Jose Herrera, Co-Founder and CEO of Horatio, talks about changes in the CX tech industry and the rise of personalized SMS messages to consumers to help advance customer interactions and keep startups afloat.
Describe what your company does in 256 characters (a Tweet’s length):
Jose Herrera: “Horatio is a Customer Experience and Business Process Outsourcing company based in New York and the Dominican Republic. Horatio provides omnichannel customer support for today’s top e-commerce and tech enabled brands through dedicated agents and the latest CX technologies.”
How did you get involved in this industry?
Jose Herrera: “After spending my entire career working at Morgan Stanley, I decided to pursue my MBA at Columbia Business School which is where I met my cofounders, Jared Karson and Alex Ross. We identified how important customer experience is for the success of ecommerce companies but also noticed how time-consuming and costly it can be for a company to manage customer experience in-house. That’s when we decided to build a customer experience framework tasked with helping e-commerce and tech-enabled businesses scale and grow their operations with a reliable CX outsourcing partner.”
What made you think of the idea/what inspired you to create your technology?
Jose Herrera: “The idea of creating a mission-driven business hit home for me when I literally went home. I grew up in the Dominican Republic. Having worked at a call center there in my younger years, I knew the power of quality customer service in a business environment. My co-founders agreed this would be the perfect place to assemble a highly skilled and diverse team and to remain true to our goal of creating meaningful job opportunities and improving the working conditions on my home island.”
How is this going to benefit people/society?
Jose Herrera: “Horatio is helping fast-growing e-commerce startups that need to scale efficiently while keeping overall costs in check. Through our services, they are able to focus on the day to day of what they do best, while we handle all of their front-end and behind the scenes CX issues. In doing so, these fast-growing businesses are able to remain competitive and thriving. We also help society by creating meaningful job opportunities and improving the overall quality of work, specifically in the Dominican Republic.”
What’s innovative about your company and technology?
Jose Herrera: “Horatio provides omnichannel customer support across chat, email, sms, and social platforms to help their 41+ clients with all of their customer service needs. We are committed to innovation across all of our platforms by making sure our technologies are always supported through the use of AI and 1:1 human interaction. Our dedicated agents are bilingual and truly understand their clients’ brand and ethos. The unique combination of cutting-edge CX technology with concierge-like customer support from our team, sets Horatio apart in our field.”
How, in your opinion, has your industry changed in the past 5 years?
Jose Herrera: “The industry has grown dramatically over the past five years thanks to technological advancements in the field of customer support and the acceleration of e-commerce business, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic where these businesses became essential.”
What has COVID done to your company/industry? Has it been affected? Does your solution assist with the pandemic?
Jose Herrera: “All of Horatio’s clients have experienced rapid growth during the pandemic, mostly due to the rise and the convenience of e-commerce and tech-enabled services, like direct-to-consumer subscription brands, telehealth, fintech, and delivery services. It is no surprise that many of our clients have found it difficult to keep up with hiring staff to accommodate their booming businesses. They were also impacted by the current labor shortage in the United States. Horatio has helped their clients and CX industry at large avoid this labor shortage by hiring the best of the best in customer service talent. All of Horatio’s agents are bilingual and very quickly learn their clients’ culture inside and out. By providing cutting-edge CX solutions, Horatio has helped keep the e-commerce industry afloat during the COVID-19 global pandemic.”
Describe the future of your industry. What does the future hold? What is society going to look like?
Jose Herrera: “Digital commerce is here to stay. There are a lot of tailwinds in favor of continued innovation when it comes to finding ways to provide an amazing customer experience across all channels of communication. We have seen a lot of progress when it comes to AI, but we still have a long way to go before we can fully rely on them. As a result, high-touch brands will continue to rely on the human touch to establish deeper connections with their customers.”
Jose Herrera: “At Horatio, we plan to continue investing in our people, processes, and technology. Our people are our greatest asset and we are heavily invested in ensuring that their experience working at Horatio is the best they’ve ever had at a company. We also plan to expand our geographic footprint in the near future to be able to service more clients and increase our offering.”
What would your advice be for people trying to get into your industry?
Jose Herrera: “Pick a niche within your industry that you are really good at and invest in becoming an expert.”
Jose Herrera, is the CEO and co-founder of Horatio, a next generation tech-enabled Customer Experience and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company based in New York City and the Dominican Republic. Jose oversees Horatio’s strategic vision, as well as their sales, marketing and real estate development. Jose was formerly a Vice President at Morgan Stanley, overseeing the Latin American Investment Management division. He also formerly worked at Goldman Sachs and is a member of the Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO).
Horatio works with some of the fastest-growing e-commerce and tech-enabled companies in the US (The Skimm, Tenzo Tea, Zola, This Saves Lives and Tiny Organics). The company provides omnichannel customer support across chat, email, sms, and social platforms with latest technologies.