Creating interactive messaging for better communication
Manish Sharma, Spandan Singh
While creating a marketplace one of the important things to consider is that the marketplace acts as a neutral facilitator that connects the supplier with the customer in a fast and efficient manner, the supplier should be able to connect with the customer using the most commonly used device in India — the smartphone and so should the customer. Being mindful of the fact that instant messaging or chat is the most familiar interface in India, with most users aware of how to use chat and chat has the fastest learning curve for the new user.
Keeping this in mind we decided to design 99roomz’s supplier-customer or host-guest messaging system as a chat or instant messaging platform that our suppliers or hosts can easily use and master without much learning curve. We designed 99roomz supplier and customer interaction platform to mimic a instant messaging platform, where the suppliers can receive the messages and reply to them without shuffling around the app or site. To make it even more easy to use the platform, we made the platform interactive, that is — the supplier is presented with the action required from his end in the messaging platform itself and he can take action in the messaging platform and the same is transmitted to our servers and the customer.
For example if a customer or guest requests a booking or information about availability, we present the supplier or hosts with actions to Approve or Decline in the messaging platform,
and the supplier or host can approve or decline in the messaging platform and the same is transmitted to guests.
Soon we realized that the interactive messaging that we present to the suppliers and customers is easy and convenient for the hosts and guests to use, that it could very well execute many tasks that we were doing inside an app or website. These could very well include tasks for which the users has to shuffle through the website and app. As a start we integrated the host and guest review system in the chat app, so that the user can review the stay quickly and easily, this definitely improved stickiness on the site.
Our messaging platform works great with devices that have internet, however we realize that not all of our suppliers will have access to reliable internet connectivity all the time. To overcome that challenge we decided to build our system in such a way that you can reply to a message or take a action through SMS, our supplier can send a SMS as a reply to the SMS we send to our supplier and the same is recorded in our system in the message trail, in the same way we record a message trail when you send a message through our messaging platform on chat and on the web. This enables our disconnected customers to easily connect with their customers without internet also.