On demand services has grown from a puppy to a strong and resilient animal in less than a decade. Unique startups with the ability to adapt and customize have mushroomed across the globe. The central reason of compounding growth of this industry is the smartphones. Smartphones have allowed humans to meet their innate desire of immediacy. Mobile apps has become the primary destination to find any service, solution, information and what not!
Today, whether you want to book a Taxi or want to book an appointment with a doctor, or maybe you are looking to get your favourite burger delivered at your doorstep, it can all happen with a few taps on your mobile screen. With the ever growing consumer and their inclination to mobile, we see new services as well as competitive ones entering the market almost everyday.
The competition is getting fierce with startups like Uber and Ola locking horns for on demand taxi booking and Grofers and Big Basket fight it out to build their stronghold as they look to build Online Super Market for consumers. For on demand medical services we have new startups like Doctor On Demand, Call Health planning for the faceoff, while established players like Practo and 1MG are bound to feel the heat.
We are gradually getting surrounded by such apps that intends to make our life easy. These startups are bound to grow as their aim is only to make world a better place.
Researches have estimated that more than $9.4 billion dollar has been invested since 2010 in this industry. They have highlighted that this industry has low profit margin and high labour needs. So, ability to scale up smoothly and quickly is the success mantra but scaling up under such break-neck competition requires huge investments. Hence industry experts recommend to focus on customer loyalty while executing customer acquisition plans, so that the LTV (Life time Value) of the customer justifies the initial acquisition cost.
The general consumer of these services are extremely time sensitive and also very particular about the specifications of the deliverable. Therefore, to delight the Customer it is very essential to deliver “WHAT” they want and exactly “WHEN” they want. Thus, seamless two-way communication between the end users is important to bridge the gap.
We spoke to a few on-demand service provider startup founders where they highlighted that they have 24×7 phone and chat support but does it solve the purpose completely?
We figured it doesn’t as most of the founders pointed out – there still is the communication gap that ends up leaving the consumer “not so satisfied”
Let us explain this with an example:
On-demand Food Delivery apps, are a boon to every foodie like me. Ordering your favourite pizza from the outlet of your choice and getting it delivered at your doorstep? Well, life really is beautiful. All you need to do is click a few buttons and then sit back and relax. But, what if you suddenly realize you forgot to mention about the type of cheese to be added. You drop a message to customer support who typically replies after few minutes. Moreover, by the time, the Customer Support Executive understands your request and tries to forward your request to the Service Provider, the order is already out for delivery. The outcome is a disheartened Customer fuming over not receiving the desired variant of the pizza.
So, how to tackle this issue?
Build a Human+Bot interaction on your apps.
Let me explain –
Users interact with AI-powered bots to start with, followed by Support agents only if bots fail to understand user’s inquiry. Chatbots can handle most of the Customer Support Workflow with its Artificial Intelligence.
As for the User, the moment they realize the mistake in their order, all they need to is open up the App and key in their Order ID into the inbuilt Chat Platform – this will populate your order. Next they can directly interact with the Chatbot and make customizations as required and the same will be communicated directly, thereby saving on the time gap caused due to the traditional queuing system based Support Chat.
Well the possibilities doesn’t end just there, it can be extended on a larger scale to most On Demand Services. Chatbots cannot only be used to make Order Corrections, but also for making fresh orders, which customers tend to find more easy and natural, rather than rummaging through multiple drop-down menus in an app.
By integrating Applozic’s Chat Platform within your apps it is possible to enable Human-Bot interaction, via which Users of your app can directly communicate with the Chatbot at your end, and thereby ease the whole process of placing or modifying an order.
Let us look at one more scenario:
Lunctimes during office hours had been a real pain in the past, and employees had to resort to their office canteen for dining. But food ordering apps like Swiggy and Freshmenu have addressed the problem with technology and seamless service. While these platforms offer a large variety of cuisines and dishes to order from, which no doubt is their Core Competency, collaboration still remains an issue to be addressed. Thus a team of colleagues ordering Lunch from any of these apps, have to first migrate to some other collaboration platform like Whatsapp or any other instant messenger, to decide what to order and then come back and make the order.
