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May 02, 2018 | Tom Ballard

Knoxville start-up DreamCSX has been flying in stealth mode

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

Launched a year ago this month, Knoxville start-up DreamCSX has been flying in stealth mode as it has grown to about 50 employees at two locations in the region.

The start-up’s Co-Founders are Michael McMillan and Jeff Hubrig Jr. The former is a new name to readers, but the latter was a frequent interviewee as he worked with his parents on a company named Innovasan.

“Michael is a second generation call center guy with a tech background in computer science,” Hubrig told us during a recent interview. We had discussed their vision for the new venture on several occasions, but knew they wanted to fly under the radar until they reached a key milestone.

They’ve done so now with the new venture that is focused on addressing a problem that many companies face with outsourced work: the absence of alignment between the company’s needs and the capabilities of the firm to which the work is contracted.

Why do companies outsource certain functions? To build better and easily scalable support (this includes sales support in addition to customer and technical service support) ecosystems in addition to realizing cost savings.

Hubrig says the focus of DreamCSX is to “take the 10 to 15 percent in operating expense savings traditionally realized by those that outsource and bring it closer to 50 percent while simultaneously improving the customer experience through the supplemental addition of artificial intelligence to optimize the human interaction.”

The new company’s mission is described this way: “we create better business environments for companies to thrive through our use of artificial intelligence, cultivated guidance, and support.”

The two Co-Founders were introduced to each other in early 2017 by John Bruck, a member of the Innov865 Alliance. McMillan had just relocated to the region after starting his own management consulting business following his involvement in several California-based ventures.

“We hit it off on a personal and professional level and discovered we shared the same vision for the kind of company, culture and value we wanted to create in the world” Hubrig says. McMillan is Chief Executive Officer of DreamCSX, while Hubrig is Chief Revenue Officer.

The company currently has two locations; one houses its corporate sales and client experience management teams, while DreamCSX’s technology team and professional services arm that provides outsourced support inhabits the other. The location near the Knoxville Airport is home to DreamCSX’s dedicated inbound teams providing technical and customer support for clients around the world. Think about those occasions when you call a toll-free number for service. Are you happy with the service you receive?

“We are filling a much-needed niche in the outsourcing world by providing clients with a turn-key and scalable multi-channel support solution that can grow with them as they go through periods of significant growth,” Hubrig says. “Many young technology companies (or young companies in general) can’t get over the barrier to entry to work with a full-service business process outsourcing company – their needs are simply too small.”

Hubrig explains that DreamCSX fills that gap by providing budding young companies and established companies alike with a full-spectrum solution that can start as a small yet rock solid foundation and provide rapidly scalable support when the time comes.

“We can help these companies drastically improve their customer experience from the ground floor and quantify the impact our team makes every step of the way through metrics such as the net promoter score or even Amazon review impact, as we are currently doing with some of our clients,” he notes.

The other arm of DreamCSX’s professional services is focused on outbound support such as business and sales development.

“We are focused on filling the top of the sales funnel for these clients,” Hubrig says, explaining that those clients can’t do it for themselves or their sales team doesn’t have the bandwidth. “Our outbound teams focus on leveraging our own data driven strategy for filling the top of a sales funnel, and we apply it on a tailored basis on the needs of each of our clients. We do the prospecting and hand the baton off for our clients’ closers to engage and take through the rest of the sales cycle.”

If you haven’t already guessed, DreamCSX describes itself as more than a call center.

“We’re a data and tech company at our core,” Hubrig says, noting how important artificial intelligence and proprietary algorithms are to the company’s growth plans. “Part of our plan for enhancing customer experience with artificial intelligence and technology includes rolling out a routing mechanism called behavioral based routing (BBR). The personality profiling capability of BBR will enable our Experience Specialists to automatically connect with consumers that are most likely to share the same personality and communication traits.”

He explains that “if you’re a driver, you get connected to a fellow driver. If you’re an analytical or amiable, you’re connected with someone who also shares those traits and is most likely to communicate with you in the most relatable way from the first interaction.”

As a data and technology company, DreamCSX will be monetizing the data that it captures and selling it back to its clients in ways that help the latter’s growth plans. Hubrig says the start-up will also build its own software products, starting with the automation of selected process at outsourcing centers.

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