Experience of Conversations: Why we started Highways

Why we built Highways

Something you always hear when starting a business is to “have a why”. Have a reason for starting something. Be passionate about it. Deliver value. Deliver an amazing experience. This is a post to tell you all our why.

Short version

The way businesses communicate with their customers is broken. The businesses actually trying to solve the problem are struggling to get it right. Ultimately the experience we have with most businesses online is terrible. But there’s a solution and first part of that is through conversations.

Conversations are the core way humans communicate. But it’s not how businesses (humans) communicate with customers (humans) and this has left a sour taste in everyones mouth.

Our mission is to improve the experience consumers have with businesses.

How we’re going to do this is by empowering businesses and the visionaries in these businesses with simple tools to make the process a lot easier.

What we’ve built is the world’s first conversational context platform, which enables businesses to have much more personal conversations with their customers, while doing it effectively at the same time.

Long version

Our beliefs

1.The way businesses communicate with their customers is broken

With the hyper growth of the internet, businesses struggled to replicate personal experiences online with their customers. They’ve all been so busy building incredible internet products – which has been amazing to see and be a part of. But with that insane growth, we believe businesses forgot about their customers – they turned their customers into what they were in their systems which are numbers. Contact forms, donotreply email addresses, 48hr response times (if even), no personality and a hyper focus on cost reduction when it comes to support.

Broken customer experience
The usual experience with businesses online…
2. The businesses trying to fix the problem are struggling

Now that the internet is a bit older, the industry is flooded with competition. Today on G2 crowd, there are 332 live chat software companies. Think about that – 332 different businesses all built around conversations (for the most part). And yet, we still have terrible experiences online. Businesses are starting to catch on that if they start putting their customers first, it’ll become a competitive differentiator in this competitive subscription economy. Maybe you’ve heard of the buzzword “Customer Experience”? While businesses have caught on, we feel the majority have not and the majority are still scratching their heads wondering how they can do it – but a lot of them aren’t adopting messaging/ live chat/ conversational products because they don’t understand it. They’re stuck looking at operations centers built around phone and email two channels built around serving the business.

3. The key to solving the problem is through conversations

The stagnated approach to customer communication online has left a nasty taste in most people’s mouth – it’s impersonal, stiff and ultimately focused on helping the business not the customer. The new approach, coined as the “conversational” approach, is what we believe to be the best solution to this problem. Consumers are not only used to chatting over messaging services with their friends and family, the younger generations (future consumers) have had their entire lives built around messaging platforms. So the question stands, why can’t we replicate that personal messaging experience with businesses? Well we can and businesses have already been built to make this happen, but they’re still missing a trick – which we aim to resolve.

Our mission

To improve the experience customers have with businesses.

We want to rid the internet of terrible, impersonal interactions with businesses. Businesses who we submit our personal data to every time we interact with them, but yet when we talk to them are left stumbling over questions to qualify who we are “What’s your name?”, “What’s your address?”, “Who is account holder?”…. These sorts of questions are even being asked when you’re logged into THEIR f***g app!!! Think about that.. You’re logged into their app, where you provide all of this data to sign up and yet they’re still asking you these questions when all you want to do is ask THEM a question..

Customer experience conversations
Logged in, asking for name.. really?

How we’re going to do it

We’re going to empower businesses and the visionaries in these businesses, who are trying to fix these terrible experiences for their customers, with simple tools to make the process a lot easier.

The key to the “conversational” movement is data.

Data has always been something only accessible by engineers, systems analysts or analytics teams. Our goal is to let anyone in a business operationalise the data they need to create amazing experiences online – enabling them to put the data they need where they need it.

What we’re building

To start, we’ve built the world’s first conversational context platform.

Context comes in the form of data. 

Think about having a conversation with your friends or family, the reason those conversations are so personal is that we humans have memory and historical data related to the other humans in our life. It breathes life into our daily conversations.

Context brings life to our personal relationships.

We want that same context to be part of conversations businesses and customers are having. The way to do that is by equipping customer facing teams with the data they need to have a conversation with their customers.

Giving customer facing teams context, creates personal experiences for customers

In summary

We’re continuing to see the rapid evolution of the internet. Right now, there are two things happening that we’re bullish about.

  1. Every business in the world will be forced into the conversational model of communication
  2. The next frontier for data is getting it into the hands of customer facing teams

If businesses can begin to operationalise their data and get it in the hands of everyone in a company and more importantly into their conversational platforms – it will drastically increase the experience consumers have on the internet.

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