Viktor Magic is the Product Manager of NiceReply, the easy-to-use tool for collecting and analysing email feedback and improving the customer experience. NiceReply integrates easily with almost all of the help desk software available and works seamlessly with HappyFox.
HappyFox (HF): So Viktor, tell us: how did you come up with a product like Nicereply? What brought about its genesis?
Viktor Magic (VM): Nicereply was an idea of Websupport, our parent company, back in 2011. Websupport is a customer-centric company. A customer-centric company needs to have a great support team. But how do you find out how good is a support agent? It’s almost impossible for a manager to read through every single email interaction an agent has with the customer.
The solution was to put a rating link into the agent’s signature, so the customers can rate how “nice” the agents’ reply was. Our customers loved the ability of a quick feedback so they decided to build a completely new business around it.
HF: What was your role in the development of NiceReply?
[pullquote] Nicereply helps to measure things that are hard to measure – people’s characteristics, whether are agents nice, patient and polite to the customers their support.[/pullquote]VM: I wasn’t part of the original team. I came to Nicereply in June 2012 to drive the onboarding of our trial users. This includes support and sales communication, collecting users feedback and suggestions.
HF: I saw that you have shared an article on ‘AHA’ moments of some famous people, on LinkedIn. What was your ‘AHA’ moment?
VM: When the management at Websupport wanted to evaluate how two support agents interact with customers. That was our turning point.
HF: How do you go about deciding on a feature to augment your product?
VM: We get a lot of inspiration from other successful businesses like Intercom or Buffer. I especially like this article from Joel’s blog. This is pretty much the same what we’re trying to imitate in Nicereply development and feature prioritisation.
Our core and main value proposition is satisfaction rating; expansion features are feedback management, reporting and integrations with other help desk tools. Our “Labs projects” is something that could leverage our market.
HF: How do you manage customer issues, requests and communications?
VM: Roman Majerský is our in-house customer success manager. He deals with all customer issues and communications. I help out with some harder cases as well. Our aim is to try and answer quickly. Unfortunately it’s not possible every time as Nicereply is based in Central Europe and most of our customers are in the US. But we are trying!
HF: What sets Nicereply apart from your competitors?
VM: Our primary idea was to make Nicereply as easy as possible and less bothersome for people to provide feedback. I would say, focusing on niche market with one certain question — “How nice was my reply” — was a great decision, which helps to differentiate.
HF: What are the metrics by which you measure success at Nicereply?
VM: The major ones are MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue), trial activation rate, churn rate and the number of rated surveys. Earlier this Summer, we developed a product in-house to measure several financial and customer data. It is called Stride and it’s available as a separate product for other SaaS businesses too.
HF: You have some great brands like Asana, Coursera and Sound Cloud associated with you. How does NiceReply add value to those businesses?
VM: Nicereply is simply doing the job for users. The Help Desk systems they use show them support agents’ general performance – how many tickets or how fast they respond to a problem. Instead of that, Nicereply helps to measure things that are hard to measure – people’s characteristics, whether are agents nice, patient and polite to the customers their support. All this is reflected into ratings they receive after interaction.
HF: Your edge is by large due to the simplicity of surveys you enable. How do you want to expand your roadmap yet keep the simplicity intact?
VM: In our minds, Nicereply consist of several bigger parts. Each could stand alone. This helps us to keep it simple and focus on particular job to be done by the feature. So, using all parts together provides much more value to users.
HF: Do you think you will add features that will overlap with products that you integrate with – like help desk and email systems?
[pullquote] Connecting companies with experts via online platform will ease the problem of expense and excess time consumption.[/pullquote]VM: We want to educate support teams via interactive video training.The help desk market is already crowded and there are few well established companies. Adding more similar “help desk” features into Nicereply won’t be a right move. Our motto for 2015 is “Upgrade your help desk.”
There are several ways how to help other businesses to provide great customer experience and agents ratings is only a part of it. The one we’re going to focus in the few next months is online education. We want to educate support teams via interactive video training. One-on-one staff training are often time consuming and expensive. Connecting companies with experts via online platform will ease this problem.
HF: What does the future mean for Nicereply under Black Slide?
VM: It’s all about shared values, knowledge, ideas. I can definitely say that being a part of Black Slide environment is helping us every day. Building a sustainable business is not only about designing and developing a product. There are plenty of legal and administrative things to do and this is something that experienced people from Black Slide can help with, among other things.
We also have new collaborators, such as the guys from officemate team, Inhiro.
HF: What’s on the anvil for NiceReply? What can we expect from you next year?
VM: Our main focus in 2015 will be on building an interactive education platform for customer support teams. Staff training is the next step in helping business to provide great customer experience. We’re currently talking to several industry experts about possible partnership and providing educational content. Simplifying this process is out bigger challenge so far.
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