In our latest Spotlight Interview, we spoke to James Farrell , Co-Founder & CEO at Clixifix. James sheds light on their solution and the pain points it aims to address, their integration process and the current challenges within the construction industry. “For companies also in the growth stages, we feel it is important to keep in regular touch with your clients and ensure their voices are being heard in developing the product further. We’ve stayed true to our niche – aftercare and defect management. The feedback we get from clients and contacts about their previous/existing systems tells us that it’s better to be master of one trade rather than a jack of all!”
Q1- Clixifix aims to streamline the customer service processes for construction and housing sectors, what inspired the development of the platform and what were the main pain points you are addressing?
After many years working in the house building and construction industries, nothing frustrated us more than the customer care systems we used. We tried process after process, from paper files to emails and complex spreadsheets – all of them time-consuming, all of them ineffective and painful.
In 2012, we decided to flip these negative experiences into a positive and began to develop clixifix®.
When we looked at the enterprise software already out there we discovered it was difficult to implement, expensive and lacked transparency.
In a nutshell, small to medium sized businesses couldn’t afford it and the bigger companies who could, didn’t like that the software simply wasn’t easy to use or display.
This was all the motivation we needed to press on with our own solution. clixifix® quickly took shape as a software application designed to help alleviate all the customer care problems we’d encountered over the years.
Our one simple goal: If there’s a problem, let’s make it clear and easy to solve.
We wanted to save people time and money as well as help them improve levels of customer satisfaction. One platform for all customer care issues to be logged and accessed by everyone who needed to be involved. One that promoted collaboration to quickly and effectively find the best solution to any problem.
As things stand today, clixifix® is being used up and down the UK by hundreds of businesses who are finally and thankfully saving the time, money and effort that they just don’t have to waste.
Q2- Clixifix has grown significantly over the last few years, with recently being the first accredited supply partner for ‘New Homes Quality Board’. What have been the key learnings so far and do you have any advice for companies in their growth stage?
Whilst we have grown significantly in the last few years, we are still growing. For companies also in the growth stages, we feel it is important to keep in regular touch with your clients and ensure their voices are being heard in developing the product further.
We started out as a company who sought to help those within the construction industry when it comes to defect management and that still remains our key focus. We hold focus groups to ensure clients get their say in the direction the product travels. Our in-house development team work to ensure the product reflects what our clients are trying to achieve.
We’ve stayed true to our niche – aftercare and defect management. The feedback we get from clients and contacts about their previous/existing systems tells us that it’s better to be master of one trade rather than a jack of all!
Q3- Businesses within the housing and construction sector tend to be resistant to change. How is Clixifix making it easier for their clients and aiding a smoother integration process?
It’s true that some businesses in the construction sector can be resistant to change. Most of the people we speak to on a daily basis aren’t using any kind of system to efficiently manage aftercare. Which is crazy, considering the effect the quality of aftercare service can have on reputation. Most businesses are using pen and paper, emails and Excel spreadsheets to manage defects through to resolution.
We come in when businesses start to really feel the pain of trying to use these manual methods. The idea is to give them a tool that’s easy for EVERYONE to use – from the man (or woman) in the van doing the job, through to the Head of Customer Care or even the MD. Many haven’t used a specialist software before, so it’s our job to make the transition as easy as possible. It comes down to change management with the organisation as a whole (usually helped by a small group of product champions), and providing training and support along the journey. Our Customer Success function is something we take great pride in – our in house team support clients through from initial enquiry through to onboarding, and at regular milestones throughout their first year with us. Cliche as it sounds, we almost become like the third arm of their customer care team.
Once we can show businesses that there is a better way to do things, they become pretty receptive. We show them how using clixifix® will save them days a week usually spent on admin, and will give them the insights they need on things like defect trends and contractor performance, to ensure they can be proactive moving forward.
Q4- What do you think are the main challenges and market trends that the construction industry will be grappling with over the next few years, and what steps is Clixifix taking to address the needs these present and stay ahead of the curve?
I think the topic on everyone’s mind at the moment is the cost of living crisis and materials shortage. Unfortunately many construction businesses haven’t survived, so it’s about supporting the ones who have.
We have an in house Development team and run regular focus group sessions with existing users across the country, to make sure we keep up to date with their priorities and needs. We can then shape updates and enhancements to the platform around their feedback.
A couple of ways in which we’ve already taken steps to stay ahead of the curve include being the first accredited supply partner of the NHQB (helping house builders become compliant with new regulations) and releasing our new Technicians App. The App borrows technology used in the logistics sector so that residents can track operatives attending their property to resolve defects.
Q5- Looking ahead, what does the next few years look like for Clixifix? Are there any future developments we should be aware of?
Moving forwards, we’ll be continuing to focus on changing needs within the industry to make sure we stay ahead of the game. Part of this is the New Homes Quality Code and expanding our platform to cover key areas to comply with. We’ve recently launched a new ‘Complaints’ module to help registered developers comply with the Code. It means developers will be able to efficiently manage complaints through to resolution in line with the guidelines & milestones set out by the Code. They’ll have all the evidence they need at the click of a button, just in case there’s an escalation.
Part L is also a hot topic right now, so it’s something we’re looking into internally, to see how we can expand our offering to help construction companies with this.
We’ve got exciting growth plans, in terms of growing each department in the team, to make sure we continue to hit year on year revenue growth.
MEMBER’S SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW
Spotlight Interview : Clixifix
16TH AUGUST 2023