue to grow our team here in Poland, and this year we’re excited to move into a new office in Wroclaw.
HA: What are your future plans for LiveChat?
We will be spending quite some time building out new features and integrations to help our customers reach their business goals. At the same time – in response to future challenges - we will continue rolling out new functionalities and products, such as BotEngine, that keep us ahead of the curve.
We're also starting to dig deeper into the role partnerships, co-marketing, and other such opportunities. We're trying to find the right way to elevate and feature our partners without feeling too pushy, while at the same time making sure we keep every recommendation relevant to the customers with whom we share it.
HA: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Sure. And if you’re considering live chat to help further engage and support your customers, LiveChat is offering a special discount to HostAdvice users – 50% off the first payment of any LiveChat subscription. Simply sign up via this link and the discount will be applied automatically after your 30-day free trial.