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Tech founder Oliver Lennon unveils new customer engagement start-up ‘Syndeo’

A new technology company that aims to help organisations engage and communicate with an emerging generation of “on demand” customers has been officially launched in Belfast.

Syndeo was founded by Oliver Lennon, who previously founded software company SpeechStorm, a company which spun out of Kainos and was acquired by US software giant Genesys Inc two years ago.

Syndeo aims to revolutionise the world of customer service using a new intelligent messaging platform that connects consumers with brands whilst harnessing the power of expert communities to deliver the optimum customer experience.

Currently, more than 70 per cent of customer service engagements are undertaken over the phone, with the vast majority of organisations still promoting customer service through voice channels using some form of call centre.

But a new wave of “digital natives”, the Millennial generation, now engage each other using their mobile devices, specifically social media and messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger. Rather than having to make calls they expect to be able to engage with brands in the same manner.

Oliver Lennon, founder of Syndeo explained: “It is our mission at Syndeo to re-define customer communications to meet the needs of the new generation of consumer and dramatically improve relationships between consumers and brands.

“In the UK alone, there are some 20 million Millennials and in the US the figure is greater than 100 million. Will they go searching for a phone number or email address when they want to communicate with an organisation? I don’t think they will.”

Lennon says the current model for engaging with customers is not fit for purpose for this new generation of consumers. Industry reports indicate that the mobile phone is only used 20% of the time for making calls with the clear majority of our communication today taking place within “social media apps”, so when a brand needs to communicate with their customers they need to stop thinking of the call centre as the primary mechanism for doing so.

“For any organisation, competition from new market entrants is putting an increasing pressure on customer retention and not delivering customer service to a key customer demographic via the delivery mechanism of their choice is eroding brand loyalty. Organisations are constantly striving to reduce the cost to serve, while increasing customer satisfaction. To survive brands will need to engage with the new generation of consumer through the familiar social media messaging apps they use daily” he said.

“We have built a platform that makes this much easier for organisations.  They can quickly define the customer service options they need to provide, decide which social media messaging apps they wish to deliver these options over and if they wish to allow some of those queries to be resolved through a community of expert users. When the platform is configured, which can happen in a matter of minutes, utilising artificial intelligence and machine learning the platform then determines the optimum experience to resolve the customer’s query.”

The Syndeo team is currently based in the Ormeau Baths innovation space in Belfast.

Mark Dowds, co-founder of Ormeau Baths, said: “Syndeo are a great addition to the collaborative community which has been steadily growing at Ormeau Baths since we opened our doors earlier this year. Oliver and his team see huge opportunity in helping organisations to respond to the changing demands of a new generation of consumers and I’m sure we will hear much more about Syndeo as the company continues to grow.”

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