Ifbyphone Moves Downtown

August 25, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

Megan E. Doherty

Irv Shapiro was frustrated.

Irv Shapiro, creator of Ifbyphone

If innovation springs most naturally from the personal experience of, “Hey, I can improve this,” then Shapiro has it down.  In 2005, while trying to buy a digital camera online, he wanted to do something simple:  call the company.  With no phone number listed on the website, he thought through why something so obvious would be missing.  The company may be trying to reduce expenses, particularly when they would have no way to track any incoming or outgoing business calls.

“Wouldn’t it be nice,” he thought, “if it were very easy for companies on the web to include telephones with the same analytics, the same level of automation, the same spontaneity, that they get for the web.  So:  If by phone.”

After spending two years developing the technology to do precisely that, Ifbyphone – a voice-based marketing automation platform – was born.  Since 2007, when they employed only a handful of people in a couple hundred square foot space, they’ve grown – straight through the recession – at a rate of over 100% annually.  A few weeks ago, they moved from their humble home in Skokie, Illinois, to a 21,000 square foot location in Chicago’s West Loop.

What they do to help businesses “manage, measure and automate” phone calls is, he says, “so simple and so obvious, I don’t get why people haven’t been doing this forever.”  To track why people call your company and which advertising brings them in, you can have a unique phone number associated with different media.  An ad in a magazine will have one, an ad on a billboard will have another.  With a bank of hundreds of thousands of virtual numbers, Ifbyphone can supply you with as many as you need (in fact, one of their customers uses approximately 30,000), for a fraction of the cost of getting them through a phone company.

“You don’t know if that ad is still working.  So for the cost of a couple bucks [per virtual number per month], at the end of the month you’ll know if anyone is reading that ad.”

Not only can they tell you where someone has seen your company’s phone number, but they can also tell you precisely what the customer may be looking for.  If you conduct a Google search for a particular product or brand, the unique number displayed to you on the company website will be linked to the information of your search.  The result is that your call will be transferred to the correct department, and perhaps sub-department, of the business.

Not “spooky” enough for you?  Try this.  “We will whisper into the ear of the salesperson” – which means they hear it, but the customer doesn’t – that the individual is not only on your website, but that he or she is on the page of a particular product.

So if you ever call a store, and the salesperson “coincidentally” mentions he can give you 5% off of just the brand of refrigerator you were looking for, Ifbyphone might be behind it.

Shapiro’s goal is to do something he’s “never had the privilege of doing before,” which is to “create a brand that defines the market.  We have an opportunity to create the voice-based marking automation space.  And to brand it and to make it synonymous with Ifbyphone.”  Once this is achieved, he wants to give back.  He tried the Ifbyphone technology in a number of different markets, and the one that gave him the most satisfaction was not one he knew how to build a sustainable company around:  providing voice-based services for the blind.  “So when we make it?  Then we’ll go back and have the opportunity to start participating in society with the things we’re doing commercially.”

For the time being, his company’s core-values means that Shapiro wants to contribute to the society of Ifbyphone itself – its customers and its employees.  “Our first core-value is that we will be the easiest company you’ve ever done business with.  We will be the best company our employees have ever worked at.  And we have to do both. You can’t build a great company on the backs of your employees.  If you beat the crap out of your employees, you can’t expect them to treat your customers right.”

And treat them right he does.  The offices in their new, LEED-certified building are airy and spacious, complete with lounge and recreation areas as much as it has conference and “think” rooms.  The kitchen has free drinks, and the break room offers weary workers an Xbox, ping-pong table, and even a miniature putting green.  White dry-erase boards cover many of the walls, allowing creativity to flow at a moment’s notice.  “Acoustic clouds” absorb excess echo above the phone stations of sales and marketing employees, and a suit of armor stands silently in the middle of a room.

“That’s Manuel.  Our head of user-interfaces has two degrees from Northwestern, one in engineering and one in music.  He toured after college for two years in a band, and took [Manuel] with them to all their gigs.”

If Shapiro seems willing to spare no expense for the sake of a happy working environment, he also knows where to draw the line.  “We don’t put money into the corporate kinda stuff.  We put money into large-screen computers, technology, into an open office space.  That’s what counts.”

The table tops?  He says, wrapping his knuckle against one.  “All Formica.”

A Chicago-based independent writer, Megan E. Doherty wrote a dissertation on some crazy stuff, and is happy to have re-joined society – complete with a bunny, a banjo, and a lotta books.  You can catch a few laughs at her off-beat humor blog, www.irreverentguidetolife.com, and you can stay abreast of whatever it is she’s working on, on that tumblr thing: www.meganedoherty.tumblr.com.

