“If you look at every opportunity at once, you will never get to the first place that you planned to get.”– Patricia [35:45]
“You need to show your vision, you need to show your dreams, show where you want to get and show it to these people that they’re going to be a part of it.”– Patricia [32:23]
“You can make small changes in the communication, but you can also launch new products that will get you to deliver that promise.”– Patricia [16:02]
Patricia Osorio: How to Use Customer Reviews to Guide Your Business Strategy
Did you know that you can use customer reviews to improve your product? Reviews give a great deal of consumer data that you can use to improve communication or product to fulfill customer needs.
In this episode of the Page One Podcast, Luke Peters speaks with Patricia Osorio, the cofounder of Birdie. Birdie is a SaaS company with a powerful AI platform that captures customer feedback from multiple sources. She is also the co-founder of GVAngels, an angel investor group that invested more than $5 million in several startups, and an active angel investor. Patricia has a background experience with Marketing, Product Management, and Business Development.
Listen in to learn how customer reviews can help you understand the improvements needed in your business. You will also learn why you should first understand consumer problems when dealing with negative reviews before taking major actions.
- The importance of consumer reviews in encouraging validation economy and collecting consumer behavior data.
- Understanding the consumer data you can get or not get from consumer reviews.
- How to monitor, moderate, and reply to customer reviews through a system of engagement.
- [2:46] Patricia explains how Birdie helps companies understand their customers’ needs in a constant and deep way.
- [3:49] How Birdie focuses on getting feedback where conversations about a brand’s product are happening online.
- [5:20] She talks about her education and entrepreneurial background plus how Birdie was started.
- [7:02] She describes Birdie’s key metrics that include a healthy pipeline for revenue generation and ensuring proper product engagement.
- [9:49] Why consumers require reviews before buying and the importance of reviews for a company.
- [11:25] Patricia mentions some interesting sources where consumers are having conversations that are beneficial for your product.
- [14:14] She describes some of the things your brand can do to improve your customer reviews.
- [16:23] She mentions some interesting insights Birdie’s customers were able to pull out of their campaigns.
- [19:27] The type of data you can’t get from consumer reviews and need to combine other strategies.
- [21:42] Why you should first try to understand customer problems before acting on a negative review.
- [25:04] The three-step process you need to follow to measure KPIs and take action to improve customer reviews.
- [29:41] Patricia explains the opportunities they had with their first customer.
- [32:02] How to approach hiring talent by showing them your vision and dreams so they can help you get there.
- [35:21] The importance of focusing on one thing at a time as an entrepreneur to get the chance to grow.
Speaker 1: Welcome to the Page One Podcast, a podcast featuring a variety of guests and thought leaders on topics ranging from digital marketing, sales channel strategies, influencer marketing, best-in-class product launches., And all the details about how to accelerate sales. Now here’s your host, Luke Peters.
Luke Peters: Thanks for joining us on the Page One Podcast. I’m your host, Luke Peters, CEO of NewAir appliances and Retail Band Digital Strategy Agency. In this episode, you’re going to learn from Patricia Osorio on how to use customer reviews to guide your strategy. And hear her entrepreneur story on how to bring great talent to a new startup.
Luke Peters: So we’re going to focus on product reviews, market and customer insights, and how to fund a new business and how to build that team at the same time. Patricia is co-founder of Birdie, a SaaS company with a powerful AI platform that captures customer feedback from multiple sources, generates real-time actionable insights about buying and ownership experiences, brand perception, product performance and features. And ultimately how all of that can impact MPS and market share.
Luke Peters: So basically, what customers are saying behind our backs and how they’re talking about the products. And putting that into kind of usable information for us then to make a decisions on. She’s also the co-founder of GVAngels, an angel investment group with 200 members that invested more than two million in 20 startups across several industries. And previous to these two endeavors, she also became partner of a marketing technology provider in Brazil that she helped grow from 30 to 400 employees while expanding to other countries in Latin America. So Patricia, welcome to the Page One Podcast.
Patricia Osorio: Thanks, Luke. It’s a pleasure to be here. I’m a listener off the podcast. So it’s really cool to be one of the interviewees today.
