The following profile on Humach CEO, Tim Houlne, comes from the following Aspioneer article.
Tim Houlne: Integrating human proficiency and machine intelligence to provide path-breaking customer service.
Organizations of the twenty-first century have a profound impact on the world. As citizens and consumers, each one of us, are in some way connected to the scores of establishments we are surrounded by, through offers and solutions one could only dream of a few decades ago. In many ways, organizations determine our quality of life, which is why so much of our time is invested in them.
But what separates the successful organizations from the less successful ones? What is the most important strategy to apply that will ensure prosperity for an establishment? Is there a proven mantra that ensures organizational success? The answer to all these questions is the same – Customer Experience! Studies have shown that organizations that create the best experience for their customers are poised for faster growth, greater success, and longevity.
Established in 2016, Humach is helping organizations accomplish their customer experience objectives by combining the skills and strengths of the sales and support teams, with artificial intelligence, and automation, creating exceptional experiences for their customers. Spearheaded by CEO Tim Houlne, this company is on the mission to create a world without bad customer experiences by blending humans and machines, with customers at the center.
A new era of customer service
Good customer service is the right of every consumer and the duty of every organization. It directly contributes to higher revenue and growth, while bad customer service has the power to make entire conglomerates obsolete. Tim shares that at Humach, their primary goal is to circumvent negative impacts to revenue, loyalty, and reputation that brands experience as a result of a negative customer experience.
“Humach maximizes the efficiency of sales and support by combining the strengths of both humans and artificial intelligence to deliver experiences customers want with results businesses need.”
The word Humach is a combination of the words ‘Humans’ plus ‘Machine’. True to its name, their solution is the perfect combination of clear business strategy and cutting-edge artificial intelligence, to provide seamless and high-quality customer sales and service. The company provides fully customized solutions based on its clients’ objectives. “We use a prescriptive approach to customer experience and tailor our managed services and solutions to the customized needs of each client individually,” explains Tim.
Furthermore, Humach’s unique ‘human-in-the-loop’ machine learning model is propelled by a team of conversational experts who train and validate the AI to understand customer intent and get smarter over time. This allows Humach to direct consumers to a helpful point of contact that’s available 24X7, authentic, and accurate on every channel.
The Humach revolution
“For over 30 years we’ve delivered one thing: exceptional customer experiences,” states Tim. Yes, thirty years! The company’s roots were planted back in 1988, providingdecades of experience in understanding the dynamics of customer sales and service. The Humach team has developed a unique and comprehensive understanding of how to effectively staff, manage, run, and improve contact center operations for their clients. This deep-rooted customer-service experience combined with the contemporary ability to leverage the latest technology in the contact centre space, gives Humach a distinctive advantage in the marketplace.
Humach is revered for its highly skilled and expertly trained employees. Whether you need remote agents, on-premise agents, or specialized agents who speak in multiple languages, this company caters to it all. Additionally, Tim describes that Humach is a one-stop solution for all their clients’ needs. “We do all the heavy lifting customizing, designing, implementing, monitoring, and updating contact center programs and solutions,” states Tim
“Working with our clients to understand their unique needs and objectives, we create custom sales and/or support strategies using live agents, digital agents, and technology to greatly reduce their costs and keep them predictable.”
The platform itself runs on several high-powered AI integrations which successfully reduces customer friction and maximizes agent efficiency. Their digital agent technology is 100% PCI-DSS and HISPA compliant. Another Humach advantage, Tim explains, is the high cost-efficiency of their services. “By tailoring our services and solutions to the needs of each business individually, our clients never pay for solutions they won’t use or services they don’t need.”
Organization and culture
At Humach, there is a shared passion for making a difference in everybody’s lives. This passion extends well beyond the services and solutions that the company provides its clients. Through their nonprofit organization, Random Acts of Humach, the staff helps coordinate donations, participates in volunteer opportunities, and conducts acts of social service for more than 2,500 organizations across the globe. In addition, Tim says that “we pledge 1% of our equity, profit, product, and time, back to our communities and are always looking for new programs, organizations, and individuals who can use a Random Act of Humach.”
As an acclaimed industry leader, Tim encourages independent and optimistic thinking in his employees. While there are always unknowns and unforeseen challenges, especially in the technology and manpower space, he feels that it is extremely important to always be transparent and have crucial conversations about the truth, whether good or bad.
“What keeps me up at night is the constant change and advancement of technology. We must keep up with the constant changes so we can remain relevant in our industry and so we can help our customers remain competitive.”
The COVID 19 pandemic tested the company and their ability to manage a 100% remote workforce during extremely challenging times. In the early weeks, the company made calculated decisions based on decades of experience managing a virtual workforce and the technology enablement required to work from home. The strategy paid off, with Humach experiencing 700% growth above pre-pandemic revenue.
The diversity of backgrounds and years of customer-centric experience at Humach creates a strong blend of strategic thinkers and tactical doers. Due to their constant innovation and unfazed dedication towards customers, Humach has championed customer service innovations for the likes of Amazon, ATT, Intuit, McDonalds, National Geographic, LifeLock, Visa, and many others.
Keeping up and ahead
Ever since Tim first started in the contact center space, more than 30 years ago, he has been scouting for better and more advanced ways to serve his employees and customers. “We led the change as a pioneer in the home agent space, 20+ years before the COVID Pandemic,” shares Tim. Talking about the latest advancements in artificial intelligence in the simplest of processes today, Tim explains that there is a perception that automation will eliminate physical jobs. “That is simply not the case,” says he, explaining that the best use of this technology is to assist human interaction and enable people to do more in their capacity.
“We use technology solutions not to replace humans, but instead to improve their efficiency, performance, and job satisfaction.”
Tim stays ahead of the curve by continuously questioning himself and tapping into industry insights on all fronts, digital and physical. For him, the continuous drive to be the best never stops. Every day the company asks, what he can do to make things better and more economical for his clients, community, and employees and then sets out to achieve it, said Tim.
Artificial Intelligence is now being touted as the fourth industrial revolution because of its fast-paced velocity, unprecedented scope of change, and widespread impact ability. This mega-trend is driving change, transforming systems of production, management, output, and governance all across the world. Looking ahead, Humach continues to grow in size and solution capabilities building on its unique edge of mastering human and machine integration to provide exemplary customer service. Backed by their unmatched innovation in technology and experience in customer service, the company is about to reveal the world’s most advanced, fully digital voice agent. “We now have more possibilities to consider with unprecedented processing power in the cloud, storage capacity, access to information, knowledge and machine learning, leading to unlimited possibilities and technological breakthroughs that need to be considered constantly,” concludes Tim.