Roland Polzin
Co-Founder and CMO Wing

I am an experienced leader and a strong decision-maker valuing critical thinking, analytical approaches to problem-solving, and hands-on collaboration. As a technology entrepreneur, I am changing the way people get help with everyday pain points to enable them to own their time!

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Welcome to the Use Case Podcast, episode 208. Today we have storytelling about Wing with Roland Polzin. During this episode, Roland and William talk about how practitioners make the business case or the use case for Wing Assistant, a virtual assistant service for SMB.

Roland is an expert in problem solving. His passion to change the way people get help with everyday pain points really comes through during the podcast.

 

Listening time: 24 minutes

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William Tincup:

Ladies and gentlemen, this is William Tincup and you’re listening to the Use Case podcast. Today, we have Roland on from Wing. We’re learning about the business case, the use case, cost benefit analysis for why prospects and customers choose Wing. Can’t wait to talk with about, and learn about Wing, and also learn about Roland. So let’s just jump right into it. Roland, would you introduce yourself and Wing?

Roland Polzin:

Absolutely. Hi, so thank you, William, for having me on.

William Tincup:

Sure.

Roland Polzin:

I’m Roland. I am co-founder and CMO at Wing Assistant and Wing Assistant is a, I would say a staffing turnkey solution for small businesses. We do the search, the selection, interviewing, hiring, payroll management, and even if needed, replacement of quality talent. And so with us, that’s really all in a transparent and flexible monthly subscription. So yeah, super, super flexible for small businesses that maybe also have fluctuations in the business.

William Tincup:

So as a recovering marketer, I used Wing as your name and you use Wing Assistant. Is there a preference, in terms of-

Roland Polzin:

Oh, Wing is fine. Wing is shorter. I just like to point out we’re doing business as Wing Assistant typically but Wing, we can say Wing.

William Tincup:

Okay. All right. Well, you know I want to be considerate because especially as a branding guy, as a CMO, I know you care about these things.

Roland Polzin:

I do. I do.

William Tincup:

You do care about these things. So let’s talk a little bit about why people choose Wing and what’s the decisions that you think where you win above any others, or other options, or even the status quo of them doing it themselves, where do you see your main positionally, but also your differentiation?

Roland Polzin:

Yeah, absolutely. So I would say really that all-in-one, white glove, hands-off experience. So imagine a small business and they have some sort of recurring needs, that could be something more menial like data entry, or basic research, or… Yeah. And anything that’s administrative, but that a constant pain, right? And as a founder or owner, I mean, yeah, you don’t really have the time, and especially as you grow and scale up, that stuff just becomes more, and at some point you got to bring on someone on the team. And so that’s typically the point where we see our customers are. And so, yeah, either they on a full-time or a part-time person with Wing and, yeah, they delegate or outsource that type of work. There could other stuff too. So we do have sales callers, for example-

William Tincup:

Yeah, I was going to say.

Roland Polzin:

… we have graphic designers, et cetera. Yeah.

William Tincup:

There’s the constant pain. Probably comes in many forms, which I actually, I think that’s really, really a great way to think of it. It’s like, “Hey, listen, certain things are core to the business. Things that aren’t core of the business. There’s pain in the business.” We want to eradicate the pain, or at least lessen the pain. Sometimes we do that with full-time employees. More often than not, we can do that in an outsourced way. Because they’re just better at it, let’s just be honest. We could just outsource those things. So let’s give the audience a flavor of what’s some of those kind constant pains, examples of where y’all thrive.

Roland Polzin:

Yeah. So if we look at, for example, the more administrative stuff, right? We have a bunch of staffing companies as our clients, so that could be inbox management, right? So someone who to sift through the 100s of emails that come in everyday. Could be payroll support. Could be support with talent acquisition or other admin tasks, right? And that doesn’t end really with those more general tasks. As I said, it could be you want to do outreach and you need someone to really focus on social media, to post, to do community outreach, to engage with your audience there, or an outbound sales caller, or a graphic designer, really, yeah, anywhere where you don’t need a PhD and you don’t need someone to be in-house or in-person with you. That is really where we can provide value and where our customers thrive with us.

William Tincup:

Have you been pushed into this area or do you see it as a part of your future where you’re pushed into some of the recruiting, some of the things in recruiting that are needed, like doing scheduling or screening candidates, or outreach to candidates, inMails. Again, we could probably create a thousand of these if we wanted to, but have you seen customers saying, “This is a constant pain. Y’all are good at it. We need Wing to step in and do this.” And it’s related to either recruiting and/or HR, but we’ll deal with recruiting first.

