After building a successful tourism booking system that is used by thousands of businesses and is now owned and operated by a company you may have heard of (Trade Me), founders Ryan Baker and Andrew Schofield didn’t want to put their 20 years of tech experience to waste. So like most successful entrepreneurs do, they put their knowledge and contagious passion back to work by starting a new business called Timely. Instead of connecting tourism businesses to their customers, they pivoted their target audience to the beauty and wellness industry. If you have ever made an appointment to get your hair done or a sore back massaged, chances are that business was using Timely to get you set up with an up-to-date appointment.
Six years since its inception in Dunedin, Timely now boasts more than 30,000 professional users, 50 team members and over 40 million appointments. It goes without saying that having a robust business phone system is essential when the company prides in creating the best user experience in all aspects of its business.
Clean and simple
Bread and Butter: A beautiful and easy-to-use software that helps businesses manage their schedule, staff, clients, sales and reporting
Operations: Timely celebrates its distributed (or they like to call it #timelylife) team culture and has team members in NZ, AU, and UK. They also have customers in over 90 countries
Customers: They specialize in beauty and wellness businesses
Call Routing Setup: Incoming calls were directed to their NZ team
Phone Setup: Their global team members were using both VoIP and their personal mobile to make outbound calls
When we first talked to Timely they were using a local VoIP company which provided adequate service at a very low price. They had also tried several other better known phone systems but none of them provided both the reliability and capabilities that they needed to scale their global sales and support team. Being one of our first customers (and a fast growing one), the Timely team has been with us through all the highs and lows. In many ways, they have shaped our product roadmap and helped us prioritise features that made a real impact in a user’s life. In return, we have made a priority to fulfil our end of the bargain in a “timely” manner (sorry, I will stop). 😅
We were very grateful when Andrew, their head of support, decided to share his experience with us and here are some snippets of our conversation.
Andrew, Head of Support at Timely
What was the single most important problem that you were looking to solve with a new phone system and what caused you to look for an alternative?
We needed the Sales and Support teams to be able to make phone calls quickly and reliably all round the world. Our previous phone system was unreliable, cumbersome and the phone experience was just too artificial. We wanted a phone experience that worked the same way as a typical phone call on a mobile phone. In fact, the team would often just make calls on their phones to avoid the existing VOIP solution.
Switching from one phone system to another can be daunting since it’s one of those projects that is done once in a blue moon but also carries a lot of potential risks and headaches (a customer not being able to ring in). Like every new customer, we created an onboarding plan with Timely where we took the bravest and most tech-friendly team members to test out Cradle’s inbound and outbound call functionality for a few weeks. To get the most accurate user experience for inbound calls, we diverted their existing hotline to a Cradle number temporarily. In case the world came crashing down, we could always have them go back to their previous provider, with a switch of a button. The good news is it didn’t take them long to migrate their entire business phones and hotlines to Cradle. We are glad they did!
How has Cradle helped resolve your challenges? Which feature was key?
Cradle was super easy to use from the outset. Not only were the phone calls exactly like a native mobile phone call but the backend set up was quick and simple. The great app experience was backed up by a friendly support team who helped get us going quickly and listened to our ideas for new features. Ultimately the phone experience around making calls and reliability were key.
Manage your clients’ appointments effortlessly
What delighted you the most?
The simplicity. VOIP solutions are notoriously complex and overly expensive. Cradle is neither of these and offers great value for a great experience.
What are still some challenges that have yet to be fixed?
Cradle have the essentials sorted already and they’re adding new features quickly all the time. For us, other features such as automatic region redirection, customer group routing and SalesForce integration would be great. I am excited to hear they are coming!
Your overall experience with using Cradle and any anecdotes, perhaps?
Our experience overall has been excellent. The set up was painless and we got instant buy in from our staff who love using Cradle everyday. Other than our biggest phone user saying that Cradle is the “shiz!” and is “fantastic!” unsolicited.
Not long before this conversation, Timely hit another major milestone with the terrific fews of raising $7MM in new capital! Their storied success is infectious and has motivated everyone at Cradle to deliver our very best and help small businesses in NZ and beyond connect in a more timely way (pun intended).