Apple’s Siri has been transforming how people interact with their phones. It taught us that it’s not just OK to talk to our phones, but that, in many cases, it’s actually a more useful way to get things done. Along those same lines, a company called Saygent is launching a mobile feedback solution which developers can insert into their application to collect feedback from the app’s users. Available as an SDK for easy integration, the toolkit can be used within any type of application. But Saygent is specifically targeting the emerging mobile wallet space to start.
The idea with mSay, as it’s being called, is that mobile wallet providers (think, companies like Visa, MasterCard, Google Wallet, Intuit, etc.) could use Saygent’s solution to collect instant feedback about the merchant immediately following a mobile payment/mobile wallet transaction.
The app’s developers – that is, the mobile wallet providers – can integrate the mSay in-app voice feedback solution into their app and then configure the types of questions the app would prompt users to answer, as well as when and where they would appear (e.g., pre- or post-checkout, on a product page, etc.). Some app makers may also want to make it so that consumers can launch the feedback option at any time.
In a real-world scenario, you can imagine how a consumer might launch the app to give feedback about the service at a restaurant, or tell a clothing retailer that they were unable to find a dress in the right size or color. Or maybe they just had trouble using the app itself, and had run into bugs.
“All they have to do is push a button and talk to the app, like they’re using Siri, and say whatever’s on their mind,” says Saygent creator Guy Hirsch. “And then our technology collects that feedback and analyzes it.”
The interesting thing about Saygent’s solution, explains Hirsch, is that on the backend, the system can process the feedback, including what was said as well as the sentiment behind the words (angry, happy, etc.) and then route that response to the correct department for handling. That means a bug report or feature request about the mobile wallet may be directed to the app’s dev team or product manger, but a customer’s response would be sent over to the merchant instead. In addition to routing the voice messages appropriately, the system also provides metrics surrounding what customers are saying.
Hirsch says mobile wallets are the perfect venue for the mSay technology. “We know you just purchased something,” he says, “so you might have something to say. And it’s critical for merchants and retailers to know that in near real-time, so if you had an issue they could take care of it right away.”
(You know, before you post how pissed off you are on Twitter and Facebook.)
The company is currently in talks with several mobile wallet makers now and plans to announce partnerships soon. Although Hirsch couldn’t disclose more details, it would make sense that one potential client could be Intuit. Given that Intuit is already a customer of Saygent’s other solutions in its online products, and is a notable player in the mobile payments space, it makes for a good fit.
As for the revenue model, it will be on a per-response basis. An app maker gets 50 responses upon signing up in order to try it out, then pays 99 cents per response afterwards. There’s also a money-back guarantee on each response – if it’s not useful (spam, someone talking nonsense, or whatever else), the app publisher can flag it and not have to pay.
San Mateo-based Saygent raised $1 million in seed funding from 500 Startups, Innovation Endeavors, Juvo Capital, Kapor Capital, Kima Ventures, Orefa Investment, PG Ventures, Ty Danco and Matthew Grodin, in May 2011.