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How Verloop's AI platform is providing end-to-end customer support

The Bengaluru-based conversational artificial intelligence platform uses its AI technology as the first line of defence for all customer interactions to ensure faster and efficient response to queries

Naini Thaker
Published: Jun 22, 2023 09:23:33 AM IST
Updated: Jun 22, 2023 11:48:47 AM IST

How Verloop's AI platform is providing end-to-end customer supportGaurav Singh, founder and CEO, Verloop; Image: Selvaprakash for Forbes India; Imaging: Kapil Kashyap

When Gaurav Singh was building Magic Tiger, a personal concierge service, in 2015, he was regularly dealing with close to 200 people across contact centres. Handling so many agents and ensuring quality customer support were big challenges. Singh realised that the queries they received were mostly the same: ‘Order my lunch’, ‘Status of my order’, ‘Cancel my order’ and more. Having started coding at 13, Singh found a solution in AI (artificial intelligence). "I thought to myself that if we play the machine learning (ML) game right, we can automate a lot of this. Wherever we fail, we let the agents handle it, as they are doing it today," he tells Forbes India in a telephonic interaction.

With that solution in mind, he started Verloop in 2017. Six years later, the core mission remains the same. “We want to build the operating system for automated customer support—BPO 2.0—that takes up a major volume of support queries," says Singh, the founder and CEO. Verloop is working with some of the largest brands such as Nykaa, The Good Glamm Group and Ninjacart, among others. So far, the startup was focusing on India, Middle East and Southeast Asia, but since the last quarter, it has begun expanding to the US.

What Does It Do? 

Verloop provides its clients with 24x7 multilingual, automated and personalised customer support. "Our AI technology is the first line of defence for all customer interactions across chats, phone calls, and eventually emails—which we hope to launch soon," says Singh. After the initial AI chat bot interaction at stage one, in case the customer query isn’t resolved, there is an agent interaction. Simultaneously, there is a constant quality check happening at each stage. Verloop looks at this entire process, end-to-end. Though there are many other conversational bots for customer support available in the market, continues Singh, “working on customer support end-to-end gives us depth and differentiation”.

How Verloop's AI platform is providing end-to-end customer supportAdditionally, Verloop has been extremely focussed on certain verticals, including ecommerce, banking and FSI, and travel, among others. “We have built small, lean platforms in-house for every vertical instead of relying on existing AI models. Having a set model per vertical makes it super accurate, and it makes deploying the chat bot for every client a lot faster too,” he adds.

Using Verloop’s technology has led to enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty, says Gaurav Tejwani, group CPO, The Good Glamm Group. Their brands—such as Myglamm, Moms Co, Sirona and St Botanica—are leveraging the solution to provide a personalised conversational sales experience to customers. “Deploying conversational automation on WhatsApp has enabled us to run multiple campaigns to reduce cart abandonment and even provide a conversational shopping experience to our customers. This has not only increased our team's productivity but has also resulted in saving costs for our organisation,” adds Tejwani. The Good Glamm Group claims to have seen a reduction in response time, increase in first-contact resolution rate and an increase in sales numbers. “The user interface is intuitive and user-friendly, making it easy for our agents to navigate and interact with the platform,” explains Tejwani.

Also read: It's the age of AI: What brands need to be more than mere messengers

Growth Drivers

In addition to the traditional SaaS (software as a service)-based model, Verloop has also introduced a 'success-based pricing' model. “It is a known fact that the more the data processed, the better the technology gets. We are now very confident about our technology, so for large businesses, we offer a pricing model where the client is charged only for the net automation delivered,” says Singh. This means that out of 100 tickets, if 70 are closed, Verloop charges the client only for those 70 tickets. It is very easy to digress when building an AI-startup, reckons Singh, but “we stuck to customer support for six years, and that gives us an edge”.

A majority of Verloop’s revenue comes from the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The US market is expected to be a major revenue driver too. However, a majority of the tickets processed are from India since the volumes are bigger. Why? "Our gross margins for markets outside India are very high. As a business, we replace a contact centre or a BPO. The cost of a scaled-up cost centre would be anywhere between Rs7 and Rs10. If you compare that to the US market, it would be Rs200 per ticket because the cost of labour in India is significantly cheaper.” Often, cost per ticket is about 4x higher outside India.

Also read: AI policies across the world: Key lessons for India

A big challenge of building an AI startup in India is that there is a lot of pressure on cost innovations and how cheap you can get things done—this prolongs the time to hit market. "India is a price-sensitive market. Unless we bring significant cost benefit over contact centres, clients will not use our service," explains Singh. However, a lot of its money, like that of most other AI startups, goes into investments for R&D. “We can be extremely cash positive, but AI/ML is extremely investment-heavy,” he adds.

The startup has secured a funding of $12 million so far from investors such as Falcon Edge (earlier Alpha Wave), Kris Gopalakrishnan and K Ganesh. “Verloop's impressive track record and dedication to continuous improvement solidified my confidence in their ability to disrupt the industry and drive significant growth,” says K Ganesh, serial entrepreneur and promoter of BigBasket, Portea Medical, BlueStone & HomeLane.

The team is doing a lot of R&D to integrate large language models into the product at various stages of customer support. “Verloop has always evolved its tech with time. From the moment generative AI emerged in the market, Verloop.io was at the forefront, eagerly experimenting with its potential to fit the current market and envisioning the future of the support space: BPO 2.0,” adds Ganesh.

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