Luke Peters: Well, awesome. And for the audience, I thought that this is great. Look, we’re all selling physical products. We all have reviews, good and bad. And often, sometimes it’s really hard to know actually what to do. We can improve our packaging and customer service. But this is even going to get more interesting, because Patricia is going to share insights even for the marketing team, what customers are saying about your product, what they may be even saying about other people’s products that we could market to. So I think it’s really relevant for brand owners and marketers, and the sales teams. And I think we’re going to get some really valuable information here. So Patricia, if you could a little bit more describe your company, describe Birdie. And kind of how you help customers.
Patricia Osorio: Birdie pretty much helps companies understand their consumers’ needs in a constant and deep way. We focus on helping understand what is the overall satisfaction from a customer with their product, how they’re using the products, and anything in that sense. What our solutions is pretty much is that it’s post-consumer generated feedback from e-commerce reviews, discussion forums, and any other sources where consumers are having conversations about products and buying experiences. And then it interprets them, highlighting critical insights for product teams, category management teams, quality, customer service, customer insights, and marketing.
Luke Peters: And what does a brand need to give you, for you to then track down all this information? Do they have to give you like links to all the SKUs on Amazon? Do they just literally have to give you the SKU number? What do you actually need for your team to get started? And then somehow, your software is able to go out all over the internet and scour it for information.
Patricia Osorio: It’s actually even simpler than that. So pretty much what we need to know from the customer is which sources are important for you to manage and to measure. So it can be Amazon, but it can be Best Buy. It can be a Walmart, it can be other places. It can even be a place like Quora or Reddit, where people are having conversations in a specific special forum. So as long as we know where these conversations are happening and what are the places that are important to our customer, we do everything else. So we capture everything that’s there. And we are able to organize those conversations by products, by category, by segments, by tier. So anything that’s needed from there is taken by our technology. And the good side of that is that we sometimes help our customers cover about new competitors that they didn’t even knew about, because we’re bringing new companies that they wouldn’t think about looking into or analyzing.
Luke Peters: Yep. And we’ll get into some examples throughout this conversation. Before we get into that, we’re going to … Later in the conversation, we’re going to talk about co-founding and starting a business. And we’ll get to that also later. But a little bit more about your background. I mean, can you share … Just go a little bit further back and your experience on how you were able to start this firm? That you have a technical background or anything else that you can share what gave you that competency encouraged to start the company?
Patricia Osorio: Sure. So yeah, I was born in Brazil. And my family is a very entrepreneurial family. My parents, they are doctors, but they also had side businesses. And they also always incentivized us to be our own bosses. Like, “Look, try to do something of your own.” And I went to business and law school. So I did two different schools. I never worked with law. I didn’t go in that path.
Patricia Osorio: And right after I graduated in business, I had the opportunity to join at that time, almost 15 years ago, a startup that was in the marketing technology space. The company was about 30 people, so very small. And I had the opportunity to work in almost all areas from finance to marketing, to sales, helping them grow. And that’s where I build this holistic view of a company, including technology. But I’m not a technical person, but I know how to talk to technology people. I understand what are the important elements of building a product. And from there, after more than 10 years there, me and my partners, we actually work together at his previous company. We saw the opportunity to start Birdie. And then we decided to do it all over again. So to build a new company and go. We have two technical co-founders who are leading the product and technology teams. And then two people more focused in business, myself and my CO.
Luke Peters: Great. And we were talking a pre-show, and you’re the CRO. So you got to bring in the revenue. Talk about what are the couple say, two most important KPIs that you use to run your business?
Patricia Osorio: Yeah. Bringing the revenue is really important.
Luke Peters: Yeah.
Patricia Osorio: And that’s actually one of the KPIs we need to focus on. So we not only look at the revenue necessarily, but how healthy is our pipeline? We are a company that sells to large corporations. So it’s a long sales cycle. It can be like three, six months sometimes. So it’s very important for us to manage how many people are entering the top of the funnel, how many people we have that we’re having negotiations and conversations. And that is what help us have a predictable revenue, and an idea of what’s happening in the coming month. That’s one of the key metrics.
Patricia Osorio: The second key metric is related to product usage. So [inaudible 00:07:48] software as a service. So we have a platform that our clients enter, navigate to get insights, to extract the information and reporting it. So for us, it’s very important to see how much they are using us. Are they using that in a daily basis? How many hours they stay, how many reports they generate. So everything that shows the engagement that they are having with the product. Because of course, if you notice the engagement’s not high, that’s a signal that you can have a churn in the future. So these are the two hey things bringing in your revenue, and managing. How is this revenue coming, and the prediction of the revenue. And second, making sure that people are using the platform, so we won’t have any loss of clients too.
