Q: How have you used technology to revolutionize your business?
Dayna Ciarfalia, LLC
Sector: Business Coaching
In 2019, I began using Instagram more intentionally to share with mamas on topics such as respectful parenting, healing childhood wounds and honest motherhood topics. As Instagram has released more unique (and free!) features such as IGTV and Reels, I’ve tried them out and have found success in growing out my account (and, simultaneously, my coaching business) simply through creating content that helps people.
The fact that I can spend five minutes sharing my passions and knowledge, and it can reach thousands of people in days, is amazing! There truly has never been a better time to be in the coaching and service industry. In addition to Instagram, the growth and ease of use of online course creation platforms as well as podcasting has also been transformational to my business. Options to easily and quickly deliver relevant, helpful content on just about any specialty area are more accessible than ever, and monetizing the service has been game-changing.
Dayna Ciarfalia is a transformational coach who helps mamas cultivate deeper relationships with their children through breaking unhealthy patterns of behavior and supporting them in parenting more consciously. Ciarfalia has a deep background in psychology, communication and coaching within the realms of personal development; career coaching; and conscious, respectful parenting. She offers her coaching services via one on one and group offerings and soon-to-launch retreats in the Phoenix area.
Director of Marketing & Communications
Take Charge America
For more than 30 years, Take Charge America has helped millions of people manage and pay off their debts. Throughout the decades, we’ve utilized different technologies and communication preferences to meet consumer needs and arm them more quickly with the resources and tools they need to change their financial lives.
Traditionally, credit counseling occurs over the phone. In the all-things-on-demand world, we knew we had to transition this service to an online portal, especially for younger generations accustomed to doing everything over their mobile phones or computers.
This sounds simple on the surface, but credit counseling is highly regulated and it’s critical to preserve our educational efforts along the way. There are no out-of-the-box solutions for credit counseling agencies, so we developed one of the industry’s most intuitive online credit counseling processes ourselves. It uses algorithms based on someone’s income, debt, expenses and assets to deliver customized debt repayment options, a tailored budget, credit report summary and free educational resources. Our online process is easy and convenient. And unlike a phone call, people can save their progress and access their account 24/7.
Upon launching, we immediately experienced an uptick in business, especially among younger consumers. In our first full fiscal year after launching, 22% of our total credit counseling sessions were completed via our online platform, with 51% of those online sessions completed by consumers under 40. Utilization continues to grow. It’s not only a sign that we’re meeting current consumer needs, but it represents a pivotal shift in an industry traditionally dominated by call centers. It’s a smarter and faster way to service consumers who are comfortable with — and prefer — online solutions.
Heather Jones is director of marketing and communications with Take Charge America, a nonprofit credit counseling and debt management agency. Headquartered in Phoenix, TCA helps individuals nationwide overcome their debt and create a secure financial future.
Co-Founder and President
Sector: Commercial Real Estate
At Henri, the most beneficial use of technology has been leveraging cloud-based accounting software and payroll software. We are able to automatically pay employees and vendors via direct deposit, which saves us hours of accounting management time and ensures team members receive payments on the same date and time every month. What would have been a two-person job has been reduced to a simple technology and eliminates room for error. Everything from tax documents to benefits information is at their fingertips in the cloud.
Additionally, when we first launched Henri, we worked out of our Scottsdale headquarters, but quickly realized our team increased efficiency when given the option to work remotely. We use Slack to communicate, which has enabled company engagement, increased productivity and given us the option to hire talent regardless of zip code.
These technologies not only position us for success in the day-to-day, but our team was fully prepared when the COVID lockdown started. We had no delays in communication, workplace happiness was still at a high, and our clients were always taken care of.
Alana Millstein is co-founder and president of Henri, the choice community experience software for property management teams and residents alike, with a mobile app that offers in-house payment processing, property analytics, direct messaging and custom satisfaction surveys. The tech-savvy Arizona State University graduate identified the need for innovative, social-based software in the multifamily housing industry and created Henri to fill the void.