AVOXI’s Wise: Leaders Don’t Need All the Answers

June 19, 2018

The Charleston Digital Corridor’s Leadership Profile Series is focused on the individuals who are driving the Charleston tech scene forward. This series is brought to you with support from Charleston County Economic Development.

David Wise, a Charleston native, is founder and CEO of AVOXI, which sells virtual phone numbers and related software tools to companies globally. Wise started the company in 2001 in Atlanta and opened a Charleston office in 2015. AVOXI’s main operations now are based in Charleston and Atlanta with other offices in Hong Kong; San Jose, Costa Rica; Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa; and Kingston, Jamaica.

In your own words, what does your company do?

We sell virtual phone numbers. A great example is Michael Kors, which sells pocketbooks and leather goods all around the world. They don’t necessarily have operations in all those countries, but if you buy a pocketbook in China and you have an issue with it or you want to order another one, they take a phone number in China, and they ring it to their call center, which is probably in London. We give them those phone numbers and we deliver them to their contact center.

We also give them a software tool, for when that call lands in that call center, to actually monitor the agent productivity, how long are they on the call, are they saying things like “please” and “thank you,” are they offering them a promotion. We give them the ability to score that agent’s productivity once that call comes in to that call center.

What segments do you focus on?

Hospitality and travel are big for us – hotels, online booking agents, airlines, tour operators – as well as consumer goods. We’ve also found software companies, people selling software as a service that thought they could do it without ever having to talk to anybody, are realizing that they have some big customers and they don’t want to lose them.

Where did you grow up? What was life like?

I grew up here in Charleston, actually in Mount Pleasant. I went to Porter-Gaud through eighth grade and then transferred to Wando High School. I graduated from there and went to The Citadel. Got a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Loved The Citadel. It provided a lot of great structure for me in my life at the time, and really a big challenge both physically and mentally, and it also built a lot of confidence in myself as well as in my ability to get out in front and lead people.

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