Messaging platforms will continue to become almost as important as operating systems as a way to deliver services. That will change the web’s model of marketing and communication in India. A case in point is Swipe Technologies’ alliance with Haptik earlier this week. This heralds a new way of commerce in India natively powered by a messaging app, a shift from web-based and call center model. This partnership doesn’t only mean customer support for Swipe Users, but also makes Swipe Telecom the first ever company to enable Cash On Delivery purchases of their phones/tablets with a simple message on Haptik. We have already written about how local players use WhatsApp as a convenient way to interact with their customers.
“Mobile messaging is a new form of Search,” said Aakrit Vaish, Co-founder & CEO, Haptik Inc. “Questions around gadgets & technology especially telecom is the most frequently asked on Haptik today. Users constantly have queries, and/or are looking for information to make life easier. With Swipe on-board; Swipe Users will have a very convenient time getting help from Haptik.”
We have moved from messaging friends to messaging brands
In desktop era ‘Search’ was the primary engagement model. In post-PC and mobile-first era ‘Messaging’ is the primary engagement model. This engagement goes beyond messaging friends to chatting with businesses. Apps like Haptik sit at the intersection of messaging vs. customer support vs search.
Mobile messaging is the fastest growing communication channel in the history of the Internet, and we're seeing users prefer using something like this for all sorts of needs. In India, customer support still remains a big pain point where users don't want to have to call to get help. Dialing call center is becoming a dated experience. Mobile search is still in its infancy where the same model of text input and Google’s link output is not going to work due to the new form factor. What people want today is get a simple answer to their question.
Haptik app enables users to get help with products and services over instant messaging from 200 companies across 13 categories – customers chat with a certified Haptik expert for queries, information and almost anything else with guaranteed response time of five minutes.
We’ve seen Xiaomi sell its phones on WeChat in China. With a compelling proposition: “Just send a message and a Haptik expert will respond back to you within 5 minutes.” Haptik wants to bring the same messaging app based shopping habit in India.
Shripal Gandhi, Founder & CEO, Swipe Technologies, said, “Swipe customers will be able to resolve their queries within five minutes. Customer behavior patterns have confirmed sharp shift from voice to texting preference for a variety of reasons. Swipe has a huge customer support center and Haptik – that is communication by way of touching the mobile screen – will further aid that process.”
What does this partnership mean?
This partnership enables Swipe Technologies to be one of the first OEMs to provide live chat over messaging for support. A user can simply message a Swipe expert for advice on battery life, check his warranty status or find a service center etc , making their customer service a lot more hassle-free and seamless. This partnership is a great indicator of their focus on a great consumer experience.
Aakrit says, “Right from the start, our focus (at Haptik) has been to change the way users and businesses interact. While we have partnered with multiple companies in the past, this is the first time we had partnered with an OEM and therefore we will be able to provide an unprecedented level of support from an early stage in the user’s life-cycle. This is an exciting initiative for both the brands.”
The advantages of an asynchronous platform remain the same for Swipe as it for any other brand. In most other channels a user has to dedicate his time to speak to a business. This means navigating IVRs and being on hold, often for a long period of time. With Haptik, the user can simply leave a message and continue with his other tasks while a Swipe Experts works on resolving his query. With everybody focusing on user convenience today, this definitely makes a huge difference in terms of customer satisfaction.
Does that mean Swipe will get preferential treatment above the 200 companies Haptik integrated with across 13 categories? “We work with two models -- where we respond to the users and where the business responds to the users directly. In this case, Swipe is responding to the user directly. So there is no case of Swipe getting preferential treatment. What Swipe will be attempting to do will be to provide an even quicker and accurate responses for an even better customer experience,” adds Aakrit Vaish. They are constantly working in this area to partner with enterprises as it allows them to provide a better level of service to the users.
Swipe Technologies as part of this partnership allows users to purchase their devices on a CoD basis. Even larger e-commerce players try to experiment with chat to enable transactions.
“We have started the journey of experimenting in this space and are likely to see some more interesting developments as various players figure out how best to leverage the huge potential of messaging . But chat definitely seems to be an important component for commerce moving forward,” added Aakrit.
You can use Haptik to get help on mobile plans from telecos. You can also get assistance with any electronic and appliances issues. You can find information about banks, locations, and services offered. You can get flight schedules, web-check in, baggage and terminal policies. You can track the status of your online order. You can inquire about cars, service centers, including booking test drive availability. Most of Haptik agents are people who have either worked with the partner brand before or have used it extensively.
More and more innovations are happening primarily on mobile than desktop application and most of the business model innovation is coming out of Asia as oppose to Silicon Valle