There’s no dearth of marketing platforms on the market today. And yet, each of them manages to stand out from their peers. Locobuzz is one such software. Started as a tool to monitor and analyze social engagement, it’s now an end-to-end Customer Experience Platform. We manage to talk to Mr Vishal Agarwal, Co-Founder and CEO, to understand the company’s journey, its challenges, and what does the future hold among other things.

PS: the interview has been edited for the sake of brevity.

1) Before we talk about Locobuzz, could you share your journey into the world of SaaS?

SaaS has knowingly unknowingly been a part of most of my adult life – in the form of Microsoft, Yahoo, or Gmail to even social media applications like LinkedIn. It was very early in my career that I saw the value of a web application that can easily deliver computer-intensive, powerful analytics, simply over a browser, without the need of installing any software.

2) What gaps did you see in the market for launching Locobuzz?

Locobuzz was founded in 2015 to use the potential of data analytics and social media to help brands improve their customer experience. It was evident that there was a need to develop a solution for brands that were struggling to manage their presence across multiple channels, maintain a consistent brand voice and deliver timely responses to customer queries. We saw that very few software really lived up to their promise and there was going to be greater demand for measuring core business functions such as – online presence, sentiment analytics (across several languages, intent, toxicity), and team workflows that would eventually improve the online game of brands.

3) Could you tell us about Locobuzz’s evolution since its launch?

Locobuzz has evolved considerably from its inception – it has rapidly moved from a social media listening tool to a unified customer experience platform. We have leveraged Machine Learning (and Data Sciences) in a big way in almost every function of Locobuzz. Now, it’s one of the very selected few platforms in the world which effectively provides for:

1. Manage entire social media presence

2. Enterprise quality tickets and team management

3. Real-time data analytics (via Digital War rooms)

4. Automation (chatbots and workflows)

We have done several integrations with CRM systems to further augment the ability of a brand to provide personalized engagement to its customers. This has also created brands to merge behavioral data and transactional data for smarter customer segmentation.

We have also achieved some great engineering feats in our ability to process billions of data points in a month. There are customers for whom we process over 100-200million data points just in a month. We have been able to create a reliable, secure, and scalable infrastructure to support the ever-growing demands in this space.

4) How many customers do you have now, and do they belong to specific industries, or it’s industry-agnostic?

Locobuzz is now a trusted and go-to technology partner for 125+ businesses in a wide range of industries like BFSI, Telecom, Aviation, Hospitality, E-commerce, and Auto. We are very proud of the customers we work with. We have been very lucky to onboard and retain the leaders in almost every powerful vertical. From the largest telecom company to the largest bank, or the largest retail chain to the best hospitality chain, innovative gaming companies to new age commerce platforms – we work with them all. We also have an over 95 percent client retention rate.

We also have some great partnerships in place with some of the largest BPOs, SIs, and technology companies which helps us constantly innovate and reach more customers. We now have customers in India, Sri Lanka, Middle East, SE Asia, UK, and the US. We are now working on rapid expansion in these regions.

5) Locobuzz seems to be offering a lot of capabilities, right from reputation management to social media management, and from chatbots to research and insights – what unifies them all?

The unifying layer for all of this is the data – the channels on which we listen in provide us with valuable data which can be used for insights, automation, marketing strategy, campaign measurement, etc. Locobuzz is a unified CX platform that offers all these features/products. We have built the platform from scratch to support these functionalities and it is all very seamless.

For example, while using a Locobuzz chatbot, one can easily navigate the user to a real live person via the Locobuzz Ticketing system. It is an all-in-one system, and this makes a compelling offer and unlocks tremendous value for our customers.

6) What makes Locobuzz stand out from the competition in the space?

As thought leaders in the Customer Experience Management category, we have always leveraged social media and other digital data to help brands better understand the competitive landscape, consumer insights, and more. We leverage deep tech to meet the scale of these opportunities and create amazing self-serve solutions.

What makes Locobuzz stand out is the quality of the software and the innovative features in our product. We possess the ability to bring in multiple core functions like marketing, customer service, and Analytics together – each aspect offering in-depth insights and unique solutions for brands to engage their customers with.

As we evolve in our capabilities, we always ensure that the simplicity of our software is maintained and never compromised – this has truly helped remain one of the easiest software’s to work with.

6) Could you shed some light on your marketing strategy?

Our current efforts are aimed toward building up our brand image and making sure that we remain relevant in the minds of people when they think of “Digital Customer Experience Management”. We’re very active on all social media channels and other digital mediums, through our blogs and published articles, we regularly touch upon many topics in our domain from a thought-leadership perspective and ensure that our content and communication reach the right people. We also reach out to different overseas markets other than India, so our marketing outreach strategies undergo appropriate changes. For instance, email marketing is a very critical part of our strategies when touching base with potential customers in the US, whereas in India, we have a dedicated pre-sales team connecting with people showing interest in this space.

We have found that participating in events both in India and overseas has been particularly lucrative for us. We have had the opportunity to share some very interesting learnings from our work with a few of our partners and highlight how these successes can help improve customer experiences for other brands as well.

The focus of all our marketing efforts is to gain a trustworthy and steady association with ‘digital customer experience management’ and drive innovations as thought leaders from the space of CX.

7) How has the ongoing pandemic affected Locobuzz – both in terms of users and the business itself?

Initially, when the pandemic hit in the month of April and May in 2020, we saw a huge decline in revenues as many of the customers we work with were hit from a business viability standpoint. Certain sectors were affected more than others, and many hadn’t recovered; so, towards the end of 2020, it became clear which sectors were doing great, and which weren’t. Luckily for us, our work with the BFSI sector has always been on a large scale and it was the one industry that remained largely unimpacted. With the flurry of clients that started to work with us during the pandemic, we could tell that there was very strong growth and demand for digital customer experience support across every single sector. Even if this pandemic were to continue, most businesses have either built or are building pandemic-proof business models, therefore our engagement with them also remains, well, pandemic-proof! Furthermore, the number of people who have moved online creating millions of conversations is proof that there is a lot of seriousness about digital media as a channel for customer service. It has resulted in more usage, more user licenses, more brands now becoming aware of digital customer experience management and embracing it entirely.

8) What’s next for Locobuzz? Any new features that consumers should be excited about?

Locobuzz is always innovating for its partners and in the spirit of “what else can we do!”, and I’m proud to say that has opened many avenues for us. Currently, we are working on multiple new features that will excite players, especially from the BFSI sector. We are in the process of overhauling our entire UX that would be beneficial to all our customers tremendously. Most essentially, we are adding some very powerful features for reporting capabilities and a brand-new analytics framework that will just change the game of social media analytics globally.

9) How has been your experience of building a product for the global audience from India?

I think now the world recognizes that Indian engineers and Indian companies for their global-standard experience and potential. Gone are the days where Indian companies make products only for India or remain relevant mostly to the Indian subcontinent – there are many examples of innovations made in Indian being sold all over the world. I think people take us more seriously now because they understand Indian companies can deliver more for less. While it was always a well-accepted fact, the impression of “more for less” these days is exponentially different as Indian companies deliver products and services of the quality most western companies are used to – sometimes even better.

10) What are your favorite SaaS products out there?

I really like HubSpot. In fact, we have also chosen HubSpot to support our CRM functions on the Locobuzz platform. Other than that, I really like to use Zen Flowchart. It makes flow diagrams easy to understand, and I especially use it while working with our tech team for planning and designing product innovations, enhancements, etc.