Around 16 months ago in August 2018, Swapan and I had a long chat about the future of Haptik, in turn discussing what we want to do with our lives. The previous year had been tough on many grounds – but most fundamentally we had pivoted from being a consumer app to a B2B enterprise software company. We were still very early in that business, one which required a lot of time to get it right. We were confident about the market opportunity and timing, but just not certain of how to get there.
We had started out in 2013 with the belief that conversational interfaces will be the next paradigm shift in human-computer interaction. As a direct to consumer personal assistant service, we had built a product that was liked by millions. However, it was not loved – the “assistant” was only good at basic tasks such as setting reminders or knowing what’s nearby. It was a vitamin – not a painkiller. The idea of being able to just “chat” and get something done was powerful, but people wanted it to do a lot more. After having raised close to $13 million and investing 4 years into that product, we realized it was not working.
It was tough to swallow that reality, and more than anything else, to maintain confidence in our ability to build anything meaningful. However, the belief that conversational AI will have a place in this world continued to be strong. It just required a different application – which was the ability to connect consumers with businesses to solve their most pressing queries around customer support, troubleshooting, FAQs, product information, etc. That’s when in 2017 we pivoted to become an Enterprise SaaS product for businesses to implement conversational applications to improve their overall end customer experience.
The rest, as they say, is history. 2019 has been a breakout year for the company – a year that has given us new people, new partners, new products and a renewed sense of purpose.
First, why Conversational AI?
Messaging accounts for a low volume of customer interactions under conventional customer outreach strategies, with phone calls accounting for the maximum volume. This approach has not served enterprises well, and ultimately contributes to a poor customer experience delivered at a very high cost. Decade old problems continue to remain unsolved while customers are interacting with businesses.
With Conversational Assistants, brands can effectively ‘flip’ the pyramid – using chat as their primary outreach channel. The rebalanced volumes dramatically lower the overall cost of customer interactions, while significantly enhancing the customer experience.
Intelligent Virtual Assistant: The New Face of Conversational AI
A lot of people use the terms ‘chatbots’ and ‘virtual assistants’ interchangeably. But the truth is that an Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) is a far more advanced conversational application. Leveraging the power of advanced Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing technologies, an IVA is more than just a chatbot and voice bot – it engages customers in a conversation, pinpoints their intent, and executes the tasks required to resolve their issues end-to-end.
The Haptik IVA Platform
Haptik’s IVA solutions have been built from the ground-up to address specific business problems and deliver ROI across two key functions – Sales and Customer Care.
Our Sales solutions drive ROI by helping brands boost revenue. Conversational Commerce enables better product discovery through a recommendation engine to drive transactions via digital channels; while the Lead Generation IVA is a 24/7 virtual sales agent that helps generate warm leads by engaging website visitors.
Our Customer Care solutions drive ROI by helping brands significantly reduce customer support costs. With Live Chat & Messaging, the AI engine can resolve 70-80% of queries (which are routine, repetitive queries or FAQs), while seamlessly routing more complex queries to a human agent. Conversational IVR is a voice assistant to handle inbound support queries on a brand’s main support line, deflecting calls from contact center agents.
The Haptik Business: Key Metrics
200%+ revenue growth year on year for the last 2 years
0 Customer Churn (no customer has ever stopped using the Haptik platform once they go live)
5 Global Fortune 500 Brands
150+ live implementations
50 million conversations handled annually