The result is less loyalty towards your app and there is also a likelihood that they might find the task too tedious and either go back to the good old Office Canteen or quit making bulk orders, either way resulting in a loss for your business.
The solution is pretty simple; enable a Communication platform within your app and let users interact with one another, within the confines of your app.
This will again address two problems:
- Increase User Engagement and Loyalty
- Enable better Decision Making from Customer point of view.
This apart it also allows for crunching of Chat Data to make Custom offers via In-App Messages or Push Notifications.
We at Applozic, provide a complete solution to On – Demand service providers with our Ready – to – use Chat SDK.
- One – to – One Chat: Let Users chat among themselves or with the Service provider/Bots directly.
- Push Notifications: Get instant notification about incoming messages so that you don’t miss out on even a single message.
- Group Chat: Let your users communicate in a group about any topic/context of their choice
- Attachments : Allow your users to share location, photos, documents, Audio, Video etc.
- SMS and Email Fallback: Backup in cases of no internet connectivity – messages will be sent as SMS and Email
- Cross App Chat: Even if you have two separate applications for delivery executives and customers we integrate them to a single communication channel.
- Tracking: Read receipts and Time Stamps allow Users to keep track of their message delivery.
- UI Toolkit: With our fully customizable UI kit, it is possible to build the way you want, to complement your Brand Identity.
Applozic supports Web and Mobile apps be it on iOS or Android. Sign Up with us, and enable your web and mobile apps with our end-to end Communication Platform.
Feel free to contact us at email@example.com for any queries and we would be happy to help.
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Product Hunt has a legacy attached to itself. It began on November 6, 2013 as an email list and now has become a gateway for startups to maximize their reach in a day. Startups who have managed to reach to top of upvotes have reported a surge in their engagement rate and sales.
On 15th November 2016, Applozic got featured on Product Hunt. Thanks to Kevin William David (@kwdinc). We tried to identify hunters for us and found Kevin as the best choice. We are glad that he hunted us!
The steps we took as a part of our preparation strategy are:-
- Modified our Home Page to make our product and value proposition clear in first glance.
- We got active on Product Hunt and relevant groups on Facebook, Google+ and Slack.
The groups dedicated to product hunt which we got active on are:
- Prepared a separate landing page for users of product hunt, offering them an exclusive discount.
- We put significant effort on finding for us the right Hunter, and after considerable research on Hunters who have earlier posted products from our particular niche, we zeroed in on Kevin William David (@kwdinc)
We got hunted at 3:26 PM IST, and the moment Kevin dropped us a mail, we knew it was showtime. The next 24 hours was to be the most critical part of our journey this far.
In order to start engaging with the PH community, which mainly consists of early adopters and tech enthusiasts, the first thing we did was to introduce ourselves and thank our hunter. Our idea was to introduce the capabilities of our product so that users clearly understand what we are and what users can achieve with us?.
We soon started to see a surge in engagement and by 6 PM IST! BOOM we had 40+ upvotes and we were on the home page in Top 5 bracket. We started using our social media handles to reach out to our supporters. Portals we used were Twitter, Facebook, Slack and Google+. Our primary objective was to tell people that we are live on product hunt and simultaneously enlighten the community about our product, and the problems it can address. We also reached out to our email base of existing users and newsletter subscribers. The idea was to introduce them to product hunt and offerer our platform at a discount if they subscribed from product hunt.
The results were encouraging initially, we were in Top 5 for first 4 hours but slowly we started slipping down: Top 7 for next 4 hours, then to Top 10 and later in Top 20 by end of day. Even then, we saw a sudden spike in our Sign-up counter as we saw 1.5X increase in the number of signups per hour. Overall we saw 2X rise in our leads!
What We Learnt:
It was our first launch on Product Hunt and although we failed to meet the targets that we had set for ourselves, we had a fair bit of learning.
