Our Panelists – A Quick Intro
This article is written based on the Verloop.io for Startup’s webinar run by Gaurav Singh, CEO of Verloop.io, Siddharth Sharma, Head of Marketing, Verloop.io, and Deepak Singh, Director of Product at Verloop.io on 12th Jan’ 2021. Verloop.io is known for pioneering in customer support automation. As Siddharth moderates the show with his – intriguing questions, Gaurav and Deepak share their experience with conversational AI for startups to automate support. And how it can help turn customers into early champions and advocates.
#1 What’s the idea behind Verloop.io for startups?
As a startup, Verloop.io has always faced a resource crunch during the initial stages. Gaurav says that the product team had to spend most of their time on the core businesses. One of the lessons that Verloop.io learned the hard way was to ensure round the clock availability for customers right from day one.
It goes without saying that relationships matter from the very first touchpoint and there’s no room for subpar conversations. To convert your customers into champions and to spread word of mouth in this digital age, it’s highly imperative that you keep your customer touchpoints as early and close as possible.
Verloop.io also wanted to keep it affordable for the startups without compromising on the quality.
“The idea is to give back to customers”, says Gaurav.
Suggested Reading: Building customer support relationships that last
#2 How? – A glimpse of what Verloop.io offers
1. Forever free WhatsApp chat
2. Unlimited users
3. 7500 conversations per month
#3 How can customer support make or break a business?
But first, retention
Most often than not, as businesses grow, customer support becomes an afterthought. In retrospect, businesses realise they can’t scale up their support team just like how they scale up the other components of their business. Acquiring customers is just one half of the equation. But to balance it, businesses also need to be focussing on the second half, retention.
No friction communication
Remember that internet broadband that promised 24/7 support? Via email, funnily. Businesses have to come about the fact that support cannot be limited to emails. No one wants to email you. But what anyone would want to do is, expect you to be available for them on the platform of their choice. Say, WhatsApp, Facebook, etc.
The idea is to foster ‘No Friction’ communication from the inception. There’s quite some gap that needs to be bridged between scaling up and being available 24/7. This is an ongoing gap that cannot be bridged manually but needs a touch of automation. Watch the webinar here.
“Enable No Friction Communication”, says Gaurav.
#4 What are the key challenges that Verloop.io can help solve startups on a day-to-day basis?
It’d be factually correct to say that startups don’t operate as other traditional companies do. From scaling up to being global from day one to having just limited resources and funding, there could be a plethora of challenges that a startup can battle against.
Amidst such challenges, it gets harder for startups to scale their customer support team. Adding a spark of tech to support could help in such massive scale-ups. You may ask how. For instance, think about customers who only find time to shop during non-business hours? Also, think of customers who live in different geographies? You also need to keep in mind nuances such as being available in different languages that your customers understand.
As Deepak talks about solving the key challenges, he is also quick to show us the dashboards.
Here’s how Deepak says Verloop.io can help – When your customer shops during non-business hours, all you’ll have to care about is keeping the initial touchpoints as quick as possible. Especially in a way your customers understand. An intelligent conversational chatbot like Verloop.io does the job just perfectly.
Consistency across different platforms
It matters a lot as to where you’re present for your customers. What also matters equally is being consistent in your tone, language, and delivery across platforms. And what goes without saying is — a consistent service quality across multiple channels will significantly impact company revenue.
And this is why more companies are investing in omni-channel customer service!
Help your support agents act faster
Certain features such as the live chat plugin provide great context through seamless integration. This way your agents find ample time to focus on important things by bringing down counterproductivity. That’s the power of a unified console.
Suggested Reading: Customer Support Metrics to Track and How to Measure Them
Verloop.io also allows you to gain visibility into real-time metrics, gain critical insights as a startup through its clear and concise dashboards. Measure, compare and reflect the performance of your bot with that of your agents’.
“Your startup can scale non-linearly but your support team doesn’t need to and your customer support can become DIY from day one.” says Deepak.
#5 How does a B2C brand evaluate a conversational chatbot?
Gaurav runs by us a detailed 10-step evaluation process when it comes to narrowing down a conversational automation chatbot.
- WHO is using it? (Name the personas)
- What functions do these personas need to make their life easier?
- How are you going to keep your customer-communication frictionless?
- How many communication channels does the software support?
- Are they critical and available in your geography?
- How natural is the conversation with businesses?
- How does your product team benefit from the integration?
- What does the dashboard tell you?
- How easy is it to add workflows on your own?
- Does it optimise for faster response times and lower handling times?
Verloop.io has been optimised for three main personas – end customers, product/program managers, and support agents by leveraging machine learning to keep the responses contextual and natural.
For example, your customer can speak in any language of their choice and may even share it via WhatsApp voice notes. Verloop.io would still not fail to understand and respond. As for admins, the Drag and Drop option lets them build the bot on their own with almost no complexities involved. And as for the product/program managers, the dashboard does the talking.
Gaurav also adds that the team builds solutions to the problems they have faced. So they have intuited their way to baking in these features into Verloop.io.
#6 What support metrics does Verloop.io help track startups?
Essentially, Deepak likes to look at customer support automation as a funnel. He classifies the funnel into three different stages in terms of metrics.
- Speed of responses
Average Handling Time (AHT) & First Response Time (FRT) – Deepak calls them ‘the classic support’ metrics. With Verloop.io, your bot responds first no matter what. Humans are involved only to handle complex queries. The idea is to build an agile conversational support system that not just adds to your bot’s OKRs but also your agents’.
2. Volume of responses
Through automation, 60-70% of queries can be solved without human intervention. Well, your bot shows up first no matter the influx of queries that come in.
3. Quality of responses
Customer Satisfaction score (CSAT) gets recorded at the end of every chat. The score defines how your customers liked your bot/agent service. With AHT and FRT in place, seeing a drastic improvement in CSAT is a no-brainer. For example, one such feature that enables you to improve CSAT is canned responses.
Suggested Reading: How to collect CSAT on WhatsApp and Facebook
Additionally, Deepak also adds a couple of non-dashboard metrics that need to be tracked.
- Value for money
Casting aside automation, the only way to handle such massive scale-ups is by hiring more and more support agents. While this could look like a low-hanging fruit initially, it isn’t fruitful in the long run.
2. The impact on the product team
- More and more businesses prefer enabling self-serve for customers and so do customers! Because self-service is one way to mange and reduce customer query queues. This helps in driving DIY behaviour among your audience from day one.
Suggested Reading: Save money by switching to customer support automation
- The data generated from customer feedback helps in solving bugs, implementing new features, and improving existing features.
Hence, you effectively have two ways by which automating customer support could help you achieve your business goals:
- Focus on customer retention through agile support and being omnipresent.
- Achieve great acquisition by onboarding as fast and aggressively as possible by freeing your support folks from mundane tasks.
Now that Verloop.io has come out on the other side, Gaurav and the team have got plenty of empathy for folks who are in the same early-stage startup boat — and certainly know the kind of impact customer support automation could have. Providing delightful customer experiences, bridging the gap between you (an early-stage startup) and your customers, and operating with limited funds and resources are some of the factors that prove why customer support automation should not be overlooked by early-stage startups.
Sign up for the Verloop.io for startups program here!