As communication and messaging becomes increasingly necessary across industries, chat bots simplify the job for CRM (Customer Relationship Management) agents. Applozic, the messaging experts, have now come up with Kommunicate, a modern customer communication software for real-time, proactive, and personalized support for growing businesses.
Applozic CEO, Devashish Mamgain, spoke to The Tech Panda about their new product, Kommunicate, the messaging industry, and its future potential.
“With Kommunicate, we are focused on the customer support and service industry,” he says.
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Kommunicate is the second product from Applozic, which is based in the US, while its engineering team sits in Bengaluru. While chat is a significant part of it, it offers features like live chat and bot integration specific to the customer support use cases, customer-support portals, e-mail and chat integration, integrating CRMs (Customer Relationship Management), and other services used by the customer support teams.
Mamgain says integration is a major part of Kommunicate’s features. For example, bot integration is often a requirement for companies who are integrating bots with Dialog Flow, Microsoft Bot Framework, and other bot platforms. That means the customer wants an existing bot in a platform to be active on their website as well as the mobile app. Kommunicate makes this happen with bot integration, and all bot responses start displaying on the chat screen.
With the help of the Kommunicate chat interface, agents can also create a trigger in Zendesk, which is a customer ticketing system that allows companies to track and respond to customer service requests.
Other integrations are with FAQs, where all FAQs from the integrated product are listed with the Kommunicate chat visit, and with CRMS, like Agile, where all the customer data and records in the CRM are synced to inflow on Kommunicate.
The Kommunicate team plans to integrate CRMs, analytical tools, and marketing tools along with their product, so that a company can have the complete picture of all their customer-related information at one single place.
“Kommunicate is the first human plus bot hybrid platform, and customer support is a field where the need is growing. With companies reaching millions of users, customer support has become an important aspect. So, in terms of product, our plan is to automate all the mundane tasks that the customer-support agents are doing right now. Anything that is repeated can be handed over to the bot to take care of. That’s the area where we are working on extensively,” Mamgain explains.
Since, ML and AI require a lot of research, the Kommunicate team are putting an effort into their research. Since most queries that customer-facing agents receive are repeated ones, support agents usually have a list of ready answers. Whenever an agent repeats an answer through the Kommunicate dashboard, the team keeps track of that answer and the corresponding questions asked by customers on the chat. The data is then fed into their ML system, which keeps learning with time. It also keeps a history of all the questions and answers, which is later used in the FAQ bot.
“Our FAQ bot learns on its own. It can answer any customer query matching a previously answered one on its own. This helps in reducing the magnitude of support queries”, he explains.
How it Started
Mamgain and Adarsh Kumar co-founded Applozic in 2016, prior to which they built another product in 2014 called MobiTexter, an android app that could send and receive SMSs right from a computer desktop, before WhatsApp hit the market.
“When technology and things changed, and people moved from SMS to IP messaging, we made a shift from the SMS world to instant messaging. And that’s when we got the idea of starting Applozic. We saw that everyone needed communication in their product, in some way or the other. We saw a big opportunity to provide chat as a service model. Companies don’t need to build the same stuff again and again. Instead, they can just use a plug-and-pay service like Applozic into their product,” the CEO says.
Applozic started their product in August 2015 with chat and messaging APIs. It has 300 + paying customers, who are empowering communication multiple segments, such as one-to-one chat, group chat for market places, doctor-patient chat for healthcare, and teacher-student chat for e-learning.
Applozic raised an angel round of USD 100,000 in 2015, when they started. Within a year, they started showing profits, and since, haven’t looked back. The startup counts SendBird and QuickBlox among its competitors and clients of the likes of HP, Red Bull, CBS Interactive, Car Trade, Mzad Qatar, iCarAsia, and Godrej. Currently, with a strength of 35 people, they have 600 + customers, for both their products, Kommunicate and SDK. Mamgain feels that Applozic’s profit-making has been an edge for the company.
“We haven’t had to raise any external finance, other than the angel round, to start the company. In the last 6 months, we have seen good growth in terms of getting enterprise customers,” he says.
Future of Messaging
Mamgain sees the future of messaging as bright. After all, people love to chat using interfaces. Apps like Google’s Tez, Alibaba’s Paytm, are now even assisting in payments.
“It’s simple and intuitive, and there is no need of any expertise to use,” he says.
With the advent of smart devices in tier 2 and 3 cities, messaging too is growing in regional places. Kommunicate is now seeing a demand from customers requesting regional support in the chat interface.
“Messaging in the Indian market is going to boom, especially when the regional consumers come into picture. It will have a huge market,” he says with conviction.
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The chat bot market is evolving quite rapidly. Up till last year, bots that came into the market were hardly mature, giving random answers. This year, many platforms, ML libraries, and services have launched with improved bot services. Google has Dialog Flow, Amazon has Lex, and Microsoft has Bot Framework.
“Until last year, the bot story was not mature enough, it was more of a hype, but now it’s real, bots are really solving problems,” he says.
According to him, when it comes to messaging, India is already in the global market.
“Indian companies like Flipkart, Ola, and Bigbasket, have millions of users. I would consider India a big customer base in the coming years,” he says.