They say a business is only as strong as its closest customer relationships. With consumers increasingly taking to social media to vent their anger against brands, companies need to be always on the alert. This is where Kalyan Manyam, founder and CEO of TrueSemantic, a YourStory’s Tech30 2015 startup, saw an opportunity to build a product that helps companies track and improve their customer experience at scale.
TrueSemantic is a SaaS product that helps companies collect real-time customer feedback across their customer journey (website, mobile app, app stores, feedback email, SMS, support centers, review sites and social media) and analyse the feedback in the context of operational, customer and financial data. Role-based insights are then delivered in real-time to every employee across the organisation through employee dashboards. This empowers employees to resolve customer issues in real-time and make customer centric process improvements on a daily basis. The management and product teams also get collective insights that help make strategic process and product improvements.
Depending upon the depth of information and analytics required, it takes anywhere around 10 minutes to a maximum of two days to integrate the API.
TrueSemantic also helps marketing and sales teams automate customer engagement through various forms of notifications (website, mobile, SMS and email) to help decrease churn and increase upsell opportunities.
Journey to TrueSemantic
Kalyan grew up listening to stories of visionary businessmen from his father and reading books about their achievements. The seed of entrepreneurship sown early in life, he started Innova Health Systems – a healthcare tech firm providing telemedicine software in 2002—right after his graduation. It later got acquired. In fact, at 36, TrueSemantic is his fourth venture. His second and third venture, online and mobile social network Indyarocks.com and mobile social discovery platform Mojostreet.
Kalyan says his biggest strength is his team, which has worked with him across two of his earlier startups. “We share a great rapport and have seen the worst and best times together. They are dedicated to the company’s vision and are always willing to learn and push their boundaries to achieve that vision. In fact, many of the technologies we are using at TrueSemantic were alien to the team. They have challenged themselves and learned everything required in record time to build a great product.”
Talking about how the startup scenario has changed since he first started, Kalyan says, “Back then there was a social stigma attached with failure which has now subsided to a large extent. Lack of mentors, venture funds, media coverage and good talent willing to join startups were some other challenges. But the Indian startup ecosystem has come a long way since then and everything seems to be coming together.”
Launched in April 2015 TrueSemantic is going from strength to strength. Focussing on online commerce across various sectors, it is trying to achieve the product-market fit and is in beta phase with selected eight customers. It is planning to open up to a larger customer base by March 2016.
On the future of SaaS companies in India, Kalyan says, “It is a great time to build a global SaaS company out of India. We now have a viable domestic market that can be used to achieve product market fit quickly and at lower costs. I believe any product that can help companies achieve sustainable growth even at scale have a great chance to succeed globally.”
As customers continue to leave a data trail at every touch point with businesses, mapping interaction (feedback and loyalty data) from across channels and aggregating it all in one place makes decision-making faster for the CEOs as well as the executives.
TrueSemantic is doing exactly that with its omni-channel customers’ journey mapping. The team will have to, however, stay on top of the competition offered by other players in the space such as WebEngage and CloudCherry and global players like Medallia and MaritxCX.
As competition between companies gets more intense, it is imperative to hold on to their loyal customers and pamper and delight them to maximise lifetime value out of them. In order to build customer experience based loyalty and to know who these loyal customers are, companies need data to quantify and tell them who is at what stage of loyalty. So it all comes back to this: good data + powerful analytics = better business results.