GIN is an appcare tool that lets you communicate with your customers via modern messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram and WeChat, through a centralised multi-user dashboard. Daan Gönning is Product Coordinator for GIN and answered my questions on the domain and the business behind it.
Mike: Tell me about Gin, the product. What does it do and who is it for?
Daan: With GIN you can integrate all your 1:1 communication channels into one dashboard. Customer service agents use GIN to be available on every possible channel (i.e WhatsApp, Facebook M, Instagram DM, Wechat, Line) with only one interface. This makes it very efficient and less time consuming. Also, with the CRM integration, switching between tools isn’t necessary anymore.
Mike: Where did the idea to consolidate these different channels originate?
Daan: The idea mostly comes from a problem. In this case, the end-user of a company is changing. They want a quick answer on their question and they would like to communicate through a channel they trust. For some users this is phone, for other email, but for a growing group of (young) people it is WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and so on.
For a customer service desk, to be available on all those channels could be difficult. Sometimes, agents have 5-7 tools open at the same time and the agents keeps switching between them. That’s why we build GIN. To make it more efficient for the agent, but also to make it possible to be on multiple channels with still a quick response time.
Mike: Tell me about the domain name Gin.com. How did you acquire it and can you share what you paid for it?
Daan: gin.com was part of a company take-over a couple of years ago. Our mother company, CM, acquired GSM Information Network with both the domain names gin.com and gin.nl.
Mike: How many monthly visitors do you typically receive to the name?
Daan: When referring to the name of the domain gin.com I can’t really give detailed information about exact visitor numbers (the competition is always reading too), but I can say it’s quite a bit. The domain gin.com is fairly new with its renewed Appcare / Webcare via Messaging Apps / Customer Care via Chatbots content so the search engine still hasn’t wrapped it’s head around the fact that the current gin.com is not a drink, but Customer Care via Messaging Apps. Every day we are working hard on GIN with great results, but it will take some time to reposition the website as Customer Care via Messaging Apps for both the visitors and search engine.
Mike: I imagine a portion of your visitors are typing in Gin.com expecting to find a site promoting some brand of alcohol. Do you find that to be the case?
Daan: Yes I also find that to be the case.
Mike: What has owning a short, memorable name like Gin.com done for your business? How helpful has it been in taking your product to market?
Daan: It does a lot, people find us on the name, but also for our marketing it has advantages. For example, During an event, we can give away some Gin Tonics, or in online ad’s we use the slogan: ‘The other GIN’.
Mike: If I came to you asking for advice on launching an online business, what would you tell me?
Daan: Good question. My first tip would be: Build a scalable solution. I know a lot of startups that build their tool pretty quick and when they have got some traction, their tool fails because it isn’t scalable enough. They didn’t expect such growth in a short time. Be prepared and build a solid, scalable tool.