Imagine a world where you don’t have to go through the pain of calling customer support and waiting on hold for extended periods of time before you get patched through to the right person, preferably a human! What if you could save your time and text this particular company and their representative texted you back with a solution?
I am sure that many of us who have endured misery at the hands of customer support representatives will immediately jump at this idea because it has the potential to get brands and users to have meaningful and effective conversations with each other. Aakrit Vaish co-founder and CEO of Haptik is well on his way to bringing this idea to reality.
Haptik is a new kind of messaging app which lets you get in touch with your favorite brands and resolve your issues. Even though this seems to be the primary use case for the app right now, there are so many ways in which it could delight customers. It could also end up being the right channel to get accurate information about a company’s products and services. Brands could benefit a lot from engaging directly with their users instead of having to publicly settle issues on social media platforms.
Also, this communication platform if used in the right way, could help them to create enduring relationships with their customers.
Here’s a video which explains how the app works.
The idea for Haptik came about 2 years ago when Aakrit was leading Flurry’s efforts in India. Flurry is a global mobile analytics platform and Aakrit had been one of its early employees in the US. While at Flurry, he came across a lot of data which showed him the rise the mobile messaging across the world. He was convinced that messaging was going to become the new way for everyone to communicate with each other. He was right – mobile messaging has transformed into an unstoppable juggernaut as is evidenced by Whatsapp’s acquisition by Facebook and the huge user counts of Asian messaging apps.
While speaking at a conference, Aakrit was asked this question by a member of the audience, “Have you thought about making an app where brands could communicate with users over messaging?”
The idea struck him as interesting and this is how the story of Haptik began. In the two years that have passed, Aakrit and his co-founder Swapan Rajdev worked on the project in their spare time for 18 months and then jumped into it full time.
Haptik is now a reality, having just launched recently. Currently, the team at Haptik is working on integrating their product with various brands and it seems to be both a hectic and an exciting time for them. Hectic because they are getting tonnes of inbound inquiries and exciting because this validates their product’s core proposition.
Call center costs are prohibitive for brands but at the same time, it is necessary to keep an open channel for communication. Using Haptik could end up in savings for the brand and at the same time help create more engagement.
Currently, if you message a brand on Haptik, you get a reply from a brand representative. However, when Haptik gains traction there will be a lot of volume when it comes to user requests, especially since it is a simpler way of getting in touch with the brand. This volume could make it difficult for the brand to treat users in a personalized way.
I asked Aakrit about this and he said that the ultimate goal of Haptik is to automate the platform completely and make it a self-serve product. When it comes to volumes, it would make sense to automate known requests and send automated messages back to users.
However, this has to be done in a smart manner and the context of a user request should be crystal clear or the user experience will suffer. This is a tough technical challenge for the company and one they are eager to solve in the days to come. Right now, however, all replies coming from brands on Haptik originate from a real person.
The company has global ambitions but they want to take it step by step. They want to grow India wide first and then possibly look at entering other Asian markets. Haptik expects to grow in terms of usage and downloads by getting brands to distribute their app to their customers.
Since brands want to engage with their customers and Haptik results in cost savings, it would make sense for them to distribute and evangelize it. This is an excellent strategy and will definitely get Haptik to benefit for being the first mover in the space.
I have a very good feeling about this app. It has a simple, direct use case and is well designed. I expect it to be successful at helping brands solve customer issues and requests in a much better manner than they do currently. The app is available to download for Android and iOS. Give it a spin and let me know what you think about it.