Luke Peters: That’s great. And on the sales side, are you using a CRM or tool to manage and capture all that information?
Patricia Osorio: Yeah. We currently use HubSpot. So we use HubSpot not only choose to manage the leads, but also to manage the pipeline. We use some other tools to send emails to people, to connect with them on LinkedIn. I’m one of those persons that sometimes is bothering me, [inaudible 00:09:01] trying to get your notes, and then try to present our solution. But our key technology is HubSpot. Luke Peters: Yeah. That is cool to hear. Obviously there’s a lot of big sales products in Salesforce. But we’ve actually used HubSpot as well for certain tools here at NewAir. And yeah, it’s nice. They actually have a good platform to kind of organize leads, and some cool automation within it as well. And it’s priced really well. So that’s kind of cool to hear that one. So again in this conversation, we’re going to focus on how brands can use customer reviews and customer sentiment to guide strategy, talk about marketing customer insights. And then we’ll finish with how to fund a new business and build that team at the same time. So why don’t we start right here at the beginning, Patricia, why are customer reviews so important for a company?
Patricia Osorio: My perception, I think if you ask anybody that you know, or even yourself, I imagine that if you’re buying something online, probably one of the first things they’re going to do is to read some reviews. 95% of consumer today, read reviews before deciding whether to buy a product or not. We call it the validation economy. So pretty much we need the validation from our peers to make sure that we are making a good buying decision. So that’s the number one reason why consumers review their [inaudible 00:10:23], because they affect directly sales results and conversion results in seconds to complete that. They bring a lot of rich information about what a customer thinks, what a customer does, and how they evaluate a product after buying and using it for a while. So this becomes a critical source for brands to understand how they’re being perceived by their consumers after they start using the product, and how they can improve to have more satisfied consumers.
Luke Peters: Okay. And kind of on that, where are other areas brands can look for a conversation? I guess, would it just be on social media, like Facebook or Instagram? So tier one might be … For a product brand, tier one might be say, Amazon and Wayfair? I’m just making up two big retailers. And then is tier two social, or do you find even, like you mentioned that Reddit and other sites like that, or even above some of these higher level or more used social programs? I’m just curious where out on the internet are these conversations happening that brand should be aware of?
Patricia Osorio: Yeah. So first one is, yes, consumer reviews. And the interesting thing is that consumer reviews, they’re normally written right after the purchase. So they have a specific type of … It’s a specific type of conversation. There are also questions and answers on the e-commerce. So some e-commerces have a section where people can ask questions so you can answer. That’s also a rich source of information, not only of feedback in this case. But to understand what are the main decision drivers for a consumer. Because if they’re asking that question, it means that that’s something important for them to know before deciding to buy. Same thing in discussion forums, and yes, for a Reddit there’s some specific … Even appliance blogs. Or people who are having babies, blogs about that. So there’s a lot of different sources and niche sources for each area where people are having conversations, asking for recommendations, and things like that.
Patricia Osorio: Another interesting source I believe, even prior to social media are reviews from physical stores. So if you’re looking at physical, the brick and mortar retailers, they’re still very relevant and very important when it comes to sales. And of you go to Yelp or to Google reviews, there’s also a lot of things that people are saying. They are evaluating this store, the experience of buying in the store. And there’s a lot of learning from there too. It’s not necessarily about the product. So if you want to learn about the product, you need to go to a e-commerce review, or to a discussion forum. But if you want to learn about the buying experience for example, there’s a lot of rich information there. And then social media is more learning about trends, learning about how big is the conversation. But not much feedback about the products and the usage in your store experience at least.
Luke Peters: That’s great. So you kind of break it down to those three groups. And that center one actually is really important. You talk about the Google reviews. And often websites and brands are reviewed on Google. We’re reviewed there by our customers. And it shows up really just in your face. It’s really strong on Google Maps obviously, which I mean, people use that for everything. And kind of in my world, it seems almost as much as Yelp, sometimes easier to find places and look at reviews. So definitely encourage websites and brands, and listeners here to check out your Google ranking. Because I think that a lot of folks can look at that. And even in recruiting and bringing on new talent. So it’s great. I’m glad you brought that up. What are specific things that brands can do to improve these reviews?
