Jeff Mains (Intelligent Contacts Inc) – BS 2020’s Most Innovative Entrepreneur to Watch

As technology progresses at an increasingly rapid pace, businesses are evolving by incorporating innovative solutions that enhance productivity, personalize customer experience, and expand their capacity and market reach. In recent years, there is a disruption in almost every industry sector that is forcing companies to reinvent business processes and harness the power of big data and the technologies that depend upon it. Hence, businesses that can adapt quickly and embrace new, innovative solutions, are experiencing growth and global reach.

Two industries significantly impacted by this disruption are healthcare and accounts receivable management. As other business sectors adapted to the communication and payment preferences of their customers, these two industries were slow to adopt new technology and processes. Ten years ago—with seemingly no software company addressing these needs—enter entrepreneur Jeff Mains.

Mr. Mains, CEO of Intelligent Contacts, saw a huge opportunity to build a technology platform that could solve these unaddressed pain points, and out of that epiphany, a disruptive technology company was born. Since that time, Intelligent Contacts has grown from a small software start-up to an enterprise-level provider of innovative cloud contact center communications, billing, and payment software for the healthcare and financial services industries. "We attribute much of our growth and success to our commitment early on to become more than a technology vendor. Instead, our focus remains to be a technology partner.”

First taking the time to fully understand his clients' businesses and unique needs, Mains quickly moved to innovate and find better ways to help them meet their goals. To do this, Mains knew he had to fundamentally change how telecommunication technology worked. At the time, very few telecommunication systems were built on a web-based platform. This premise-based architecture made phone system installations a long and expensive process. In addition to huge hardware expenses, these systems required experts to implement and configure, and full-time IT staff to manage. That had to change.

Leveraging the power of new high-speed internet connections, Mains understood that a web-based communications platform could outperform traditional phone systems and at a fraction of the cost and setup expense. This hunch proved to be correct.

When building a business, as Mains has experienced, not everything goes according to plan. "I think one of the most important values is adaptability. If there is one constant in life or business—it’s change. Sometimes for the better and sometimes not. Every headwind produces some sort of tailwind. Learning how to find and riding that wind is so valuable," asserts Mr. Mains.

Being a CEO, Mains has three key values he applies to overcome any roadblock or challenge:

  • Fall in love with the client, not with the product. "As founders, we tend to love our products. They are our babies. It is very easy to become consumed with our creation rather than focus on who we created it for and the outcome we set out to deliver. When we love our clients, and see the world through their eyes, and consciously put their needs first, everyone wins."
  • Make decisions quickly. "Rather than endlessly analyzing a situation, I've found power in making a decision and taking action. Sometimes it is the wrong decision, and that's OK. Adapt, adjust, and try again. We never have all the possible information to make decisions. Often by taking action, we can quickly reveal what will and won't work."
  • Stay curious. "As we become adults, we tend to lose our sense of wonder and curiosity and more practical and conventional worldview. I've found asking lots of "Why?" questions and digging deeper has led to a broader understanding of the business, significant innovation, and generated fresh ideas."

Mains knows many companies struggle to use their technology and data to its fullest potential. Hence, he’s created feature-rich omnichannel cloud contact center and payment solutions that are designed to be configured and managed by operations, not IT. For consumers, these solutions are optimized to make business interactions (communications and payments) a frictionless experience via self-service and convenience. This strategy has proved very successful to Mains’ many clients in healthcare, accounts receivable management, and similar organizations that provide business process outsourcing {BPO} services.

"Many of our competitors in this space hold their customers' hostage by locking down access to other complementary offerings or to a specific set of vendors who are forced to pay for access. We have taken a much different approach. We strive to make our products open and compatible to other technologies. We want to empower our clients, not limit them.”

In the end, Mains has found a way for both businesses and consumers to make typically unenjoyable interactions less so. “Although paying a bill isn’t necessarily fun, that doesn’t mean through technology we can’t create great patient and customer experiences. Our solutions help make medical bills less confusing, communication easier through preferred delivery channels, and put patients and consumer more in control of their financial health.”

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