David Wachs: Building Lasting Bonds with Customers through Power of Handwritten Notes
In an age where everyone is drowning in electronic communication, handwritten notes really stand out. They go a long way in building lasting relationships with people, and companies that send notes are set apart from the competition. To help its clients leverage this untapped form of outreach, Handwrytten (www.handwrytten.com) automates handwritten notes on behalf of companies large and small.
Handwrytten was founded to fill an unmet need of sending handwritten notes as easily as sending an email. To solve this problem, the company invested heavily in robotics to build a machine unmatched in handwriting quality and scalability. One of the great stories of Inspirational Entrepeneurs is David Wachs,The mind behind the company is David Wachs, CEO, Founder and Chief Robot Mechanic. A serial entrepreneur, David is bringing back the lost art of letter writing through scalable, robot-based solutions that write one’s notes in pen.
“Handwrytten’s technology allows customers to scale their handwritten outreach, creating positive impressions and long-lasting bonds.”
The Challenge of Educating People about the Unique Service
Handwrytten was founded in 2014. The first challenge that Handwrytten faced and is still facing is making its target audience aware of its service. Handwrytten is very unique and has truly defined the space of automated handwritten notes. It has been successful in doing this primarily through Facebook and LinkedIn advertising, but also through earned and paid media placement.
Delivering Realistic Handwriting
As Handwrytten has grown, it needed better robots to write the notes for its clients. Its initial vendor’s technology was antiquated, and the results were not in line with its expectations. Four years ago, Handwrytten began a journey to design, program and build robots itself. Now, it has 115 custom built, pen-wielding robots. These robots deliver the most realistic handwriting available. Handwrytten builds these robots for much less than its old robots used to cost, allowing it to scale up faster. As it has full control of the software and firmware, it designs fonts and signatures quicker than it could have otherwise, and makes additional improvements to increase realism as well. Handwrytten’s robots are now its point of difference and no other company comes close to its capabilities.
Learning from the Greats
David states that he was fortunate to meet Conan O’Brien while he was in college over twenty years ago. Conan told David and his classmates to “always get in over one’s head”. David has never forgotten these words of advice. He lives by this mantra daily. The book “E-Myth” by Michael Gerber has also made an impact on David. This easy-to-read book talks about setting up one’s business as a franchise, even if one never plans on operating it as one. By going through this process, one is forced to create a manual, define jobs, create processes, and as Michael explains, “work on the business instead of work in the business”.
Reaching out Using Handwritten Notes
The pandemic has created terrible isolation for a good percentage of the population. People are forced to work from home, abstain from in-person meetings and get-togethers and are separated physically from their loved ones. This is painful and scary for many people. David says that as a business, it is important to reach out to one’s clients and customers just to tell them you care. Of course, Handwrytten recommends reaching out using its service, as it knows that handwritten notes generate impactful and personal results.
As a company Handwrytten used handwritten notes throughout the pandemic, but its team also picked up the phone, called its clients and asked if there was anything they could do to help.
Handwrytten is uniquely qualified to overcome this challenge due to the nature of its business. By the end of 2020, Handwrytten’s business was hitting sales records as people began using its service to send well-wishes to their prospects and clients.
Ensuring Happiness and Productivity of Employees
David has built and sold a company before. In this process, he has learned what is truly important. It turns out, happy, productive employees are the key! As such, he works every day to ensure his employees are happy and excited to come to work. While he certainly makes his employees work hard, David wants them to stick around for the long-haul. He states that employee turnover is one of the most expensive factors in running a business.
To improve work culture, David advises to hold weekly meetings on the financial and operational state of the company. This creates a sense of transparency and instils ownership by the entire team. He suggests praising publicly and criticizing privately. He advises giving “shout outs” to team members during the weekly meeting but giving criticism to employees only in private. He also suggests having frequent fun events.
Handwrytten has put a “Handwrytten Cares” section on its web site, with cards for equal rights and Black Lives Matter causes. 100% of the profits from these cards go to aligned causes.
The Road Ahead for Handwrytten
Handwrytten will continue iterating its robots and creating more integrations into other platforms. In addition to its plugins for Salesforce, Zapier, Integromat and SyncSpider, it is releasing a plugin for Shopify shortly, and it hopes to revisit its HubSpot integration. It is currently revamping its web site and is excited to release the new version in Q3 of this year. Longer-term, Handwrytten plans to roll out additional facilities around the world. It will also partner with 3PL and other forms of partners to incorporate its offering into their service.
Being Considerate of Emotions of People
When everybody else is pivoting towards digital, David advises future leaders to realize the consumer is analog and emotional. He recommends the leaders of tomorrow to come up with solutions to grab the emotions behind their target audience, and don’t just recreate a familiar marketing offering done by dozens of other software firms. David says that in the last 5 years so much of marketing and advertising has gone online, and this has created huge opportunities to improve the offline experience as well.