Patricia Osorio: There are several things. So the interesting thing about the [inaudible 00:14:20] reflection of what consumers are thinking. And normally they mean that there’s an expectation that wasn’t met. So either you write positive things, because you were expecting just the basic and you were surprised, positively surprised. Or you’re writing a negative review, because you were expecting something great, a brand promise that wasn’t delivered. And then you start to complain about it. So one thing that we learned is that reviews are always an expectation that wasn’t met. And to improve reviews, there are several things that can be even small or bigger. Just to give some examples, maybe you just need to change your product description, because the way you were explaining a feature or one thing that you forgot to mention in the product description is relevant to consumers.
Patricia Osorio: And then when you change the product description, you avoid confusion. You’re avoiding misleading a consumer when deciding to buy something. To something bigger, like doing a product recall, because you discovered a problem that was mentioned by a client. And that problem can become really big. Repositioning products. So we have clients that reposition the product totally based on the reviews that they were getting, because they thought the product was delivering one promise. And at the end it was delivering another thing. And even launching new products. Because you can discover new things that customers are needing. And that they don’t have that, they buy a product they don’t like for the specific uses they want. And then they write a review complaining about that. So you can make small changes in the communications, but you can also launch new products that will get your [inaudible 00:16:11] to deliver that promise.
Luke Peters: Yeah, those are great tips. So why don’t we jump in here to an example. I think something like this would be really helpful and tangible for the audience. So what are some of the insights that you helped uncover for clients that most intrigued you?
Patricia Osorio: There’s one example I always like to talk about, because it was totally unexpected. One of our clients is Samsung. And while looking at the reviews, there was a trend line that was starting to grow. And that trend line was showing a group of consumers evaluating washing machines based on the fact that the hair [inaudible 00:16:51] removed or didn’t remove cat and dog hair, cats and dogs fur.
Patricia Osorio: So pretty much the problem that was there is that this buyer, they wanted a washing machine for one specific thing that nobody else was delivering. And when we’re able to highlight that, we allow Samsung to create a whole new campaign, a whole new subset of messaging for pet owners who wanted to remove the fur from their clothes. That’s a very interesting example. There are other examples in that sense. So people who drink V8 Juice, those vegetable juices when they are in a hangover, because it helps them feel better. Or adults who are buying dolls for themselves as a therapeutic treatment. Even hidden issues that would cost the clients billions, because they didn’t know about that. There was a flaw in the quality process. And because of a consumer complaint, they were able to figure out.
Luke Peters: Yeah. Those are great examples. And I’m just thinking from the marketing side, how much fun and how important it is to be able to kind of market these. With the washing machines, targeted marketing campaigns could now go out. And probably the same with V8 Juice. I guess in some cases you got to be careful. V8 doesn’t want to be positioned as kind of like the hangover drink. But I’m sure they could turn that into even a fun marketing campaign. And probably bring some energy back into the brand. So those are great insights. Super interesting that people are … That you’re able to pull that out of it. How far can the review analysis go? Is there anything else that’s missing?
Patricia Osorio: Yes. The truth is that the reviews, and the analysis of the reviews can’t deliver everything. There are some things that are missing for sure. Demographics data about the consumers, for instance, that we’re not capturing. When you analyze a review, you’re not able to know the age of the person, the gender of the person, anything related to the personal information. Unless they state back in the review. Unless there is something that they tell you about them in that review. So that is something that’s missing. That’s when the value of connecting to a CRM, for example, or something that you have that has customer data goals. Reviews also going to be related to recent experiences. So people recently bought a product, they normally write a review up to 30 days after they bought it. So they don’t speak to the motivations of buying.
Patricia Osorio: They don’t speak to the long term perception of the product. So just to give an example on that, we had a case where the product of the clients was very well evaluated in the first 30 days. But then when they started looking at the discussion forums that normally have longer term conversations, the same product was being criticized. Because after one, two years, it started to have problems with hinges. So it was something that if you look only at the reviews, you’d never know. But you need to look to other conversations in other places to have this big picture. And that’s when adding other sources of data becomes so important. Because then you can really know from different perspectives what is happening.
