Customer is king and Survaider is helping companies understand what he says

17th Oct 2017
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Bengaluru-based startup aggregates and decodes customer feedback to help companies improve service.

Be it a person or an organisation, humans are constantly seeking feedback, and try to act on it to better themselves and their functioning.

Given the competition today, mere feedback is just not enough and organisations are constantly trying to understand how it can be decoded to improve customer engagement.

Bengaluru-based Survaider is doing just that – aggregating customer feedback for businesses to understand and act on customer reviews, and at affordable costs.

The SaaS-based product allows startups and enterprises to filter online customer reviews, pick the most valuable feedback, and helps them act on the feedback so as to improve customer experience.

Businesses get large volumes of feedback from multiple channels -- social media, review websites, and direct feedback over calls, emails, and surveys. “However, the process is extremely inefficient because it takes a long time for the concerned person in the correct department to resolve a customer issue, leading to customer dissatisfaction and drop in online ratings,” says Survaider Co-founder Tushar Mishra.

“Moreover, because of this cumbersome ordeal, the top management is never able to know where the business requires improvement, and where they are faltering in providing superior customer experience.”

Survaider founders

Instead of using a simple semantic keyword matching process, Survaider classifies incoming feedback in real time. The software then decodes the context and learns to adapt or tune parameters for every client individually.

“This kind of filtration from a crowd of feedback helps a business see where to focus its attention to improve customer experience,” says Co-founder Madhulika Mukherjee.

How it works

When a business signs up with Survaider, the software picks up all feedback channels, online and offline. This includes social media comments, mentions, survey feedback, email complaints, calls, online review websites, blogs etc.

The business uses the product to respond to these reviews in real time and the tool generates patterns and gaps in service quality, identifying problem areas or repetitive complaints apart from generating suggestions for improvement.

“One of our clients, Ginger Hotels (a Tata-group company that operates a chain of 38 hotels), uses the product every day. Since they started using Survaider, the time taken for responding to customers has reduced from a week to a few hours. The AI engine identifies and triggers real time alerts about negative reviews to the person or department concerned. The result is Ginger Hotels was recently awarded with 11 TripAdvisor Excellence prizes- the highest number of awards for any Indian chain of hotels,” says Madhulika.

She adds that Survaider is industry agnostic. “Clients can configure aspects/metrics that are important to their business for that week or month, and our algorithms automatically pick them and start classifying feedback, converting them to analytics and churning out insights.”

“Because of this robustness, the technology is portable to absolutely any industry with little to no work,” she adds.

For Tushar and Madhulika, both engineering graduates in information technology and mathematics from the University of Delhi, Survaider is their second entrepreneurial stint.

The duo, both in their mid-twenties, have a background in NLP, artificial intelligence, machine learning and built the underlying algorithms of the platform themselves. Having worked with research labs at Carnegie Melon University, MIT Media Labs, and Purdue University, they had a vision to keep asset-light operations with a major focus on building superior technology.

Differentiation and competition

Survaider faces direct competition from global players like Medallia, Clarabridge and Indian players like Repup, KePSLA, apart from survey tools and online reputation management toolssuch as Surveygizmo, Surveymonkey, CloudCherry, Meltwater and ReviewPro or TrustYou.

“Different departments are responsible for data / analytics coming in from survey tools or online management tools. So, the problem is solved but very inefficiently and only partially. Plus, they incur huge costs (Rs 6 lakh to Rs 7 lakh a month),” says Tushar.

Survaider differentiates itself by combining solicited feedback with unsolicited feedback to give an aggregate view of customer opinion across departments. “Moreover, our AI algorithm allows our customers to customise aspects that they want to measure and optimises according to a particular business type. For example, what’s important for a guest at a hotel near an airport could be very different from a beachside resort,” he adds.

The success of any SaaS-based product in the customer experience segment is often determined by users. “The platform, when activated, is used across the organisation from the CEO, COO, CMO, to individual property managers (in case of hotel/real estate projects). We have 90% login rates every day, which is very high for an enterprise SaaS product in this space,” says Tushar.

Since its launch in November 2016, Survaider has over 250 hotel, spa, restaurant, and automobile dealerships as clients, all of whom are on annual contracts. The company, with a team size of six, charges a monthly subscription fee.

With a high revenue growth rate of 50 percent on a month-on-month basis, the company is already profitable.

“With our other customers running trials right now, including those in Dubai, US, and South-East Asia, the platform is used across the organisation, with multiple users/departments per organisation. We have a total of 300 individual users using the platform currently,” says Madhulika.

Scope and market

The Customer Experience Management industry is estimated at $4.36 billion globally according to a MarketandMarket research report.

“There was a time when only large enterprises could afford to think about 'customer experience', while medium and smaller businesses were struggling with sales. Now, with rising competition, key brand differentiators have shifted from product and price point to customer experience and more and more small-medium businesses have started investing time and money in delighting their customers. In fact, now, more companies than ever before have a 'Customer Experience department' or a 'Customer Delight department',” says Madhulika.

Moving forward, Survaider is looking to integrate sales data with customer feedback, and work on machine learning models to bring about more impactful insights, like patterns between revenues and customer satisfaction, to make financial projections and set targets from within the product.

“We now want to have seamless integrations with helpdesk softwares like Freshdesk and Zendesk. As well as building a set of APIs for other survey tools and ORMs to integrate with our platform,” adds Tushar.

The startup is also working on building voice recognition technology to transcribe speech to text in order to capture major chunks of feedback left by visitors in the form of verbal communication.

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