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The Short Version: As more singles began searching online for dates during the COVID-19 pandemic, professional matchmakers had a hard time keeping up. Many needed a digital customer management system, and they often turned to SmartMatchApp, an award-winning app management platform that doesn’t require business owners to learn code. Through its software, those in dating and other industries can access popular features, including video chat, member portals for single clients, and networking opportunities with matchmaking professionals.
Tim Mourtazov and Arthur Lavrinovich remember how the world of dating changed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After some shock and quick adaptation, matchmakers worldwide realized that social distancing and stay-at-home mandates created an even stronger desire for connection, especially among singles who were ready for a relationship. Many professionals had to switch to remote work and virtual meetings, and matchmakers began to adapt by updating their business strategies to meet the growing demand of daters.
Tim and Arthur are part of the executive team of SmartMatchApp, a platform that can help matchmakers manage their online presence to serve more clients.
“Clients were asking for services more than ever before,” said Tim, the CEO of SmartMatchApp. “They were in the business of connecting people who were feeling lonely. We’re a software business, so if they were using a spreadsheet or something simple during that time, they realized they needed an app. And we were ready to provide that.”
Matchmakers aren’t the only professionals who benefit from SmartMatchApp, as it is used by clients in finance, business, education, and nonprofit industries, among many others. It has grown its clientele through a customer-oriented approach that includes launching new features created to meet the needs of specific businesses and industries.
But matchmakers and their clients have especially benefited from the platform during the age of social distancing.
“They provided critical feedback for us regarding what features they require, what they need,” said Arthur, the company’s CBDO, who added its team works remotely. “There’s no place like home, and we can focus there. We do what we love.”
Professional matchmakers have long desired a way to network and collaborate with fellow dating experts worldwide. They often want to connect with others in places where a perfect match could be waiting for one of their single clients.
“We’re being asked about it almost every day,” Tim said. “Matchmakers have databases of their private clients, and they need to know if there’s a matchmaker in another city, where, perhaps, a client often travels. They want to fluidly exchange connections and collaborate.”
SmartMatchApp was the first professional platform widely available to streamline those connections. The company also plans to launch a dating network to meet that need.
The new private platform for matchmakers will be exclusive to dating professionals and not available to other industries. Most of its members will be clients who already use SmartMatchApp technology to manage their single clients, but the company plans to open it to other matchmakers, too.
SmartMatchApp designed the platform to allow professionals to refer matches, share information, and cooperate in a way they never have before. Travel is beginning to return as the health restrictions of the pandemic start to ease, and many remote workers can now live anywhere they want. If there’s an interesting single person in a great town, it’s easier than ever for someone to move for love.
“It’s easy to share privately, without names and photos, until they want to move forward with a match,” Tim said. “There’s a reason why there isn’t a fully functional network on the market. It is very challenging, but we are technology people, and that’s what we’re here for.”
In the past, if a matchmaker or dating professional wanted to create an online platform to use with their single clients, they would have had to know how to code or hire someone who did.
The latest trend is finding services that provide the same ability with minimal code knowledge. SmartMatchApp allows matchmakers and other professionals to build their own apps without knowing their way around the backend. The team also works closely with clients, so clients are comfortable with their upgraded technology.
“What’s lacking today is time. That’s what we’re focusing on. We make sure we answer the emails and the phone calls and have a personal touch,” Tim said. “This is an opportunity to professionally connect, with lots of chat groups, channels, directory, conference tools, and video tools.”
It’s not just the dating industry that benefits from SmartMatchApp. Tim and Arthur said they also work with entrepreneurs in financial institutions, executives from chambers of commerce, and a wide range of other businesses.
Part of the demand for digital services stems from the fact that fewer people can meet with clients face to face, which was common with matchmakers. Now, they need to have a system to check in with single clients in a private, accessible way. SmartMatchApp’s video conferencing tools allow for even the most personal businesses to transition to upgraded technology.
“They had to change their operations to digital, and it’s working. But it was a big change,” Tim said.
The SmartMatchApp team focuses on more than just providing features to entrepreneurs who don’t have coding experience. It has also prioritized a better user experience.
“The cost of technology is going down, and it will continue to go down. The next big wave is the humanization of these processes,” Tim said. “We’ll think about user experience, design, and customer service instead of spending time on the technology itself.”
Arthur said the company uses custom smart algorithms, which increase the system’s efficiency. The team is also exploring integration of artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance the technology. While that’s a long-term vision, the company’s team said they believe it will save entrepreneurs time by providing more precise matchmaking suggestions.
Still, nothing replaces the personal touch that makes matchmaking more of an art than a science. Tim said he integrates that style when working with clients in the dating industry.
“We are extremely personalized. We meet with people and learn their struggles. They get to know our faces, and we’re there for them,” he said. “We help people set up their system. We help them with the business model and spend hours with them.”
Those meetings help the SmartMatchApp team learn client pain points and roll out new features to meet changing needs.
“There’s a reason why the matchmaking profession is one of the oldest in the world,” Tim said. “We learned that, no matter what, it won’t go away, and the technology will adapt.”