Luke Peters: That makes a lot of sense. Yeah. And there’s a bit of an art and a science it sounds like, that you have to kind of combine those things. As it always is in marketing. Why don’t we go to, and we were talking about this one kind of before the podcast. And it’s a tough one, but I know every business owner listening is going to be interested in this question is that, how should brands weigh or compare the cost of negative reviews and servicing customers? So comparing the cost of sending a new product to a customer a 100% of the time, turning into Nordstrom’s. Basically which I was thinking, that’s a good idea. Because everybody loves Nordstrom. And often taking losses in the process, but then avoiding negative reviews. Versus resolving these disputes in a more economical way. But in the process of doing that, sometimes we’re going to get negative reviews.
Luke Peters: So it’s kind of this trade-off. And I kind of joked around, all brands could go that direction, but they’d probably have to raise their prices five or 10%. And maybe it’s worth it. But do you have any kind of thoughts on this trade off about serving customers. Because we know, as brands in every case, “Hey … ” And some of these are just especially with heavy products, we can’t just be cutting cords and scrapping these things. And it’s really hard to make these decisions on a phone call when we don’t have all the information, especially with the customer service team. So these are tough real life operations decisions that companies are making. And it’d be interesting to hear if you have any thoughts on it.
Patricia Osorio: Yeah. That’s a great question. And one of the interesting things is exactly understanding what is the problem, right? Because if it’s a problem with the product, just a piece or something that’s small that is worthwhile. And you know that when you send a new product, the customer will be satisfied, because it’s just one small thing that can be fixed. Or maybe a wrong usage or anything like that. I think it’s something that makes a lot of sense. And of course it depends on your strategy as a brand, right? What do you want to deliver to customers? If you look at Zappos, for instance, where they have is this enchantment proposition of talking to the clients, and making them feel that they are a part of the family, and doing anything they want. And that’s how Amazon became what they are today too.
Patricia Osorio: But depending on the problem. And that’s why it’s so important to know that it’s something that it doesn’t matter what you do, the customer will still be unhappy. Because maybe they bought the wrong product. They’re trying to solve a problem that is not meant to be solved with that product that you have. We call it in the startup world and the entrepreneurship world, we talk a lot about the job to be done.
Patricia Osorio: And I think it’s important to understand the job to be done that the customer has. Because if you’re trying to … I don’t know if you buy a T.V. is not a top notch T.V. And you want really high sound quality, you won’t have that. It doesn’t matter how many new products you send to the customer, they’ll still feel something’s missing. And then the problem is not solvable. So I think it’s really critical that a brand tries to understand what is the problem, and use that to weigh in if giving a new product or doing anything that’s in their control to make that customer satisfied, will really deliver the satisfaction. Or otherwise you’ll have two problems. Because you will try to do it, you spend the money. And then the results will be the same, because the problem is not with the product, it’s with something else.
Luke Peters: I think that’s actually … Yes, that’s such a great nuance, actually. I’m glad you brought that up. I haven’t thought about it that way. But I can tell you that does account for a very high percentage. Now, given our products are bigger. And you’re absolutely right. Sometimes customers have a different expectation, or it just gets there and their needs have changed. I mean, there’s so many things along with that, that could fall into that bucket. But that’s a really interesting and important nuance. Glad you brought that one up. A good way of thinking about it.
Luke Peters: Let’s bring this all together. So next we’re going to talk about kind of your entrepreneurial journey. But let’s bring it all together, because I know this part’s important for brands. And obviously we’ll have your contact information. And if they want to move up to a product like Birdie. But on their own, with what a marketing department has or can access, what are three actionable steps that business owners can go out and do today, where they can improve their reviews or customer sentiment? What does that plan look like? If they’re sending this to their marketing team, kind of what are the bullet points look like, if you could simplify that for us?
Patricia Osorio: Assuming that they already have a review program in place. So they already manage reviews, organize the reviews and control that somehow. I believe that the three steps to get it to the next level is first of all, define which KPIs, and we spoke about KPIs just a few minutes ago. So what are the KPIs they want to use to measure success? Most companies use a star rating. “I want to increase the star rating.” But to increase the star rating, you need to know what are the things that are bringing their star rating down. So it’s very important that you define a few KPIs, besides only the star rating. And it can be the sentiments. It can be overall satisfaction. You can use NPS. So there other metrics that you can combine to help to give this full picture, and understand what [inaudible 00:25:57] affect the star rating.
