[App Fridays] Hollerr lets you call users and businesses for free even if you don’t have their numbersHarshith Mallya
For businesses and even personal relationships to function, maintaining effective communication channels and being easily available to your business prospects or contacts is important.
While it is easy to reach out to someone you know, trying to reach out to a new business prospect or the customer care of a business in a time crunch is not easy. Hollerr aims to change this and make it easy for people and businesses to communicate.
What is it?
Hollerr is a mobile app that lets users make free calls to businesses, friends and family over WiFi or mobile data. While the concept is not new, the way it has been implemented and the potential benefits for businesses to utilize this platform look promising.
Users need to sign up with their mobile numbers and get themselves verified, after which they have to pick a user name of their choice, which will be their point of contact on the platform from there on. Users have to set a profile picture and a name and can also set a status, if they wish. They also have to pick if they wish to register their number under ‘Personal’ or ‘Business’ categories.
The USPs of this app include:
-Users do not require contact numbers or add requests to call up a person.
-It eliminates the need of having to identify yourself with a contact number.
- Users have the option of making their username publicly available, which may appeal to early stage entrepreneurs and businesses, who want to reach out to as many people as possible. Users also have the option to keep it private for only friends and colleagues.
The app is a hybrid of sorts and combines the best features of services like Skype and Viber. Hollerr has an open source infrastructure and the app is completely free for users to make calls worldwide. The founders are aiming to get more businesses on board and monetise the app through them, but it is currently free for businesses to use.
The team behind it
John Zacharia and Bindesh Vijayan, who were ex-colleagues, founded Hollerr with the aim of helping people communicate for free with each other. They saw a gap in the market and realized that most users found it difficult to get in touch with businesses and other contacts if they had lost their phone number or did not have access to it. They figured out a way to overcome this issue and started Hollerr.
While John acts as the CEO and creative director at Hollerr, Bindesh acts as the CTO and guides the software team and helps them tackle issues they face. Akash Jain, John’s classmate from Christ University, acts as the COO and looks after operations and other business aspects.
Hollerr has 11 members in the team with Android developers, iOS developers and UI designers acting in supporting roles.
What we liked?
UI and UX: The app is easy to use, has a sleek interface without ads in any form and the features are self-explanatory.The overall user experience is good.
For businesses: The benefit of the app is apparent when it comes to connecting with businesses. For example, if one wants to book a hotel room on the phone or place a reservation at a restaurant, users can type the name of the enterprise and place a call directly, without having to search for, enter and store the required contact number.
What could be improved?
Lag: Even over stable WiFi connections we sometimes found the audio quality to be average, with a second or two delay at times. John confirmed that they are working on improving this to provide a better experience. On other occasions that we tried the app, the audio quality was better and almost at par with regular phone calls.
A dedicated help-line: My first interaction with John was through Hollerr, though the audio quality was not great. I was instantly able to get in touch with him, even though I did not have his contact number. I typed his name, found his profile and was able to call and speak to him. Instinctively I also searched for the keyword ‘Hollerr’ and ‘Hollerr helpline’ to check if they had set up a dedicated line for customer feedback, but could not find one and suggested the same to them.
In app messaging: Even though the USP of the app is free calls, it would be nice to have the option of messaging the person one wishes to talk to. Some users may not want to get on random calls without background information about what it is about. So an option to send a short introductory message would be helpful.
Hollerr is building up on its user base and getting more users and businesses on board and it would be interesting to see how they do, once they have crossed a certain threshold of users. Till then users can still use it to keep in touch with friends, business prospects and interact with the few businesses that are currently on the app.
If you are an app developer and with an interesting app, please reach out to email@example.com with details.