Quala is a next-generation platform for growing customer relationships. We are revolutionizing how companies use qualitative data along with product analytics and other quantitative information to work with their customers, build strong individual relationships, and understand the character of their entire customer base.
The concept of “data-driven” companies had taken over by the time I started as a founding team member of Quala. Being data-driven basically means that there is one source of truth – the numbers – and they must support all decisions. While this approach isn’t inherently wrong, it can incentivize bad short-term decision-making, often leading to some pretty awful experiences for customers. Then the customers leave.
Our initial research uncovered that a critical factor was missing from data-based decision-making: the human element. People don’t behave predictably and they make decisions primarily based on emotion, which means that prior behavior doesn’t necessarily model future behavior. We found that the people closest to the customer knew that they were at risk, even though all of the numbers suggested that wouldn’t happen. Further, these people were often a better predictor than other factors. We also found that important events almost always precipitate changes in customer behavior. These milestones go unnoticed because quantitative data can’t reveal them.
In 2018, the Quala team set out to design a platform that everyone in a company can use, one where qualitative data is a first-class citizen and fundamentally changes how businesses make decisions.
I’ve been there as the team has grown from 3 to 20 and have worn many hats along the way. As Head of Product, I conduct and synthesize customer research, guide the product development, and contribute heavily on both the product design and engineering teams.