About Helen Risovets:
Helen Risovets is highly experienced specialist in UX/CX research and design with a great passion to make an amazing digital products and services with a human-oriented approach. She is fond of researching user insights, barriers, inefficiencies, track new technologies, best cases, and actual trends and creates strong solutions with focus on human factors.
She has excellent knowledge of Apps&Web design patterns, global trends, best user and customer design practices.
Let’s Start the Interview:
The Worlds Times: When did you start your business and what is the story behind it?
Helen Risovets: IXI International Consultancy is a Customer Experience Design consultancy that was founded 4 years ago in Eastern Europe with an oﬃce in Estonia, and established its ﬁrst international branch in Dubai in 2022.
It all began when I fell in love with the concept of Design Thinking which is a focused research and analysis process that includes mind-blowing scientiﬁc research methods where we can discover Customer Behavior, Customer Thinking Patterns, and Purchase Decision-Making processes. And I put my 15 years of experience in IT and design with my passion for serving others into a business that aimed to positively impact people and the world.
Today I can proudly say that I founded a design-thinking company with a team of highly skilled professionals. In the GCC region, we are one of the very few companies applying design thinking for small and medium businesses with a focus on customer-centric design, thus enabling businesses to develop products and services that truly meet the needs of their customers, leading to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention. This, in turn, can drive growth and improve business performance. Design thinking also encourages innovation, streamlines processes and reduces costs, improves team collaboration and creativity, and helps businesses stay competitive in today’s rapidly evolving market.
The Worlds Times: What was your mission at the start of your company?
Helen Risovets: Our mission is to foster a long-lasting bond between brands and their customers that leads to profitability for businesses.
As an international customer experience consultancy, we believe creating a positive sense for consumers is essential for associating a brand name with making a purchase decision that will drive business success to greater heights.
The Worlds Times: What services or products do you offer and how is this beneﬁcial for people?
Helen Risovets: At IXI International Consultancy, we offer a wide range of services as well as customized solutions. These help companies identify gaps in their processes, as well as innovative capabilities that will lead to new growth opportunities. Among our services are:
- Service Process Audit
- Design Thinking for Customer Experience
- Process Optimization & Automation
- Phygital Experience Design (Metaverse, AR/VR)
- Job outsourcing
The Worlds Times: What made you choose to start a company in this industry?
Helen Risovets: I always looked at the customer experience industry as a garden that was in need of nurturing and care. So I wanted to be that gardener who could help businesses cultivate strong and lasting relationships with their customers by providing the tools and guidance they needed to create exceptional experiences.
Just as a garden needs the right mix of seeds, water, and sunlight to thrive, we believe that businesses need the right mix of knowledge, technology, and passion to deliver truly memorable customer experiences.
The Worlds Times: Who’s on your leadership team and what’s their background?
Helen Risovets: Our leadership team is the company’s foundation and consists of three key pillars that are equally important to attaining our vision and goals.
Our pillars of success are:
- Helen Risovets, the founder and CEO of IXI has a background in technology and design for over 15 years focused on products, services, and
- As the Head of Research and Analyst at IXI, Maria Bagrova has more than ten years of experience building brand packaging based on in-depth research and analysis, she built unique brands in e-commerce.
- IXI’s Tech Products Head Oleg Chorny has 12 years of experience developing IT-products such as web-sites, applications, platforms, and
In addition to technical skills and experience, our leadership team is also equipped with strong communicators and problem-solvers, with the ability to think strategically and to inspire and motivate others.
The Worlds Times: What were you doing before you started IXI — Customer Experience Agency?
Helen Risovets: The CEO and managing director of IXI, Helen, has an extensive background in technology and design. With over 12 years of IT experience, Helen has specialized in user experience, software and application design, as well as business optimization and automation.
While Helen’s career began in industrial design, she created everyday objects that changed how people interacted with their environment and created products that ﬁt speciﬁc consumer needs.
In the last 5 years, Helen has shifted her focus to customer experience, both digital and physical brand interactions, as well as the processes behind them. Helen has also studied creative technologies and trend watching, which allows her to use a variety of tools and methods to solve problems in diverse businesses.
The Worlds Times: What were some challenges you faced when setting up your company?
Helen Risovets: We have faced a number of challenges since the very beginning, but two key challenges, which always topped the list, follow:
- Convincing business owners to change their current processes and customer experiences, as most hesitate to adapt even when business challenges are
- After we overcome the ﬁrst challenge, the second one usually arises, since we have observed that most business owners and managers resolve business challenges using their traditional logical approach, rather than adopting scientiﬁcally based methods like design thinking, service design, customer development, and jobs-to-be-done.
By enhancing our communication and creating a few successful case studies, we were able to overcome all of these challenges and also create prototypes for the new experiences that we advise our clients to adapt.
The Worlds Times: How do you manage customer relationships?
Helen Risovets: We manage customer relationships in a way that is personalized, responsive, and focused on meeting the needs and expectations of the customer. These are some speciﬁc strategies that we use to manage customer relationships:
- Gathering customer feedback
- Building rapport with customers
- Responding to customer inquiries and concerns
- Offering personalized solutions
- Providing ongoing support
This is a 360-degree view of a customer that we use in our projects as well.
The Worlds Times: Who are your favorite entrepreneurs to follow?
Helen Risovets: Customer experience has become increasingly critical in the business world, and many companies are turning to customer experience leaders for guidance and inspiration.
My favorite ﬁgures who use innovative approaches to improve the customer experience are Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, and Brian Chesky, the co-founder and CEO of Airbnb come to mind.
Starbucks stores have a welcoming atmosphere thanks to Howard Schultz, who is known for his commitment to customer service. Schultz believed that the customer experience was a key part of the company’s success.
Chesky has revolutionized the hospitality industry by putting the customer experience at the center of its business model in Airbnb. He has stressed the importance of creating a sense of belonging and community for their users.
After this I would like to add one quote from CX leader Esteban Kolsky: “Only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers [actually] complain. ” The rest? “ They just leave.”
The Worlds Times: Would you like to say anything else to our readers?
Helen Risovets: Most people today are very keen to do a health check-up, a routine medical examination at least once every six months, and they trust our experts to perform this assessment of their overall health in order to identify any potential health issues.
So why can’t we treat our business the same way?! In spite of everything appearing to be working ﬁne and normally, this does not mean that everything is ﬁne. Regular business check-ups are important because they help to identify and address problems or ineﬃciencies before they become major issues. By regularly assessing the health of a business, leaders can ensure that the business is running smoothly and is positioned for long-term success. Such check-ups must be carried out by a professional who has a long track record of identifying business gaps and potential bleeding scientiﬁcally and subjectively.
The Worlds Times: What are your career/company’s services plans or vision for the coming next 5 years?
Helen Risovets: Our vision is to position IXI International Consultancy, as a subject-matter expert (SME) in the market and a one-stop-shop for all business owners as well as brands to create seamless delightful journeys which become the main distinguishing factor and competitive edge for their businesses.
And I would like to share the quote from Jerry Gregoire, former Chief Information Oﬃcer at Dell that said “The customer experience is the next competitive battleground.”
With this constant competition between brands, companies need to ﬁnd ways to differentiate themselves and stand out from the crowd. And providing a scientiﬁc approach to designing a positive and memorable customer experience can be a key differentiator factor. This is likely to be a major factor in determining how long a business will live and how big it can grow.
Connect with Helen Risovets on Linkedin