'I believe in servant leadership,' says Don White, CEO and Co-founder at Satisfi Labs

Don White, CEO, and Co-founder at Satisfi Labs, in this interview talks to Media 7 about the various aspects of his organization. He also dives into his field of expertise and helps us understand the true value of growth.

Conversational AI technology should be deployed to fill gaps on an organization chart that humans are unable to fill, not step in front of a human who is too busy.



MEDIA 7: You have a profound professional experience of over 20 years. Could you please walk us through your wonderful journey?
DON WHITE:
During my junior year of college, I applied for a job as a receptionist at Bloomberg. Once I got my foot in the door, I told my colleagues that if they were willing to teach me, I could learn fast. By my senior year, I was a full-time employee and had shifted all of my classes to-night classes so I could do both. Instead of going to my college graduation at age 21, I was managing my first team. From that point on, I was fortunate to work in a meritocracy and was elevated multiple times, eventually running my own department at age 25. From there, I moved into regional management, followed by product development until I eventually ran sales for the Americas. Later in 2013, I started to wonder if I could do something bigger for myself. I went on a few interviews at young tech companies and one founder said to me, "We don't know if you're good or Bloomberg is good." About 6 months later I was at my first startup, Datahug, as the VP of Sales. Shortly after, I was recruited by a group of investors who wanted to disrupt Yelp. While Yelp is still well and good, in 2016 we aligned on a new vision and I co-founded Satisfi Labs with the same investors.


M7: You have been associated with Satisfi Labs for over 5 years. Where was the company at when you started and where is it now?
DW:
When I started we had zero revenue and zero clients. Today, we have over 225 customers in sports, entertainment, and tourism and are closing on a new round of financing to expand into new industries, products, and geographies.


There is nothing I would ask anyone to do that I have not done in the past or would be willing to do today.



M7: Satisfi Labs' mission is "Make Conversational AI Hirable". Could you please share with us, how do you execute this?
DW:
Conversational AI technology should be deployed to fill gaps on an organization chart that humans are unable to fill, not step in front of a human who is too busy. The early deployments of this technology have really been more about a glorified IVR call center, opposed to creating the workforce of the future. We are building AI Assistants that have their own KPIs, training, and expertise to fulfill a revenue or customer experience gap for our customers. We never deploy only one. In order to make this work, you need a team of assistants. That is our approach and it's unique and effective.


M7: How do 'Interactive Answer Engines' help service, sales, and marketing work better to help drive business results?
DW:
There is a lot of money spent on impressions and social media engagement to get a consumer to "like" something and ultimately drive them to purchase. But if you simply provide a mechanism for people to tell you what they want, they will. This makes the chatbot "deflection" approach unnecessary. Many of our Assistants have an "ask us anything" mantra, which is why even in customer service-oriented activations, 60% of the questions are purchase intents. The team works together so that the customer service questions are automatically handled by a sales assistant that is equipped with transaction capabilities. This means that conversions are higher, and customer inputs are not wasted.


There is a lot of money spent on impressions and social media engagement to get a consumer to "like" something and ultimately drive them to purchase.



M7: What are your predictions on how 'Technology' can bring a robust change in our lives in the upcoming years?
DW:
The voice revolution and search moving to voice in the next five years has always been a popular topic of conversation, and I would tell you that is happening now. The physical office is never coming back in its older form. At a minimum, employees will work from home one or multiple times a week. Therefore, the voice products that turn your lights on or give you weather reports in the morning, become part of your daily routine. The challenge with voice adoption was that many people weren't home long enough to utilize this tool. Now that many of us are home a much more significant part of our day, the Alexa / Google Assistant in your house will become a preferred method of information and transactions.


M7: How would you define your leadership style? Do you prefer working closely with your employees, or maintain a healthy distance? Why?
DW:
I believe in servant leadership. There is nothing I would ask anyone to do that I have not done in the past or would be willing to do today. I think in any young company, it's important to get into the mud with your employees. If you are all hands on deck, that should always include the CEO. I also believe you should always maintain a level of respect because there are times when difficult decisions must be made regarding employees. I care about the lives and careers of every employee and because of that, I will always do what's best for the company.

ABOUT SATISFI LABS

Satisfi Labs, a conversational AI platform, create Answer Engines that manage a team of expert Assistants to answer customer questions on-demand. Their technology makes information accessible and actionable at every stage of the customer journey. Its proprietary Answer Engine enables search for physical locations through conversational AI, allowing places to directly answer customer questions on-demand. The platform takes in structured and unstructured data and makes it AI-ready, allowing the Answer Engine to create expert virtual assistants on the web, mobile, SMS, and voice channels.

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Lynx is committed to enabling customers to build and manage orchestrated, cloud-connected platforms that harness a broad array of modern technologies and unique design methodologies to enable accurate, deterministic decisions at the Mission Critical Edge without compromising safety or cybersecurity requirements. For more information, visit www.lynx.com. About Thompson Software Solutions Founded in 2004 with locations in Atlanta, GA and Fort Worth, TX, the Thompson Software Solutions team understands what is required to develop, integrate, test, and deploy software with a safety-critical pedigree while meeting the challenges of modernization and digital transformation. Our team of proven and dedicated employees takes pride in our ability to react quickly and produce quality solutions to difficult technical challenges. We work with partners to find the right path to meet operational needs while future-proofing systems with portability and sustainment considerations to ensure next-generation success. For more information, visit https://www.thompsonsoftwaresolutions.com. About OceanSound Partners OceanSound Partners is a New York-based private equity firm that pursues control investments in technology and technology-enabled services companies serving government and enterprise end markets. OceanSound employs a partnership approach, working closely with founders, entrepreneurs, and executives of middle market businesses to drive transformational growth. For more information, visit www.oceansoundpartners.com.

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Satisfi Labs

Satisfi Labs

Satisfi Labs, a conversational AI platform, creates Answer Engines that manage a team of expert Assistants to answer customer questions on-demand. Their technology makes information accessible and actionable at every stage of the customer journey. Its proprietary Answer Engine enables search for phy...

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