If you’ve ever made an appointment for a manicure, you may have used the GoCheckin application, which provides appointment reminders and marketing messages to beauty salon customers. Fastboy Marketing, the developer of GoCheckin, also provides booking and point-of-sale applications to these salons. To power the application, Fastboy relies on Plivo as the communication platform that sends millions of SMS messages every month.
The Houston-based company started out with a focus on marketing (as you’d guess from its name) but now considers itself a software company, according to Maya Tran, a product manager at Fastboy. In fact, Fastboy, which has been in business since 2012, was ranked 834 on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies in the US last year.
“We created GoCheckin 2017 as an app to improve our marketing services,” she says.
GoCheckin lets each customer check in for appointments with their name and phone number. Using a phone number is the key to Fastboy’s success, Tran says. “We don’t require customers to download and install an app. We send text messages directly to their phone numbers through Plivo.”
Plivo wasn’t Fastboy’s first communication platform, however. The company started out with a different provider. That software had the functionality they needed, but “the website wasn’t very friendly,” Tran says. Fortunately, her developer colleague Toan Nguyen was already familiar with Plivo.
Nguyen did some comparison research. “We liked the Plivo dashboard,” he says. “It’s very clear. Everything from billing to the way messages can be reached easily — much easier than the other providers that we used to use.” The company didn’t have much to lose by taking advantage of Plivo’s pay-as-you-go pricing for a trial period. Fastboy moved all of its SMS traffic to Plivo in 2019.
Minh Vuong, the technical lead at the company, says Fastboy prefers Plivo to the CPaaS platforms they used to use because of its simple SMS API and easy integration. “It only takes one or two steps, which saves us a lot of time,” he says.
Tran says Plivo was “cheaper and cooler” than their old platform. But Tran points out that price isn’t everything. “Right before we renewed our relationship with Plivo this year another vendor approached us with a better price, and that made us think. But we don’t want to switch. Our developers like Plivo.”
In summary, Tran says, “We like Plivo and we recommend it. We first switched because of the pricing, but someone else can always offer a lower price. What keeps us here is simple APIs, easy integration, a friendly interface, and an easy SDK. And every time we’ve needed support, Plivo has responded to our tickets in a timely manner.”