Communication is so easy in the private sphere – why not in the company as well,’ asked startup co-founder Benedikt Ilg. During his dual studies, he was often away from the company for training reasons. As a result, he struggled with mail distribution lists, tried to reach the right contacts via VPN or other channels in order to stay informed – mostly without success.
But why? In the private sector, we all communicate and organize without any problems via numerous social media tools. So why is internal communication within a company so difficult? For Benedikt it was clear: “That has to change! In an interview with 5-HT, Customer Happiness Specialist Lisa Scholer tells us how her Startup Flip ‘knocks over’ internal corporate communications in Germany – and how important the team is for a successful startup.
Flip can be used by everyone – from medium-sized companies to large corporations
“We use Flip ourselves, of course, to communicate with each other. So we know from our own experience what advantages Flip brings to a company. You could almost say that we are our best customer ourselves,” jokes Lisa Scholer. She is Customer Happiness Specialist at Flip. Admittedly, a somewhat special job title, but, as Lisa explains, it reflects exactly what her job is in sales and marketing: making the customer happy and ensuring successful cooperation.
And that the startup company, founded in 2015, has not only itself, but actually has a whole range of loyal customers, becomes clear from a quick glance at its customer portfolio: There you will find large corporations such as Porsche AG, Bauhaus, Württembergische Versicherung or Sparkasse Schwarzwald Baar. From small and medium-sized companies with just 20 employees to large corporations with several 100,000 employees, from craftsmen and retailers to industrial companies – there are no limits to the use of Flip.
Flip reaches all employees – even those on the construction site or in production
“Flip is a messenger-based employee app that enables fast, easy and, above all, secure internal communication,” explains Lisa, “This means: Our focus is clearly on communication. We don’t have hundreds of confusing functions that don’t work optimally – instead, we offer our customers the possibility of informing their employees at any time, regardless of location and in real time, and also give employees the opportunity to communicate with each other.
Flip can therefore be used to send classic top-down information to all employees, but group and individual chats are also possible. Flip is a white-label tool – this means that companies can create their own individualized employee app with their own logo, colors and fonts. The decisive advantage of Flip, however, is the app’s user group: “Our focus is on non-desktop workers, i.e. the producing and executing workers. The desktop workers are usually very well equipped. It is more problematic for companies to reach their warehouse and production workers, craftsmen on construction sites or field staff. They often don’t even have their own e-mail address in the company and only have their smartphone with them. Flip makes it possible for the first time to integrate these employees into the company’s activities. All they need is a smartphone”.
Flip was initially only intended for training purposes – but the solution was convincing across the board
Benedikt Ilg, co-founder and managing director of Flip, had to experience for himself that some employees are not sufficiently or not at all involved in the company’s activities. During his dual studies, he had difficulties at times in keeping himself informed about current events in the company or in establishing the right contacts when questions arose. When he turned to the IT department, it became clear that this problem is not an isolated incident. But the company had neither the time nor the resources to change this.
“That is why Benedikt sat down with Giacomo and Johannes. The three of them had already founded and developed apps and websites for companies. So it was obvious to develop an app that companies could use for their internal communication,” says Lisa. The finished product was first presented to Porsche AG. The initial focus of this solution was to network trainees and dual students. However, Porsche AG was so enthusiastic about the solution that they approached Flip with the request to introduce Flip for all employees throughout the group.
Flip is user friendly, safe and works council compliant
“It was a long way to go before our app was ready. We conducted many employee surveys and tested the app on users. In addition, we comply with the German Data Protection Ordinance DSGVO. So the data is safe with us,” explains Lisa, “Porsche has a very strong works council. Initially, the works council had reservations about extending working hours and monitoring employee performance. But since this is absolutely impossible with Flip, we quickly had the works council on our side and can even say today that our product is absolutely compliant with the works council. This and many other advantages that Flip fulfils made it easy for us to introduce the app in many other companies later on.
Because, as the Flip team quickly realized: Reaching their own employees is a major concern for all companies in Germany. Thus, a project that in the beginning was a part-time job, became a successful start-up, in which meanwhile 18 employees, so-called ‘Flipsters’, work. In the next 25 months, it is planned to hire up to 20 additional employees, Lisa reveals: “So we are looking forward to receiving applications for the development department, but also for sales and marketing”.
Flip is a young, agile team – which communicates with each other via Flip
The team, explains Lisa, is particularly important for cooperation and can sometimes give a start-up a decisive competitive advantage over established companies. “Old companies are often not very agile or quick to make decisions, are afraid of change and often work in the same rut.
One of our many advantages is that we are a very young and flexible team. We are very agile in our working methods and work with Scrum, among others. At regular intervals we have so-called retrospectives in which we address problems in an open dialogue and solve them together”, says Lisa, “But thanks to Flip we also have very good communication in the team overall”.
Her most important tip for other startup founders: “Build a team you can rely on and that works well together. But networking is also very important. We spend a lot of time at trade shows and events.”
Lisa reveals that the team is also essential when dealing with customers: “We are often told by our customers: ‘You can tell that the atmosphere in the team is just right. You are motivated and work together.'” It is very important that all employees of a startup company receive a professional, highly motivated and well prepared welcome. In addition, direct contact with customers is also very important: “This means that we attach great importance to maintaining our customer relationships ourselves. If a customer has questions, he should not be connected to a customer service department somewhere in the world, but should be able to contact us and his personal contact person directly. This is very important for us.”
And her success proves this concept right, as Lisa, not without pride, explains: “We have not lost a single customer yet”.
Flip will ‘flip’ internal corporate communications
“We want to further expand our network and increase our awareness,” explains Lisa, “We want to reach customers who are looking for alternatives to traditional messenger services. Flip has big goals for the future: “In three to five years we want to be the leading tool for internal corporate communications. We want to grow, but at the same time maintain our culture and our values within the team”. Last but not least, one goal is at the top of the list, as the name and logo of their start-up – a hurricane – reveal: “We want to bring a breath of fresh air into the companies. We want to flip the internal communication in companies.”