It’s a given that technology makes purchasing nearly every good and procuring a dizzying array of services fast and easy, with only a few finger clicks on a keyboard or smartphone required.
But for all it covered, high-tech expert Jason Junge knew that the e-commerce universe neglected a significant category. And it involved consumers.
“It had all been about automation, how to make it faster, cheaper, easier to sell online … to patronize the self-serving customer who likes to do things themselves,” Junge said. “But they forgot about the population that wants their hand held.”
PointerTop, the Tempe-based remote sales and service software company Junge started in 2016, addressed that. Junge’s business-to-business model focuses on e-commerce high-touch customer service, a more personal interaction that’s more fluid and done in real time.
“Think of your grandmother. Does she want to buy something online and do the research, or does she want someone to help her?” Junge said of the service his clients seek to offer.
PointerTop is the spinoff of a telecommunications service company Junge was part of. Here, he encountered the frustrating challenges of being a business in the high-touch marketplace. His products and services required more personal interaction between sales personnel or team members and consumers that reached beyond basic online communication.
Junge’s research indicated the software to allow this interaction did not exist. He set out to create it and the result is PointerTop and its patented software.
“When I tried to find a tool where our agents could sell online, I couldn’t. (I thought) it’s 2015, how can this be?” Junge said. “We were trying to solve a problem, so we invented our own solution.”
PointerTop seems poised for the future. More than 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online this year, with the retail ecommerce market sales reaching $6.54 trillion by 2023, according to Statista.
PointerTop has about a dozen clients, mostly local with a few in Mexico City. They are in high-touch industries like auto dealerships, real estate and financial services, namely insurance.
“This was a demographic that was not even underserved. They were not served at all,” Junge said.
Anthony Washington, CEO of insurance broker RaisinBread in Scottsdale, has used PointerTop’s services for nearly two years. In a digital environment, Washington wanted a way to connect with clients who needed additional information or had needs that went beyond basic chat bot solutions. He said Junge was innovative and collaborative.
“They are a wealth of information. They are very out in front regarding this type of technology and they’ve done a great job of anticipating customers’ needs,” Washington said. “PointerTop has helped position us to be extremely successful.”
A native of California, Junge holds a bachelor’s degree in management science and mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master’s in management strategy from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His experience includes working with startups and powerhouses like Microsoft.
What the technology does
Small businesses hold a special place for Junge. It’s a big reason why his clientele fall into this category.
When the pandemic hit, PointerTop’s services were especially valuable. Providing efficient customer service across all industries virtually became paramount. Over the past year, businesses were and continue to be bombarded with customer service calls and they don’t know how to handle the flow, Junge said. Longer queue times are often the result.
“The software does exactly what people are having to do — work remotely. It’s exactly what people are looking for. That has made us visible and more people are wanting to take a look at what we’re doing,” Junge said.
PointerTop’s software uses multimedia tools to facilitate calls and allow an actual live human to determine which calls a chat bot can answer or which need a real person’s attention. Junge said this does not replace humans but augments them. It also creates efficiency by using video to help solve a problem. Usually it takes a few minutes and then the team member can go to the next person. The time required is decreased on both sides.
“We’re doing customer service the same way for a hundred years. The only thing new is chat, but that’s only good for a quick issue. At the end of the day, it’s you talking to someone over the phone … like they did a hundred years ago,” he said.
This software that merges new and old-fashioned ways of doing business has put PointerTop on more radars.
“The most rewarding part is being able to solve problems for other people, problems that you solve for yourself,” Junge said. “The satisfaction that comes with that is enormously satisfying.”
Where: 222 S. Mill Ave., Ste. 800, Tempe
Factoid: More than 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online this year, according to Statista.
Details: 480-499-5255, pointertop.com