Roland Polzin:

Yeah. Good question. So I would say what’s important to differentiate, is that Wing really is just the platform. Okay? So we will connect small businesses of any sorts with talent that’s typically offshore. We do offer US-based talent, but most of our clients, since they’re small businesses, they prefer lower costs. And obviously, that’s possible if you work with professionals in the Philippines and Latin America, perhaps in India, because wages and cost of living frankly, are just much lower in those countries. So yeah, we do have partners in those countries, that we work with, and those partners have a variety of talent in their pipelines.

Roland Polzin:

And so when someone comes to Wing and they say, “Well, we are,” let’s say, “a small marketing agency and we need someone to do social media outreach for us,” or whatever the use case may be, we then go out to our partners and have them find the best talent in their pipeline, and then we match them. The cool thing is we also have a software platform where our clients can communicate with the talent. They don’t have to, but we offer that and through our platform, we have a pretty cool quality assurance technology piece to it, so that really, whenever there is a problem, it gets troubleshooted right away.

William Tincup:

I love this. So for the audience, you’re not a services play. You’re more of a technology play and possibly even more of a marketplace play.

Roland Polzin:

Yeah. Exactly.

William Tincup:

Am I on the right road?

Roland Polzin:

No, absolutely, yeah. And when you say marketplace, I would add it’s a managed marketplace, right? So we don’t throw you in like Fiverr and Upwork do. And then you have to-

William Tincup:

Good luck.

Roland Polzin:

Yeah, right?

William Tincup:

Hope it works out.

Roland Polzin:

I mean, Fiverr and Upwork are great, right? So if you have a little project, I don’t know, you need a logo designed, or you need a new website, or anything like that, that it’s like project, Fiverr and Upwork, they’re good, right? But you still have to go in, you have to find that person, you have to trust their reviews, and then you have to… I mean, they have a horrible UI and then you have to communicate with them. And, yeah, I mean, it’s okay for a project but if you have a more profound need, you don’t really want to do that, right?

Roland Polzin:

And you want to rely on a partner that provides you talent, where you really don’t have to do anything, right? So you don’t have to write the job description. You don’t have to put it on a job board. You don’t have sift through applicants, and go back and forth and then interview them, and then maybe they leave, right? So all this hassle around the hiring, that’s where we provide value and that’s what we do for clients. So marketplace, yes, but it’s managed, so to really take the hassle out of this process.

William Tincup:

Well, and I think that could be for the Fortune 100 as well, but you’re focused on the smaller business, which they don’t have the time. I mean, nobody has the time, technically. Nobody has the time, but I love that because it’s like that white glove, like you said, concierge-type approach. It’s like, “Listen, you’re running a 40-person firm. You don’t have time for this. We’ll just manage the whole thing, so you get the outcome of what, you want you desire, but you don’t have to go through the whole process.”

Roland Polzin:

Yep. That’s exactly right.

William Tincup:

So when you show technology, we’ll get into some of the buy-side things. Now, when you show technology, when you show Wing to prospects, and your team, of course, shows Wing to prospects for the first time, two things, what is your favorite bit to show and what do you think is their favorite thing to see?

Roland Polzin:

Yeah. So, okay. My favorite thing to show is really something that you can’t show.

William Tincup:

Oh, all right. I like this already.

Roland Polzin:

I briefly touched up on the quality assurance we do and if you communicate with the talent that Wing provides on our platform, all the conversations that are going on, they’re monitored by an artificial intelligence algorithm. And so that algorithm really looks out for any type of negative sentiment. So William, if you have an assistant with us or someone who works with you through Wing, and you tell that person, “Hey, that doesn’t look right. What did you do there?” Right? Let’s assume that’s your message that you send. Then the algorithm will probably pick that up and see, “Oh, that sounds like there could be a problem.” And we do have a backend management structure. So every talent with us has a supervisor, and so that message will be flagged to the supervisor.

Roland Polzin:

So the supervisor can see, “Okay, well, is there actually a problem that William has? Is it just misunderstanding? Do we need to troubleshoot anything here?” And before you even know it yourself, as a customer, that problem is likely being resolved. You don’t have to go to customer service. You don’t have to complain. It’s already being resolved. And I think that’s a pretty cool way. My favorite example of how we leverage technology to really make this whole experience, of not only staffing, but also working with people and delegating work, make that really smooth.

