#169 - A story about overcoming financial challenges and growing a stronger software business by being different, not just better.

An interview with Cormac O’Neill, CEO of Webio

Product InnovationThis podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to make difficult conversations about money, that little bit easier. My guest is Cormac O’Neill, CEO of Webio.

Cormac is an experienced business leader with extensive hands-on experience of multiple aspects of growing profitable businesses. He led myTravelGuide from start-up to €15m turnover in the period ’99 to 2011. He then moved to Voice Sage to establish them as the UKs leading omni-channel customer contact provider.

He loves to inspire and motivate people and teams, challenging, supporting and mentoring them to reach higher than they thought possible. Beyond that, he’s passionate about Retail and Sales including effective Customer Communications, the Customer Journey and the Sales Process.

He understands the impact that financial wellbeing can have on a person’s mental health, as an entrepreneur he’s had had his fair share of financial challenges. That inspired him, Paul Sweeney and Mark Oppermann to co-found Webio in 2016. Webio is on a mission to make those difficult conversations about money that little bit easier for everyone concerned.

That inspired me, and hence I invited Cormac to my podcast. We explore what’s broken in the Credit Collection space and why traditional methods just drop in effectiveness. We discuss how taking a different perspective on the problem can fix this – and what the critical ingredients are to stand out, and deliver a remarkable impact for both your customers, and their customers. Last but not least we discuss how to stay resilient and come out stronger from crisis situations and why success starts by making tough decisions to say goodbye to groups of customers.

Here are some of his quotes:

What our customers have seen, and something we’ve seen ourselves from having experience in the industry is that traditional methods of how these companies communicate are just not effective anymore. And to solve a problem, you must be able to have a conversation. Communication is fundamentally key here to solve the financial difficulties. 

So, historically, debt collection agencies or collections departments would use the telephone to try and contact their customers. And unfortunately, as an engagement tool, the engagement rates have been declining on telephone over the last number of years because it’s stressful talking about money.

Sometimes asynchronous conversations are better than real time conversations. Sometimes people need that little bit of breathing space between their answers.

So, the first thing you’re doing is you’re increasing the engagement rate. Once you got engagement, then you’ve got opportunity to solve the problem.

During this interview, you will learn four things:

  1. How thinking in micro-steps can help your customers make massive-steps forward in progress as a result of changing behaviour 
  2. Why the problem you’re solving often isn’t so much about improving what your customers do, but how they feel doing it: The relief of stress, anxiety, frustration,..
  3. Why asynchronous conversations often result in better (data) quality, engagement and outcome than real-time conversations – especially if it’s about stressful topics
  4. Why you shouldn’t second guess your customers – get your product into their hands as early as possible and let them tell you (even if you think it’s far from ready)

For more information about the guest from this week:


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About the author

Sales Pitch

Ton Dobbe is a former B2B software product marketer who's on a mission to save mission-driven SaaS CEOs from the stress of 'not enough' traction. He's the author of The Remarkable Effect, the host of the Tech-Entrepreneur on a Mission podcast, and writes a daily newsletter on the secrets to mastering predictable traction.