Our Executive Spotlight shines on Paulina Walkowiak, the CEO & co-founder of cux.io, an innovative app that aims to eliminate sales impediments in e-commerce. With a distinguished background as an academic lecturer, TEDx speaker, and the only specialist in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) who is trained in the analysis of behavior patterns, Paulina has transformed her expertise into actionable business solutions. Recognized twice in the “Strong Women in IT” report, and a self-confessed #mompreneur, Walkowiak’s journey is nothing short of inspiring.
Welcome to our interview series, Paulina! Could you share the story of how your journey with CUX began?
Absolutely. My husband, Kamil, and I co-founded CUX in 2019 during our joint parental leave in Berlin. As our newborn was quite cooperative, we capitalized on this unique opportunity. CUX is a marriage of our specialties – my background in market and customer experience research and Kamil’s prowess in software engineering.
At the time, there were tools for quantitative analytics, but none questioned what lay behind the numbers. Kamil was intrigued by the behavior patterns of app users – why did they act the way they did? Why didn’t they engage with the features he designed? CUX was born out of this curiosity and a desire to bridge the market gap in user behavioral analysis.
Can you delve a bit deeper into what inspired your journey in this field?
Our mission with CUX was to assist entrepreneurs in quickly and efficiently identifying issues that emerge on their digital customers’ journeys. Qualitative analytics was a novelty when we began, but we’ve seen a significant increase in market needs and awareness since then. Entrepreneurs gather more and more data, but often struggle with using it effectively. Hence, we championed the approach of UX & Analytics Automation.
Can you recount an intriguing evolution or story in your career or industry since your journey began?
I think the pace of evolution in our industry is staggering! Initially, we aimed to cater primarily to software firms, but they didn’t seem interested in our data. The pandemic shifted this mindset – they began seeking our workshops and even developed their own products to offer additional value to customers. A similar transition happened with UX designers, who initially feared that our solution might replace them, but soon realized its potential to enhance their efficiency. It’s incredibly satisfying to observe the industry adapt to and appreciate the approach we pioneered.
Can you share a valuable lesson from a past mistake or business issue you had to handle?
The beginning of 2021 was a tumultuous time for us. We had just concluded our R&D phase, used up our first round of investment, and were facing the daunting task of aligning our offerings with market expectations. We decided to experiment with shorter working hours and more rest periods, and after a challenging start, we saw a significant improvement in our metrics. It was a powerful reminder that sometimes it’s essential to let go, especially when you sense it’s the right moment!
Do you have any leadership advice for others aiming to build their business or navigate the rapidly changing industry trends?
While every entrepreneur faces unique challenges, a universal truth I’ve learned is that things will almost always take longer than anticipated – and that’s perfectly alright.
Could you discuss the influence of technology on your industry and the role your business plays in disrupting or transforming it?
CUX is designed to make professionals’ lives easier by allowing faster data analysis within the context of the virtual world, reducing the need for traditional user research. We use machine learning to detect and define repetitive user behaviors, particularly those indicating frustration, and classify these behaviors into appropriate categories. This empowers businesses to optimize their marketing, product, and conversion strategies swiftly and effectively.
We’re also leveraging machine learning to detect anomalies in our clients’ projects and provide automatic personalized alerts based on long-term research. These alerts shed light on user experiences and behaviors, highlighting points of frustration that impact conversion rates.
How has technology transformed your team’s operations?
Interestingly, we use our own tool to engage our team more effectively. During our product sessions, observing how end-users interact with our tool resulted in several “AHA” moments for our developers. This direct insight into user interaction inspires them to focus on finding solutions, not just completing tasks.
Can you share your “3 key takeaways or tips” on building a business or navigating a changing market?
- Adaptability is key! If something isn’t working, don’t hesitate to move on. If it is, push it harder.
- Diversify. In today’s global economy, don’t restrict yourself to one market.
- Know your customers. Don’t rely on vague personas, step into your clients’ shoes, and anticipate their needs. Improve your product constantly through experimentation and testing.
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