While more and more customer interactions are taking place via Twitter, Facebook, text messages and other forms, most of the important interactions still take place in email. \u00a0And in many instances, information in those emails is overlooked -- information that could provide important insight that doesn\u2019t come from human eyeballs. Art Papas, founder and CEO of Bullhorn CRM, discusses how email analytics can help find those insights that can drive real engagement opportunities and help you stay on top of what\u2019s important to customers and prospects. * * * * * Small Business Trends: Maybe you can give us a little bit of your personal background? Art Papas: I started Bullhorn probably about a year after college, I worked for a company doing financial services for a year, and then started Bullhorn, and that was back in the heyday of 1999 when the internet was going crazy. Small Business Trends: Well tell us a little bit about Bullhorn because quite honestly you\u2019re a CRM application that grew out of professional services and helping recruiters keep track of their contacts. But you\u2019re a full-fledged CRM that a lot of folks don\u2019t know about. Art Papas: We did get our start in a niche industry and a staffing industry which a lot of people don\u2019t know about unless they\u2019ve interacted with third party recruiters and staffing agency folks and trying to find a job. But we started in that industry sort of by serendipity. The interesting thing about that business though, is that the staff industry has really high turnover. And it\u2019s generally a low margin business. So there is no shelf wear in the staffing industry. It\u2019s a lot of owner operators, they never buy software and don\u2019t use 100% of it. They are very focused on return on investment because they are spending their own personal money. I think starting there really was incredible training for us on how to change the way people use software and make sure people actually get a ton of value without having to do a lot of work. So we developed some really powerful stuff around either changing the way people have to enter data and making sure we can deliver insights without people having to take any action, or even use the software necessarily. Small Business Trends: So how does email analytics help a person grow relationships with folks they\u2019re trying to do business with? Art Papas: Most people get they should keep good notes on their customers and process. But it\u2019s hard, and it takes time and energy to go note take and put notes in the system and put appointments in the system. And what happens is people treat it like their expense report. Yeah, I got to file my expense report and I got to put my notes in my CRM, and we looked at that and said that\u2019s a huge problem for us if people view the system as a chore. We\u2019ll never get rich information on the customer. And we would walk into our early customers and see they\u2019d be spending their whole day in Outlook, in their email, and then flip back and forth between our system and Outlook. And to me, that was like, why should they have to go to my system at all? They\u2019re communicating with people, it\u2019s digital, it can be tracked, it can be tied back to customers or companies, so we came up with this concept that you should be able to interact with customers seamlessly just as you normally would, but in the background the database of information about those people is building automatically without you having to do anything. So analytics is just a fancy way of saying we\u2019re organizing information automatically about who is talking to who as a customer, who has the best relationship with the customer, what the communication has been, what the patterns have been, then does this customer respond to us. Or do we have to email them a lot or call them a lot to get them to engage. If you\u2019re building that automatically, the insight you can get is really powerful and we say to people, our goal is to have you not using our software to enter data, but use our software to understand what\u2019s going on with your customers and relationships. And I think that it\u2019s kind of like almost like the difference between using a taxi or Uber, or calling a restaurant for a reservation or using OpenTable. We really focused on this transformative approach to saying all this communication with customers, it\u2019s got tons and tons of rich information in it. Let\u2019s harvest that for you. \u00a0 Small Business Trends: When it comes to sales, what\u2019s the proper mix between insights versus instincts? Art Papas: I\u2019ll give you a real live example. Customer comes to us and they say look, we\u2019re struggling because we have a bunch of sales people and a bunch of service people that touch our account and use finance, and what happens is the customer will email the sales rep and say hey, I need to talk because I\u2019m frustrated about what\u2019s going on in my account. And that kicks off a process. The first thing a salesperson does is go in a customer database and they try and figure out who\u2019s involved in this account. Nobody\u2019s put notes in or the notes are spotty. The last note was from two months ago. Obviously that\u2019s not going to help. Maybe they look at look at service tickets or service issues. Then the email chain starts and the sales person puts 15 people on the distribution. Anyone talking to my contact at Bank of America, and then oh, you should talk to John, you should talk to Pete\u2026 Pete said no, talk to finance, they\u2019ve got a problem with their bill, and you get this run around, this extraordinarily difficult process to figure out what\u2019s going on. So what\u2019s a sales person do, they get on the phone with the customer and they get manual. Okay, tell me what\u2019s happening. They say \u2018well why don\u2019t you know what\u2019s happening, I thought I was your most important customer\u2019? It\u2019s really uncomfortable. So we did a pilot and we implemented it, and the first thing they said is now when a salesperson gets that kind of a call, they just pull up the account, in Bullhorn, and they can see the last person to communicate with this customer was John. And John sent them an email about the billing question. And I can also see the actual email itself and it looks like John made a mistake and added a zero to one of the numbers, and of course the customer is upset. But I can diffuse that right now on the phone and go oh, that was a typo. Okay great. Also the sales rep looks like a hero because this isn\u2019t rocket science. But you look like a hero if you know what\u2019s going, if the left hand knows what the right hand is doing the customer says wow, you guys are really great at service. You guys must really have great internal communication. It\u2019s that power of total awareness. And you\u2019ve got to get all the data if you want that kind of power and you\u2019ve got to make it easy to access. It can\u2019t take half an hour of research to figure out what\u2019s going on. You\u2019ve got split seconds when you\u2019re on the phone with a customer. I\u2019m so much more empowered and I\u2019m so much more confident with customers, I\u2019m able to be a better solution provider. And better able to troubleshoot challenges in their business. And you get to be a trusted advisor a lot quicker and that of course helps you sell more business. Small Business Trends: If you look a year or two out from now, is email analytics also going to grow and mix with text messaging analytics or social analytics \u2026 Art Papas: Today we do email and we do text. \u00a0We we\u2019re making a big advancement to the way we do texting later this year, and then phone as well. And what we\u2019re working on is trying to get transcription of a conversation you had with a customer logged in the system on an iPhone. And if we can get that, then that\u2019s every system you use to communicate with customers, we\u2019re capturing data. So we can take data from customer service surveys, or customers support tickets. And then we take all this stuff and we look at it and say let\u2019s help you get a total picture of the customer. The vision is whatever you use to communicate with customers, we\u2019re there giving you a total picture of all the communication, all the interaction and all the transactions. Small Business Trends: Where do people go to learn more about what you guys are up to? Art Papas: Bullhorn.com is the website, and then we\u2019re @bullhorn on Twitter.