Filed in: Company Profile, Featured | Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Trackback URL | RSS Feed for This Entry

  • basi karaoke mp3 cdg download
  • caAadores de dragoes download avi
  • brennan heart download album
  • castleville game free download full version
  • aviAes junho 2012 download
  • a si eu te pego download free
  • biztalk rfid server download
  • angra pra frente brasil download
  • agent mail ru download windows pics
  • barnes and noble nook download ipad
  • ben 10 theme song download link
  • business plan pro free download 2007
  • beastie boys greatest hits download
  • baraka full hd download
  • bewafai mp4 video download
  • asus p8h61 m lx drivers download
  • alexandre desplat album download
  • borland c compiler 3.0 download
  • aplicativos para i1 download gratis
  • auto installer deluxe 4.52 download
  • brazilian grand prix 2011 download
  • belkin n300 setup download
  • bulldog for dummies yout download
  • angelito vuela mp3 download
  • bartpe usb installer v1.0.1 download
  • bully xbox download iso
  • baseband bootloader 3.9 download
  • 20th century logo download
  • amitabh bachchan shahenshah dialogues download
  • aplicativo hp 12c download
  • clive cussler download chia
  • asle bjorn lucky you download mp3
  • bad things everett mp3 download
  • animal crossing wild world download nds
  • backbreaker vengeance download android
  • analisi 2 pagani salsa download
  • baghtoy rikshawala download song
  • battleship 2012 3d download
  • albert camus stranac download
  • adobe reader rewinder pl download
  • bodyguard download mp3 songs
  • cara download guna google chrome
  • blackberry 9520 app download
  • abcd movie trailer download
  • black paper moon song download
  • cabana na floresta download legendado
  • canon mx320 manual download
  • canon imageclass mf6530 download standby message
  • akademia pana kleksa muzyka download
  • acer aspire 7730 drivers download
  • billy hatcher mp3 download
  • besplatan download windows live messenger
  • adobe reader x setup download
  • blue u make me wanna download
  • acrobat x pro hosts file download
  • canon lide 35 download
  • blackshot hack chams wallhack download
  • apocalyptica anything but love download
  • beyblade v force episodes free download
  • abit nf m2sv motherboard driver download
  • can't download adobe flash player my ipad
  • a noiva sAria download legendado
  • chemdraw download std or ltd
  • chou hayda mp3 download
  • app2sd pro 2.44 apk download
  • berner on the streets download
  • beauty and the briefcase download swesub
  • asot 2010 yearmix free download
  • blackberry 9520 firmware download
  • a href force hanf download
  • bandmaster tamil mp3 download
  • chaotic ds game download
  • aleksandra szwed playboy 2012 download
  • bajke za djecu download
  • acpi sny5001 driver download sony
  • chained heat movie free download
  • canon pixma mp287 resetter download
  • asphalt urban gt 2 rar download
  • catedral do rock 2001 download
  • acelerador de download que funcione
  • attivare download mode galaxy s
  • achtung die kurve 3 download
  • chupke se aaye download
  • c media cmi8738 pci sx driver download
  • 4shared download bcl cinta sejati
  • avicii so excited download mp3
  • audio book download amazon
  • bank gothic bt download free
  • clams casino i'm good download mp3
  • asta e adevarul adevarat download
  • champagne showers lmfao download free mp3
  • cabana do pai tomaz download
  • caso 39 download dublado gratis
  • children of cybertron emmure download
  • anatomy of reanimation blitzkid download
  • build a lot 4 game download
  • backbreaker demo download pc
  • circle the drain karmin download
  • armed assault slx mod download
  • banquete de casamento download
  • anthony kiedis scar tissue download free
  • anita blake book 17 download
  • besplatan download domaAe glazbe
  • borderlands 2 ita download pc
  • acelerado de download de jogos
  • asus rt n56u download master utility
  • audiobook zemsta download za darmo
  • canon imagerunner 2530 driver download
  • bodyrox ft luciana mp3 download
  • 1112 episode 2 ipa download
  • clams casino instrumental mixtape download zip
  • cinema 4d r13 download baixaki
  • book of vile darkness download eaton's
  • aku punya hati download mp3
  • boom boom pow song download
  • aprendendo tocar violA?o download
  • agnieszka chyliAska modern rocking download peb
  • automovil Aejo dalmata free download
  • aa rathri songs download
  • agar dil hamara song download
  • anno domini mp3 download
  • ain't i yung l.a. download
  • apostila da vestcon para download gratis
  • canopus edius 5.0 download
  • blackberry device software v 5.0 download
  • black panther os download
  • cars 2 ita download film
  • battlefield 2 download ita pc
  • banda el recodo cd download
  • b2st new album 2011 download
  • circuito reggae volume 7 download
  • andromedia video editor apk download
  • body urge mp3 download
  • buffalo air station g54 driver download
  • business plan pro 2006 download
  • asus m2npv vm sterowniki download
  • bade chete aunde ne download free song
  • big poppa biggie download
  • 30 day method tracy anderson download
  • bluetooth rfbnep driver download
  • cara download prambors di blackberry
  • call of juarez save download
  • club dogo spacco tutto download gratis