28 January, 2020 – Alexei Fedorov, Ph.D., has one vision in mind for the entirety of his career: Advance Mankind’s understanding of the human genome, a frontier that has barely been explored. He has had a fruitful career as a professor, lab director, researcher and author for numerous peer-reviewed scholarly studies, and even as an apprentice to Nobel Prize Winning scientist Walter Gilbert. However, Alexei Fedorov didn’t truly begin to feel fulfilled until he founded CRI Genetics in 2017.
CRI Genetics is one of the DNA testing companies that gives customers DNA reports that break down their ancestry and unique genetic traits. According to their website, their “primary goal” is to “improve human life.” They take “complex information from [customer] DNA and present it [to customers] in a way that’s interesting, useful, and easy to understand.” In that first year of business, CRI Genetics experienced exponential growth. The total growth for the year was tenfold, with the vast majority of it happening in the last quarter, as customers flooded to CRI Genetics for holiday shopping.
“That first year was tough,” Alexei Fedorov admits. “We weren’t prepared for how quickly we grew. Our staff simply wasn’t ready for that volume of customers.” Some customers experienced hour-long wait times on the phone, due to an understaffed customer service team. The CRI Genetics laboratory was overwhelmed with DNA to process and analyze. Some orders got mixed up.
“Mistakes were made, but we live and learn here at CRI Genetics. We got a lot of negative feedback from customers during that time. Some of it was shouted from the rooftops,” says Alexei Fedorov, referring to many negative reviews that started to pop up online. Negative customer reviews can cripple a company, especially a startup like CRI Genetics. “But we fought on,” Alexei Fedorov says.
According to Alexei Fedorov, CRI Genetics invests all its profits back in the company. Every dime gets put toward recruiting and training talented staff, expanding the customer service team to handle the ever-growing call volume, and improving products and services. They add two to three new genetic reports to their catalog per month and are always upgrading their ancestry algorithm to achieve greater precision.
Despite the negative customer reviews in that first year, CRI Genetics tripled in size in 2018, and doubled again in 2019. While this may look like growth is slowing, it’s important to consider that each year is dealing with a larger and larger customer base. For example, if you triple one million customers, you get three million, so you added two million. If you double three million customers, you get six million, so you added three million.
Positive customer reviews flowed in with that growth, as customers rewarded Alexei Fedorov and CRI Genetics for their investment in continued improvement. Now, CRI Genetics has a higher rating online than many top competitors, including Ancestry and 23andMe. As long as they keep investing in improved products, services, and a talented staff, Alexei Fedorov believes the sky is the limit for CRI Genetics.
To learn more about CRI Genetics, visit http://www.crigentics.com.