For businesses, word of mouth can make or break you.
Every business owner knows technology and social media has magnified the devastation of a bad review gone viral. That’s where Charlottetown company BamText comes in.
BamText allows customers to communicate feedback instantly to a company.
Whether it’s a rave review or an unforgiving pan, this mobile comment card allows a person to immediately and anonymously send a text message on a unique local number – hopefully before airing a grievance on Facebook. Ninety six per cent of text messages are opened and read within minutes.
We wanted to offer a way for businesses to rectify an issue and for customers to give feedback right away.
Fraser and co-founder Keir Pollard started building their company 26 months ago as a sideline to their other jobs. They didn’t want investors, they wanted to try to make it on their own.
We knew these products were selling, but to really get off the ground we needed these (government) programs.
“We were bootstrapping it,” Fraser said with a laugh.
“We knew these products were selling, but to really get off the ground we needed these (government) programs,” he said.
As business continued to grow, BamText took advantage of the government’s Graduate Mentorship Program to hire UPEI Business grad Megan Murnaghan to do sales. The program paid 70 per cent of her wage for the first year. They now have seven employees and will be up to nine by the end of the year.
The company has grown from 40 customers to 400, recently landing Irving Oil North America as its biggest client.
Irving representatives saw a BamText poster on some Northumberland Ferries Limited ferry and were intrigued.
“They called us, we didn’t call them,” Fraser said.
The deal means BamText will be offering their service at hundreds of Irving Oil and Circle K’s across Canada and the United States over the coming months.
Fraser and Pollard also just learned BamText has been chosen as a recipient of the provincial government’s Development and Commercialization Fund so they can go even further.
Their goal is to build their customer base from 400 to 4,000 in the next few years.
“The world is so small today you can do anything, it’s all so local now – (the) states, provinces, they aren’t barriers anymore.”