Helpchat recently removed its chat feature from the app, which raised many questions. Ankur Singla, Founder and CEO of Helpchat has finally put his case to rest and why he decided to pivot the company from a chat based model to a personal assistant one.
After extensive debate internally, we took the call to phase out chat from our app and create the same level of experience using automation and simple user interfaces. The rest of the app remains the same – but it is simplified, fast and without any delays. [Ankur Singla, Founder]
He added that after launching the chat based model in September 2015, the problem that the team faced was that after trying it, the customers were not returning and even building better dashboards did not help.
Understanding The Problem
Finally somewhere in Sept 2015 it became obvious that the problem was chat (there were lots of learning along the way but this one was the biggest). The number of taps required to get anything done was just way too many, no matter what you do. People often confuse the debate with bots, AI etc. but does it really make sense to chat to get a cab when you can simply tap once and book (no matter what you think, our user data was very obvious on this. The answer is no.)
He also says that mobile businesses does not get built on chat based models.
After launching the redesigned app in January 2016, the number of transactions have drastically increased and more than 20 API integrations are live while the company is expecting another 15-20 APIs will be live in the next 3 months.
After launching recharge, bill payments, cabs, deals, news, journey cards, Ankur says that the company will launching much more in the next three months.
Helpchat has let go off the entire chat team (with 3 months severance package).
While it is supposed to be tough, the toughest of all was the decision regarding our chat operations team. We have taken the decision to let go of most of our chat colleagues. We looked at the retention cohorts or uninstall cohorts for all our chat users but they were always much worse than others (for reasons explained above). No matter which way we looked at it, it made sense for us to take this decision.