Intently describes itself as “The Intention Engine”. The unique company connects sellers and buyers around the world and is great for buyers who would like to view all their options in one convenient place. It’s also brilliant for businesses as they will benefit from the exposure, gaining custom and, equally as exciting, significantly increasing their search engine rankings, which is great for their overall digital marketing tactics!
I sought out Neil, who founded Intently, for more information about the company. I asked him some interview questions and he gladly answered them.
An Interesting Beginning
Intently’s beginnings are quite inspirational for those on the fence about whether to dive into a new business idea. Take a look at what Neil told me about how Intently came to be:
“I started Intently back in 2011 after one of those light bulb moments, but this was a light bulb that I couldn’t seem to switch off – I felt compelled to build it! The trigger was that I needed an optician’s appointment. It was after hours and I was driving past, like, five closed opticians on the high street. I shouted out of the car window “Hey, can any of you see me tomorrow morning?”. And then it hit me: I wonder if there’s an app for that, or a website, where you can just say what you want and service providers contact you?
It would be sooooo easy for consumers (to contact multiple suppliers simultaneously), and I thought service providers would like it too – buyers coming to them with highly personalised and specific needs. While there were a few websites out there which almost met this need, there was nothing completely focused on it so I decided to build it myself”.
How Exactly Does Intently Work?
Intently has countries all around the world listed on its website. If you’re a buyer, you simply select your chosen country and city, and then select the type of service you’re looking for. For example, brand development for your business’s social media strategies or VPS hosting companies The clever system will show you your options within seconds. You can then either book directly through Intently or get taken to your chosen company’s website.
If you’re a seller, Intently is a fantastic way to bring in completely relevant clients or customers.
Furthermore, If you add your business and website link to Intently, not only will gain lots of exposure, but you’ll also do wonders for your SEO.
Intently is now ranked in the top 0.006% of websites across the world. Through research and feedback, the team at Intently have learned that many SMEs improve their search ranking just by adding their website to Intently’s listing pages, and this is very valuable to small businesses.
Treating Customers Ethically
Neil had a lot to say about Intently’s customer care and the way the company treats customers:
“We get a lot of compliments about our customer service so I suppose we’re doing pretty well but I really don’t want to sound complacent. We treat every interaction with a customer as a chance to learn about their needs, how they perceive us, and what they like and don’t like about us. We are usually able to respond to customers very quickly (within the hour), and we try our best to never take longer than a few hours. I believe we treat our customers very ethically and respectfully, and we love the opportunity to engage with them”.
Intently explains the whole process really clearly on its website. But, if you are stuck or have any questions at all, you can either email or telephone the team for a quick resolution.
Intently’s Greatest Strengths
I was curious as to what Neil considered the company’s greatest strengths. He told me:
“I would say we have a number of strengths. Firstly, because we are global it means that we have a really widespread of users in different countries so we see activity on the site around the clock. I would say that we are almost unique regarding our buyer-oriented model – our buyers state what they want and this is sent to multiple sellers immediately.
Then buyers and sellers can converse by email, instant messaging and video call, all on the website. We have done a huge amount of work trying to optimise the site for our users and search engines, and that has really paid off – we have seen continued growth since we launched, and we have built a lot of features for our sellers too which they seem to appreciate”.
Neil continued to explain what he’s most proud of about his company:
“I am most proud of the fact that I didn’t let anyone tell me it couldn’t be done and that we pressed on for years building features and learning about our users. We had to commit time and effort at a consistently high level for a very long time to get Intently to its current position, and we’re not going to stop now. I also take great pleasure in seeing how Intently serves our customers – their individual stories.
It is really interesting to see how demand changes as the world changes. For example, when the people of Hong Kong were protesting we saw some requests relating to people wanting security personnel to collect them at the airport and take them to their hotel. I like how activity on the site reflects the world”.
Always Room For Growth
Intently has loads of useful features and helpful resources available but Neil doesn’t intend to stop here. He wants to continue to grow and expand Intently’s features to provide an even better and comprehensive service. Here’s what he had to say:
“Regarding future plans, we will continue to react to what our users want, whether they tell us directly or indirectly through their actions. Intently is now very established and feature-rich, but there are definitely opportunities to make the user experience clearer, easier and faster, plus we are considering using the technology to enter a few niche markets which we believe may not have been well served yet”.
To Conclude This Interview
Intently is a great company that provides an invaluable service for both businesses and buyers. It takes the pain out of finding services and customers, quickly and effortlessly connecting the two. I really like how open and down-to-earth Neil has been while speaking with me about his business. And, I really appreciate all the in-depth answers he’s provided. Good luck to Neil and his team moving forward!