For many of us, this is an exceptional time of year. A time that we all wait for, for a variety of reasons.
For several years our company, and more specifically myself, have taken to social media as a primary outlet. In an attempt to consistently improve, our social media is used as a way to connect with our customers.
As we enter the mid-year mark of 2019, so many people ask me, “How do you win and how do you have such a loyal customer base?” My response is fast, simple, and without hesitation…. Customer service. My team and I are committed to serving the underserved in our industry.
Over the years, we have done all that we can to ensure success for not just our PawnMaster users, but non-PawnMaster members of the industry as well. About seven years ago, we reformatted our focus and really brought collaboration and education to the forefront. Since making this change, we built out informational sites and resources like this blog and PawnLink.org, as well as providing industry-wide information through our social media channels. We’re known in the our industry as the first vendor to solve real problems with substance rather than promoting fluff. That’s why we recently entered into a partnership with Podium, a collaboration which will bring another level of education and service to the industry as a whole, while addressing some real issues that affect businesses of any size. Working with new people, companies and technology is one part of what we do but we also stay very close to our own community within our industry.
For over 30 years, PawnMaster has been known for our world class service in every aspect pertaining to supplying the collateral loan and buy/sell industry with state-of-the-art software. Whenever we roll out a new program, service, or support model, we do so with only one focus; Our customers. When we build cutting edge software, we don’t build to accentuate fluff. We build features into our products to put our customers in the best possible position for success, and to give them a true competitive advantage in their markets.
2018 saw a lot of milestone events at Data Age, kicking off with our thirtieth anniversary. Being in business for thirty years is no easy feat, as we've seen where so many other business have come and gone, and others that continue to fail. Being able to service our ever-growing customer base while staying ahead of the pack as the industry leader is an accomplishment that we are very proud of. During 2018, our eCommerce and mobile services provided great reach and success for our clients. Our integrated eCommerce platform e4o generated over 10 million dollars in online sales for our clients, and our success fee-free model kept our clients profit margins high, as they should be. This robust product continues to gain rapid success, and new users are adopting it on a weekly basis. Our text messaging platform has lead the way in this industry for a number of years, but recent expansion has helped us define mobility in a much more efficient and safe way. With the addition of TxTPay, text messaging is a product line that's exploding with new ideas and increased revenue opportunities for our customers.
We are consistently coming across shops changing their software vendor for a number of reasons, so we feel it's important to provide resources to those who are looking to make a switch. When you're entering into a SaaS agreement for the first time, you may have some questions or concerns. That's normal. According to CIO Review, "The best means of protecting yourself is to carefully read and understand the terms of the contracts with your data vendors. Often these provisions can be negotiated—for example, you can require that your data to be anonymized when it's used by the vendor."
In my previous life as a small business owner, this was always the time of year when I was heads down looking to crank out sales. Having a multiple store chain and selling straight retail, the holidays was where I made my mark. At the time, I didn't realize that the entire year leading up to the holiday season we were unconsciously making sure that we went the extra yard for our customers. This is always the correct approach when supplying and supporting a large customer base.
No product or service – or end user – is perfect. This is especially true when it comes to hardware and software. Most entrepreneurial-dominated industries are successful because the people who make up the industry focus on what they do best. In the collateral lending industry, PawnMaster users are heads down with their customers, loaning, buying, and selling. They don’t have the time to focus or be concerned if an issue arises around the technology they depend on to help operate their business. Should they have an issue, they know that they can make a call and get an answer, and never have to worry about getting their vendor on the line to help them.
There are several schools of thought when going to market with software and technology. Many companies pick the market they want to go after. The “upstream” market consists of the larger enterprises and public space. This market, albeit very lucrative, places great strain and demand on a technology company in a host of ways. Specifically, round the clock support, custom development, hyper-specific service level agreements, and of course, special reduced rates. If a technology firm is primarily seeking this kind of business and does not want to scale, the model works-but it is very tedious to sustain. This model can’t sustain the smaller downstream clients because of the lack of resources to succeed at both. Companies who are constantly shifting their focus and toggling from one client model to another are doomed to implode, and the client base on both ends suffer. Not as damaging for the larger customers who may have the resources to go out and build custom software for themselves, but for smaller customers these events can be catastrophic.