When iovox Becomes Personal, A Q&A With Our CEO: How iovox Helped His Father Recover from Hurricane Irma

Posted on by iovoxPosted in Featured Articles
Photo by Getty Images.

We all watched it. From Harvey to Irma to Maria and beyond. Drop by drop. Person by person. Country by country. The recent hurricanes and other natural disasters have swept the world leaving millions in the dark and confused about what’s next. The universal stories told with shaky despair. Appreciation for a saved life, but total confusion on what the future holds. After doing the initial, ‘…is everyone OK?’ check, comes the picking up of the pieces, rebuilding, and that’s when endless phone calls begin.

As a global company, iovox has family all over the world and when the news of Irma’s eminent arrival hit, our CEO Ryan Gallagher took note – his father Alex would be in direct path of the storm. “My dad wasn’t worried. He’s been in Florida 10 years and is handy enough to prepare accordingly.” Still, 2,849 miles away the worry lingered. What Ryan didn’t realize, was that he’d already built the app that would help his father avoid countless headaches and potential frustrating moments to come.

Ryan’s retelling:

Thank you for sitting down with us. We know your dad was recently affected by Irma and we are glad to hear he’s doing OK given the circumstances. Can you lay the scene for us?

My dad lives in St. Augustine, Florida and as pretty much everyone knows now there was a bit of a hurricane issue there currently – he had no power for over a week and lots of damage to his house.

At the end of all that he’s left with a house that requires a lot of reconstruction. He has different insurance policies with different companies (some for the contents and some on the structural side) so he’s covered for a lot of this, but he’s left to deal with adjusters and contractors on his own.

Some of the work he has to pay out of pocket to get done, because there’s actual damage to the house, so he’s left with a mess of things he has to manage and control. And that’s the situation he’s found himself in, where he’s got a lot of information overload.

At what point did your dad realize the iovox app could help him?

He started making calls and taking notes after every call with a pen and paper, then realized he got a popup (from the iovox app), after every call. He should know what the app does, but obviously until that point it didn’t really click with him. And then he phoned me and said, “…look I’m taking notes in the app and I’m flagging this to actually follow up with someone the next day!”, and then he started using the desktop version too. So, he’s on the mobile phone, he’s taking notes in real time, then he inserts the notes, he can get a reminder to call people back.

Really, as he started getting overwhelmed with all the people he was dealing with he realized ‘hey I have all of this here and it’s searchable and real time’. As soon as that call has started he’s taking notes on the desktop now – so it became obvious it was a tool he should be using.

You’ve mentioned some of the features, search, flags, notes, but can you give me some use case examples of how exactly he utilized those tools?

Of course. Every time he’s speaking with someone he’s taking notes in the desktop or mobile app in real time.

With iovox, when he’s taking notes he can see his past notes on his last call with the person, so he can read where he’s left off and he can see if there were any action items that he was supposed to do. For example, if he was supposed to get a price off someone and come back to this guy with an answer on a quote.

He’s reviewing and taking those notes while he’s on the call and when he hangs up he’s setting a due date for the next thing to do with that person, and then the next time he speaks to anybody he has all his historic notes. Additionally, if he’s speaking to an insurance company that’s also dealing with the adjuster he can tag them, matching this insurance company with this policy with this adjuster, so that all his calls are tied together.

…and then he can share those notes with you as another iovox user to inform you where he is in the process as well.

Yes, and he can also share them with adjusters who may not be using the service yet. Most of these guys are one-man bands or small businesses. Because Florida is overwhelmed at the moment, there’s a lot of people from out of state that’ve come in. Now, he’s able to share call and notes with these guys and get their feedback. For example, “you need to give me a quote by 12 o’clock tomorrow”, and he can send them that as a shared call with the details, then assign them to call him back at 12 the next day.

So everyone’s on the same page, it keeps it all in order…

…and he has a conversation trail. So, he knows what was said, he knows who he spoke to and he doesn’t have to go leafing through a book to find out what was the guy’s name at this company, because he’s speaking to a lot of companies. This allows him to figure out who he spoke to when he spoke to them and the minute that they call all this information is at his fingertips.

I’m sure that helps his peace of mind as well during a trying time.

Yeah he’s obviously got a lot of other things going and it just makes it much easier. In six months’ time when he’s still dealing with insurance claims he has a very detailed record of when people responded, who called him back, who didn’t call him back and so on. He can piece it together in context and say, “I called you at this time and the adjuster called you at this time,” so he has all of that flow of communication, and it’s not stored in a notebook, which could get wiped out in the next hurricane, but he has a digital copy that he’s able to easily access and he can share with others should the need arise.

Which is a great point, because a lot of people lost all their valuable information because they kept records in paper form, but with the digital age it’s best to just buy in and figure out how to make the best use of it.

Yeah you know in the past you’d have so many notebooks you’d forget where they were and think, “Where did I write that note down…?”, because you’re going to grab the one closest to the phone, and now it’s a mobile phone so you could be anywhere. Very few people are organized enough to say this is my notebook for these events and have it with you at all times – so invariably you’re out at dinner you’re writing stuff down on a napkin. You have multiple sources of where you’re writing stuff and your phone call history disappears usually after about 30 days so you have no way of saying, “hey I spoke to you 6 months ago on this date and at this time”, leaving no room for questions or discrepancies.

You’ve mentioned universal problems, losing things, not remembering things, everyone has faced this, but can you also tell me another crisis-situation that you could see iovox being useful for?

I think any situation. Dealing with insurance companies for any type of claim – medical, auto, property – doesn’t really matter, is a good use. There’s always a lot of back and forth and often a dispute. The more records someone has the more likely they are to be able to advocate their position not to mention the peace of mind of being organized during a stressful time.

Thanks for sharing your family’s story with us, Ryan. We wish your father all the best.

Yes, he’s got a lot of work ahead of him but I’m glad iovox can help him in some way.

Regardless of whether you’re dealing with recent natural disasters or just want the benefits of being more organized and efficient, you can download the iovox app directly now in preview mode in in the Google Play Store. iOS version coming soon.

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