Patricia Osorio: Once you have the metrics, once you know how to see if you’re getting there, it’s important to define which areas should be involved. Because depending on the problem, for instance a customer service issue that you need to fix. Depending on the complaint, it’s something related to product, related to market. And so it’s very important that the company knows who needs to be involved in that culture of analyzing the process of analyzing and managing, and picking actions from the reviews, found in sites, identified from the review analysis. And then finally establish a process that connects it all. So I know what I want to measure. I know who I need to trigger, who I need to involve if something is discovered related their area. Now I need to start running a process that helps me measure this KPIs constantly by product, by category, by e-commerce. And allows me to notify all this areas as fast as I can, so they can take action immediately once something happens.
Luke Peters: I love it. I mean, that’s very simple. Is it usually customer service that’s running that? Or do you find it varies? Or is it marketing or sales? Who’s usually in charge of the actual accountability of these types of projects?
Patricia Osorio: It depends a lot on the organization. If it’s a more a product organization or a marketing organization, we’ve seen three main types of things happening in customer service. So customer service is responsible for capturing that and sharing that with everyone else, because they are representing the voice of the consumer product. Because they are concerned about understanding the product strengths or product weaknesses, what is the quality issue or an opportunity to solve. And then marketing, because marketing is concerned about the digital presence that the company has on the e-commerce. So these are the three most common that we’ve seen so far.
Luke Peters: And are there any easier inexpensive tools you like just to simply capture the star rating part of this? Or the very first step you said was, “Hey, first, companies, you have to monitor reviews.” And just for the companies listening, are there any easy ways to do that, or not?
Patricia Osorio: There are a few tools. Probably the most famous one is Bazaarvoice. So it pretty much helps you not only manage the reviews in different e-commerces, but also moderate and reply. So you can control all this process of asking for consumers to write reviews, reading the reviews, and publishing and syndicating the reviews. We call that a system of engagement. So pretty much it’s a system that helps to engage with your consumers in conversations, which are the reviews. And there are some others. But I think that they are the most famous ones. And then [inaudible 00:28:51] our interest later, it’s called system of intelligence. So pretty much we capture the information that was generated in the engagement. And then we analyze it to generate the value out of it. So these are two very complementarities.
Luke Peters: That’s super helpful. Okay, great. And I’m sure a lot of the audience has heard of Bazaarvoice. They do a great job with review syndication as well out to some of the retailers. Great. So let’s move over to the startup story. That’s always interesting to hear. Why don’t we start with how … We heard about your background and your parents were doctors. And you got kind of a dual education in law and business, I think. And then also worked for a company and grew that company. And now on to your new business here, how did you get your first customer? I know that can be really difficult in a SaaS business. I would love to hear that story.
Patricia Osorio: Yeah, I think we were lucky, I would say. Long story short, we had a lot of good relationships in Latin America because of our previous company. Because we already sold to large corporations, large manufacturers and retailers. And we had the opportunity to apply to an accelerator program that Samsung has, that supports startups in building innovative products. The program is focused mainly in health and IoT startups. So it’s not something that Birdie would fit that much. But we decided to apply anyway. And they saw the potential in the product in the sense of helping to uncover insights for themselves. And then we were one of the 10 startups that were selected among 200 plus that applied to join the program. And the program was not a commercial relationship. So it’s a program to help you improve your product, improve the usability of the product. So it’s not anything related to sales.
Patricia Osorio: But at the end of the program, we were one of the top three performers from the group. And then we have the opportunity to present to their product and marketing teams. And then we started a sales relationship with them. It was easier than it would be normally, because we were already working with them in the past six months in another kind of relationship. But it helped them see the potential, because I think one of the hardest things for startups, especially for selling to corporations, to enterprise companies, is that they are more conservative than what we think. So they don’t want to take the risk of getting a startup that they don’t know if it’s going to survive for many years. They don’t know … You don’t have your status, you don’t have a history. So first as we had the charts history and the acceleration program, it was even good for them to use somebody that was created inside the program. So that was an opportunity that we had. And of course, we needed to prove the value, and we needed to pilot and show that this solution generated value. But then we got them as clients.
Luke Peters: That’s a great story. And then let’s move on to bringing on talent. How can you bring talent to a company that’s just starting? Obviously you’re not able to pay what the market pays. We’d love to hear that one. How do you do it?