The most important thing that we realized is: The Heart and Soul of Product Hunt is it’s Community, and although we tried our best to engage with the community prior to our launch, the time we spent or the method we adopted was not enough to gain the desired level of attention.Therefore the lack of support from the Product Hunt community hurt us big time. Although we managed to get a lot of initial attraction in the form of upvotes, most of these upvotes not being from members from the core Product Hunt Community didn’t bring us the credibility, we sought.
Moreover our extensive reach out via different channels, which initially brought us results, kind of backfired for us later.
While our extensive outreach brought a lot of traffic to our PH page, most of them were first time users and while these people loved our product and decided to upvote us, Product Hunt’s complex algorithm might have either marked them as spam or assigned lower weightage. As a result despite having a commendable no. of upvotes our position on the homepage dipped with time.
Panic struck in, when we saw this happening and we resorted to desperate measures. We started reaching out to Product Hunt influencers as a last roll of dice. While few of them acknowledged, by means of upvotes and re-tweets, one of them even warned us against taking such steps coz it looked spammy. While we acknowledged his concern, it brought us into bad light, and this was the last nail in the coffin.
The Final Result, we ended the day with 174 upvotes, a commendable number in itself, but our position on Product Hunt was relatively lower than many listings which garnered far less no of votes than us.
- Involve every member of your team to get active on social media channels. Every group one chooses is as per his interests.
- Create your followers and get active on product hunt at least 3 months in advance.
- Get engaged with users and drive them to comment.
Though our experience are not set of guideline so, we feel plan should be customized per product being offered.
Before you bid us bye,
Check what our supporters said about us.
This shall be the first of a series of 4 articles, aimed at analysing the Changing Landscape of App Messaging, and the advent of new technologies that is shaping the future.
, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital India. The data which suggests only one percent of the apps in Apple App Store are successful and about 92% of startups fail within the first 3 years, reaffirms that for most apps the odds of a big time payday is somewhere between zero and almost zero.
While building a startup has become much easier than in the past, sustaining one is becoming difficult due to the evolving market trends. Incessant idea replication, and too much venture funding have put entrepreneurs at risk of losing their customers to newer competitors. This, plus constant platform evolution have made existing businesses vulnerable.
Customer Loyalty is on a downward slope and the famous rule of 20% of customers accounting for 80% of turnover has now become the 60/40 rule, slowly moving towards 50/50 rule. The basic reason for this is diminished interaction among the various actors of the play. Most apps today operate in isolation, where customers hardly engage with the platform, thereby making the solution offered a mere commodity. This is more evident in the Digital World, where there is a huge rift between customer’s expectations and what the average company is actually offering.
Customers empowered by the digital age are the key and the real innovators. They have unprecedented opportunity to be active participants in shaping the product, rather than being passive receivers. The key to enabling this is in listening to the customers and prior to that letting the customers converse with each other and with the company.
The three pillars to Success is Growth or User Acquisition, followed by the most important pillar i.e User Engagement and lastly it is Monetization. The User plays an important role in every step of the above Success drivers.
In order to build that viral co-efficient in your User Acquisition strategy, customers need to be your preferred marketing channel. Nothing can be better than one satisfied customer telling another about your product. Secondly the only way of retaining customers is keeping them engaged. It is essential to make customers stay within the app throughout the purchase cycle, which not only increases loyalty but also provides valuable interaction data for making custom made promotions. And lastly monetization for apps operating on a freemium model rests on how well you keep customers coming back for more, by combining messaging and push notifications.
Thus it becomes imperative for businesses to build an end-to-end communication channel both to and fro and within customers. This will not only solve the problem of increasing User Interaction and the time users spend within the app, therby simultaneously increasing Customer Loyalty & Retention, but will also help in tapping into Customer Expectations by analysing keywords used during conversation. Businesses will also have the option to direct in-app messages and push notifications based on User interests, thereby creating a smoother conversion funnel.
For more information into various types of messaging, businesses from different domains are using to gain more customer traction, read our blog post here.
In our next article we will delve deeper into the recent hype around Conversational Commerce and Chat bots, and how they are going to disrupt the way we converse. We will also highlight how these technologies can help apps gain more traction and engagement.
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