William Tincup:

Just off top of my head, is that a combination of ML and AI, are we learning? First of all, I love that it’s happening but are we learning as we’re doing?

Roland Polzin:

Exactly. And so yeah, the more conversations we have, the more ratings we get from our users, users can based if they say, “Yeah, this is a good job,” or, “There was an error,” et cetera, right? So yeah, our platform constantly learns and gets better at this.

William Tincup:

Oh, that’s fantastic. Now, to the folks that see Wing for the first time, what did they fall in love with?

Roland Polzin:

Yeah. And I guess that was the second part of your question. So I would say really, again, the all-in-one solution, and if we look at our product and our software product, you really have all the essentials in there. You have a chat, you have a file upload section. We even have a little tiny workflow tool, if you have a process or like a task you want to delegate, that’s not as easy to express, like in a chat message or via call, you might want to have a visual feature and you can actually draw an outline, a workflow, that your talent then actually acts upon. So that’s another feature. And then a password management feature.

Roland Polzin:

So you can basically, for every platform that you want your assistant or your person that’s working with you, your worker, however you want to call them, if you want them to log into your social media profile, or to your email, or to whatever project management tool you’re using, or your team is using, you just put those credentials in there, the log in credentials, they’re securely saved. We’re leveraging Google Secret Manager. So it’s encrypted with bank-level security, right? And yeah, and then your assistant can do whatever you need them to do, on the platforms you use.

William Tincup:

With the assistants in particular, how do they, over time, because like managing email, managing response rates and things like that, managing social, because starting off, they might not get, like I’m really super sarcastic on social, super inappropriate, like my brand and what I would do. I feel like I have to get an assistant trained up to understand, “Yeah, it’s okay. It’s okay to…” And everyone’s got a different bit, like responding to emails. How do you triage and understand that this one’s critical, this one, “Eh, not so critical.” How do they go through that process of getting them right-sized to understand, where you can really leverage one of the Wing assistants in the best way, so that they really understand how to do, essentially, a part of your job or part of what you would normally do, where you would spend time?

William Tincup:

That’s what we’re really talking about, is TVM, time, value, money, is your time would be best suited instead of pawing through those 400 emails, doing something else. And if you have a Wing assistant that can do that, they can do it much better and, “Oh, by the way, it’s much more efficient, and cost is driven down, your time’s more valuable,” all of those things. But how do we calibrate, I guess is if I can sum up that, all that into how do we calibrate, and again, it could be in social, it could be in data entry, it could be wherever we want to calibrate, but how do we calibrate, make sure we get the Wing assistant on the page that we want them to be on?

Roland Polzin:

Yeah. That’s a fantastic question and I want to say there’s three main aspects to it. The first one is you, so there is a certain level that you still have to do yourself, right? If you have a certain style that you communicate or how you can communicate, and you want someone to do that for you on social media, for example, right? That was, I think, the example you used. You still have to do a bit of work to delegate that and train that person for that very specific use case. So that delegation that our clients still have to do, to explain what they need done, that’s still something, unfortunately, we can’t do just because that would require mind reading.

William Tincup:

[Crosstalk 00:15:53].

Roland Polzin:

But we do have two additional pillars and the first is that all of our assistants do have experience in the respective area, right? So for that example that you just gave, we would find someone that has extensive experience in social media and in communicating, would find someone obviously with impeccable writing or communication skills in general. And then you would basically just have to refine that diamond, that raw diamond. So that’s the second one. And then the third one I briefly touched upon before, is that backend management structure that we have in place.

Roland Polzin:

So every assistant is part of a greater team, so if there’s things that they themselves may not know, or may not be very good at yet, they can always rely on their team to help them out. Because if there’s one person, you only have a skill set X1, but if there’s 10 people, you have the 10X, right? And you can actually get help from others. And then obviously that supervisory element to it, that there’s always someone to look over their shoulder and make sure that things are done in the right way, that there things are done constantly, and that work results are checked.

William Tincup:

So one of the questions I know the audience will have is, are we training Susie or Billy, or are we training the system? I mean, I know initially Susie and Billy will be that, but because of turnover, attrition, that we all have, are we training Susie and Billy, and then Susie and Billy leave, and then we have to retrain Bobby and Barbara. Are we in a constant training and retraining, and training and retraining, are we training this system? Susie might be the person that’s there and representative, and she might stay there forever or she might be not be there next week, but we’re training assistants.

