SaaS CEO tells all on why healthcare can thrive with a SaaS platform in the Age of COVID

2020 has been a series of challenges that have demanded quick adaptation, new innovation, and an expedited acceptance of technology and from every business out there - globally. Locobuzz Solutions’ CEO Vishal Agarwal shares his thoughts on how a SaaS listening and analytics tool can help industries like pharma and telemedicine.

Q: Online pharmacies are the new playing field in the current market. Can a SaaS platform like Locobuzz call this an opportunity to be leveraged?

It’s a great opportunity. When consumer-facing businesses want to scale up, they will see customer service queries also rise in quantum; especially when the said businesses are medical-care services, the nature of queries are continuously deemed critical. So, for Locobuzz, it is an opportunity to do more than liaise a for the simple use case of “where is my order” and “my order was delayed.” Social listening can also facilitate a huge opportunity in product discovery, such as reliably responding to a “Can I buy this product for this need?” or “Do you have that, as well as this?” Notably, we (as a country?) are also rapidly evolving into telemedicine, a place where doctors are increasingly consulting over WhatsApp. We at Locobuzz recognise this shift in behaviour and have already invested in large high scale development for brands such as Titan on WhatsApp for their specific requirements. The technology framework can help aid a process for Pharma and telemedicine here is extremely relevant.

Q: In terms of customer engagement, retention and lead generation, what does Locobuzz advice brands in the industry to bring out of in AI Tech today?

The biggest problem that comes with scaling up of operations, is the consistency of service. For example, some people swear by some brands, and some will say ‘never again’. It’s the challenge all consumer-facing start-ups in India face. When you have this insane pressure of scaling up very fast, then somewhere there is a strong chance that you drop the ball in customer support and engagement. This is where AI can stabilise the scale-up process and provide consistent CX across customer base – The application remains the same: whether product discovery, query or complaint resolutions, AI can play a fantastic role for large scale engagement and retention - a favourable solution that appears to currently be underutilised. Surprisingly enough, I don’t see any formidable engagement where AI is being leveraged in a manner which is meaningful for both brands and customers. This is probably also why the trust factor with American brands is really different from Indian brands. They invest heavily in customer service and after-sales support.

Q: How do you feel Indian brands can use AI technology to and build this level of trust, where the agenda is beyond just marketing or marketing activities?

Use a little of your marketing budgets in customer experience and watch the magic it can create.

Q: Do you think people will place blind trust when it comes to a competitive market like SaaS platforms, especially in India?

India a very complex market. Selling in India has never been easy for anyone. Selling in India is more difficult for SaaS, especially because people relate the money they pay to the amount of literal labour work that you do for them. In SaaS, the labour aspect is not visible, so people find it even more difficult to pay up or “invest”. The outcome is always measured in per person cost, but in AI there are no people. How people tend to see this is that if the SaaS model or the AI engine is already created, then why pay more than needed? What’s overlooked is the sheer amount of infrastructural investment that goes into keeping it running, the team built to sustain this infrastructure, resources to build product capacity, to build that intelligence, to rebuild and evolve a model. Ignoring this will always make it hard for SaaS businesses to appeal to people in India, but that’s alright because ultimately the value proposition will matter and that is what people will relate to the most.

Q: How would you define scalability and profit opportunities to a previously traditional industry like pharma, and how would Locobuzz highlight the importance of understanding a customer base that is now largely online on social media? 

Pharmaceutical companies are tricky. They are not specifically interested in directly talking to their customers online. Locobuzz can work with pharma companies when they want to understand what people say about ‘obesity in India’ or about ‘Insulin usage in India’. This is what we call ‘Category Listening’. Pharma companies can talk about preventive health care measures and what are people saying about it. While Product Listening may not give direct results in this industry’s structure, Category listening can help them understand and decide the marketing strategy or positioning of the product. For instance, Locobuzz had done a study on insulin in the past, where we discovered many myths that surround ‘Insulin’. People often have this perception that it makes you habituated, and that it doesn’t really solve anything, etc and with the unfolding of this study, we were able to present facts that busted open some severe myths.

This kind of myth-busting can be done by pharma companies if they only listen to what the myth is. Sometimes the myths can change with language. The myth can be different in Hindi heartland, versus a Tamil heartland, versus the English heartland where the myth will be different, hence it becomes important to listen to the categories and chatter in different languages.

Q: Would it be interesting for a PharmEasy or NetMeds who talk about a certain category, to be invested in social listening?

As eCommerce players who are operating in the pharma vertical, and companies like PharmEasy or Netmeds can use Locobuzz to understand what people talk about them, to understand what the competition is doing, to ensure real-time engagement with their customers, to make sure orders are delivered on time, what people feel about online telemedicine delivery, all these things can be achieved using Social Listening.

Q: Advice for healthcare players – how to choose a SaaS platform?

If your focus is primarily on usability, scalability, and security, you need to zero on a platform that can get your job done. This should be a platform which can integrate with diverse system integrators and your in-house systems. Locobuzz is the largest homegrown company in this space without any external funding and that speaks volumes. We have aided many large companies that have used platforms like ours to connect with their customers and we’ve been loved for what we can do. Moreover, the amount of investments Locobuzz does in terms of data science to make itself future-ready is phenomenal. Our relationship with Twitter beats anyone else from our ecosystem here in India. Our after-sales service is brilliant and that is why we have the trust of some of the key players in the economy. From a tech perspective we have proven ourselves, so take a trial and experience it out for yourself

Nishevita Aiyer
Client Relationship Manager
Locobuzz Solutions Pvt Ltd

Locobuzz is a SaaS platform that converges with technologies such as AI, ML, Big Data and Analytics to provide brands with a 360-degree customer experience management suite. Locobuzz’s powerful analytics algorithms have helped seasoned brands establish a strong foothold in the digital hemisphere and transformed their customer experience journeys. Visit our website for more information on our cx management services that are catered toward businesses like yours!

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