Patricia Osorio: Yeah, that’s a hard one. That’s a challenge that we face every day in the technology field. Because it’s a really a … It’s a market that’s full of companies hiring and paying a lot. Like corporations that have really high salaries and benefits. So you need to be creative. I think the first thing is you need to show your vision. You need to show your dreams. Show where you want to get. And show to these people that they’re going to be a part of it. If you find entrepreneurial people too, people who are not just working for the money, they want to build something different. They want to have impact and see the impacts of their work. They will buy that vision if they see that you are passionate about it. And you really believe in what you’re doing.
Patricia Osorio: So I think showing that vision, selling the vision, talking about your plans, where you want to go, is something that’s critical. Because money becomes the consequence. Money becomes the indicator of success. It becomes one of the KPIs. That, “We want to build this together. We want to get there.” I need people who are really great in what they do to help me get there. And one thing that I’m sure is that if we get there, you’ll make much more money than if you get to choose any other job in any other company, as an employee. So I think selling that dream and building that vision together with the person is very important. Show that they will not be another person. They will be a critical part of the team. They’ll be part of the founding team. And show that they can help us get there.
Patricia Osorio: Of course, money is still an important element. So one thing that we did a few times, is that we created models always together with the person. So bringing them to co-create with us. Where there was a ramp up salary based on sales results, based on funding rounds, based on new clients that we got or client satisfaction. Because we knew that that would help us get to a next level. And that would allow us to pay them more. So it helped both sides, because they were motivated to help us deliver it, to help us get the clients. And we were getting the clients, and we’re being able to pay them what they wanted before.
Luke Peters: That’s great. I mean, you’re kind of starting with culture. So you’re really building a culture when you’re showing the vision and the story. And then once you bring them on, you are being really clear about the future, and spending the time upfront to kind of draw out where the revenue opportunities are, and what that timeline looks like. And I can tell just from employee surveys, they always want more communication and better communications. Every company can always be better on communication. So you kind of hit the mark there. I think it’s great. And something we can all do, even if we’re not startups. So listen, you have a lot of experience, Patricia, with bigger companies. A really interesting education. Now starting a business and having to build it. And I’m sure there’s been a lot of challenges along the way. But what is the best business advice that you’ve received that you’d like to share with the audience here on the Page One Podcast?
Patricia Osorio: One of the best was probably to focus. I think this is one thing that everybody listened at some point in their lives. Especially as an entrepreneur, entrepreneurs normally see opportunities and possibilities in everything. They don’t see a problem. They see a problem to be solved, right? And that’s great. But the downside of that is that if you look at every opportunity as one, you will never get to the first place that you planned to get.
Patricia Osorio: So we heard several times from different people, “You need to focus on one thing. What is going to be the one thing that you’re going to focus now?” Other opportunities will appear. Don’t look at them now. Otherwise we’ll put energy in something else, and it will just be a distraction from our goal. This is something that I need to tell myself all the time again, every time. We are very focused in a few categories, a few industries, a few countries. Every time somebody comes with an opportunity, it’s very hard to say, “No, I’m not ready for that. I don’t want us to do that now, because I have something else planned.” It’s challenging, but I think it’s really crucial. And it’s something that changed our lives in the past year, for sure. I think that if we didn’t follow that advice in the past year, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Luke Peters: It’s great advice. And I love the book, The One Thing. By the way, I don’t know if you’ve read that one. But it kind of goes along the same theme. So great way to end the podcast. And I’m glad, even though you’re focused on the business, that you said yes to my request to be on the podcast. And it’s been really fun getting to know you. Patricia, how can listeners find you learn more about you and the company?
Patricia Osorio: They can visit our website, it’s birdie.ai. Very simple. They can send me an email too, a [inaudible 00:37:18] again, P-A-T, email@example.com. Or add me on LinkedIn. My name is Patricia Osorio, as you said. So if they search for it, they’ll find it there. And it will be a pleasure to talk to anyone about anything. It can be like starting a business. It can be challenges. It can be challenges to start a business in the U.S. as a foreigner. Talk about consumer insights, about reviews. So anything. It’s always great to meet new people and learn with them.
Luke Peters: I hope the listeners take you up on that. And congrats on getting the business off the ground. It’s a great story. We’ll have all this information in the show notes. And again, I want to thank you for joining us on the Page One Podcast. And I hope everybody in the audience has enjoyed the interview today. Truly appreciate your reviews on iTunes. And hope you all join us for the next interview. Thank you.
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Contact Patricia Osorio: LinkedIn