Roland Polzin:

I love that question because, yes, obviously sometimes people do leave and there will be Susie and Billy that you work with and whom you train, but you are also training the system, right? And basically, whenever you delegate certain tasks, Susie and Billy will learn those tasks and will act upon them but basically, the longer you stay and the more you delegate, that information about the task grows. And we have a system in place where that information is stored and managed. So if there is turnover and someone decides to leave for whatever reason, then the next one, the replacement coming in, can very seamlessly take over and basically, yeah, get fit in like a Tetris Cube essentially.

William Tincup:

I love of that. Okay. Two last questions. One is buying questions that your team loves to hear from buyers? What do they love to hear? You could also put in the things that they just really hate hearing from buyers but really, it’s the signals, right? So you’re talking some software, you get signals from people, they either get it, like it, or maybe they don’t and they won’t, et cetera, so what are those buying questions?

Roland Polzin:

Yeah. First of all, one of those questions is, “Is it human or is it AI?”

William Tincup:

Oh, nice.

Roland Polzin:

Which probably stems partly from the fact that we do advertise our technology, right? Because that is an edge, when it comes to, let’s say other virtual assistant companies or other staffing agencies, that’s, yeah, one of the features that really makes us stand out. And some people think, “Oh, it’s only 449 for a part-time service. Can that really be a person?” So, yeah, that’s one thing. So yes, it’s actual people and there’s technology in the background. So that will be one. And then, yeah, I think that’s really it from what I can see.

Roland Polzin:

I mean, we do have a website chat that we offer for anyone that comes to visit our website. And yeah, typically, we can resolve any questions right then and there. If people want to know more, they can schedule a demo and that’s what they typically do. We have a very skilled sales team. They are, by the way, from one of our partners, so we actually leverage, yeah, our own pipeline in that sense. And yeah, then we can really talk out anything, any questions that people might have and really figure out whether there’s a fit or not.

William Tincup:

I love that. Okay. So the last question, case studies or some of your favorite innovation stories, without names, without brands, you don’t have to go into that side type stuff, but just something that you, as a marketer, you love, you’re just like, “Oh, my God, this is so great. The way that they’ve used Wing is, we weren’t even thinking that far and now they’re doing it. They’re doing it really well. Now we can sell it to other people.” So what are some of those stories? And again, without names and all that stuff.

Roland Polzin:

Of course. Yeah. So I’m thinking of one of our eCommerce clients, and so he started with, I think, a part-time assistant for all this backend FBA stuff, that I don’t even know about. I’m not an eCommerce guy but basically, all the tasks in the backend that need to be done to, yeah, make orders work, to make sure shipments are done correctly and to process returns, et cetera, all this kind of menial backend stuff, and so, yeah, he started with a part-time assistant. I think just a couple weeks later, he saw that it’s working well, he upgraded to full-time and basically had an additional complete team member via Wing on his team. And then, yeah, became so successful that he then upgraded to an additional social media assistant. So actually, ventured into a new, additional vertical to build his business even further, right?

Roland Polzin:

And then, I believe he even added a sales caller just recently. I believe that was last month. And so, yeah, to actually add this outbound component to his marketing strategy and continuous growth. And why I love this is because it really showcases how businesses can grow with us and how they don’t have to worry about all this hiring, staffing, replacement issues, management issues, they can just really focus on the high-level strategy, on the important things that need to be done to grow your business and have basically a team under you that’s fully managed, help you with that growth.

William Tincup:

I love that. And again, it’s the success, right? So they try, they’re probably cynical and pessimistic like everybody else, and so they try something, it works. And then they’re like, “Well, wait a minute. It worked in email. I got this other thing over here that I have a lot of pain with and turns out I’m not good at, not skilled at, let’s do you over here.” Roland, this has been absolutely wonderful. I love what you’ve built-

Roland Polzin:

Likewise.

William Tincup:

… at Wing and I just wish you all the continued success.

Roland Polzin:

Thank you, William. Yeah, thanks for having me on and have a great day.

William Tincup:

Absolutely. You too. And thanks for everyone listening to the Use Case
Podcast. Until next time.

The Use Case Podcast

Authors
William Tincup

William is the President & Editor-at-Large of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He's been writing about HR and Recruiting related issues for longer than he cares to disclose. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 20+ HR technology startups. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.


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