In a time when people are without a minute to spare, surveys have become a very tedious and boring affair. It is well and clear that surveys help to improve and enhance products and services but with people developing shorter attention spans, surveys become the last thing that engages them. SurveySparrow introduces a way to make surveys more conversational and interesting. Founder, Shihab Muhammed , gives us all the necessary details about SurveySparrow and its ambitions.
Give a brief info about your startup?
Started off in 2017, SurveySparrow introduced the world’s first chat-like surveys that combine the best of both worlds, surveys & chat. Founded by Ex-Freshworks employee, Shihab Muhammed, and Ex-Zoho engineering lead, Subin Sebastian SurveySparrow passionately advocates the need for building better experiences for both the customers & employees as the right way to grow.
SurveySparrow was born to address the feedback industry’s shortcomes such as:
- Outdated solutions built for the desktop era, had dull & boring interfaces
- Existing players that focused on small & medium businesses(SMBs) were bounded to just surveys,
- Not an end-to-end solution that prompted an action on the collected feedback.
- Enterprise competitors who targeted larger companies were too expensive for the SMBs.
- The open market opportunity demanded a solution-driven approach rather than self service alone.
What idea/thought gave rise to Surveysparrow? What is the story behind Surveysparrow?
It was in October 2016, I was in the U.S on a customer visit when I got a reminder email from my HR team then at Freshworks. It was the third notification of its kind, asking me to fill in the Employee Satisfaction Survey for the month.
Attending surveys aren’t my favorite thing in the world and that’s when it struck me – it wasn’t just me! I haven’t met many people who are enthusiastic about filling in surveys.
I appreciate a positive work culture and the efforts to maintain it that way. I understand how surveys are necessary to keep the organization healthy. I admire the HR efforts to ensure everyone does their part. I know that I will only stand to merit from partaking in the surveys. I get all that, but still didn’t enjoy taking one.
Why would anyone go on doing a boring task if they had the option of making it interesting? Here’s a problem and I was sure that there was a solution to it. I asked myself why I dread the task of filling in surveys and here’s what I found:
- The conventional survey forms fail to engage me.
- They aren’t mobile friendly and that is a major put off. Unless I pull out my laptop,I have no option of taking the survey at my favourite cafe or while taking the subway.
- Too many HR hours are spent in operational things related to the completion of surveys. Following up with 2-3 reminders for each one who didn’t fill it yet? Pointless.
What if all those survey questions were sent to me in a WhatsApp chat instead? I know I would have answered them in no time. People enjoy unique experiences. Not dull old structures and layouts that bore them to death. A conversational survey that I could attend with the comfort of my smartphone, when I was stuck in traffic or waiting in a line was much preferable.
Once I was back from the U.S, I pitched the idea to a friend. I saw him getting excited at the possibilities of engaging surveys similar to human conversations and his enthusiasm sealed the deal for me.
On January 2017, I left Freshdesk (now Freshworks), ready for the next big adventure. Subin and I rented a tiny 100 sq ft room in Kochi and in that humble little office, SurveySparrow officially took off.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
I was one of founding members of Freshworks (valued at $3.5B), an online cloud-based customer service software, in my previous role I built & led large teams from the ground-up in a career spanning 14+ years. While at Freshworks, I oversaw Freshservice product suite and scaled it from zero to a multi-million product.
I was one amongst the millions who were forced to migrate to other states owing to the lack of opportunities prevalent then in Kerala. I was in Chennai, at Freshworks when I got the idea to start SurveySparrow. When the opportunity came to move back to Kerala, I was quick to choose Kochi. And today, SurveySparrow is the answer to those talents that migrate for better job opportunities, a callback to return.
After graduating from Cochin University of Science & Technology in Electronics & Communication engineering, I have worked with ZOHO for 4 years as an engineer in the Manageengine division, before Freshworks
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
SurveySparrow is based out of Kochi at, Office No. 1, Wing-1,4th Floor, JYOTHIRMAYA, Infopark- Phase-II, Ernakulam.
Being one of the founding members of Freshworks, I was living in Chennai at the time I conceived the idea of SurveySparrow . I was one of the many who had to migrate due to inadequate job opportunities in Kerala prevalent back then and was always looking for a way to go back to my roots. When SurveySparrow materialized I was quick to choose Kochi for it. And fortunately we have managed to create & establish a company with a unique work culture at par with those in the silicon valley. SurveySparrow is my answer to the talent-drain owing to the lack of opportunities, a call back to return.
Who are your competitors? How are you different from other survey softwares?
We compete in a large market of Customer & Employee Experience which includes established players like Qualtrics, SurveyMonkey, Medallia, Confirmit, etc
How are we different from other survey softwares?
We have been rated better than our competitors in every category in the G2 crowd and many other review sites.
We have been reviewed as an easy to use & install tool while what our competitors offer is deemed to be too complicated. The primary differentiation done is with the interface of our platform. Our competitors have been in the market for a longer time and are built for the desktop era. This lets them deliver outdated solutions, while SurveySparrow sports a mobile-first and not just mobile responsive UI. The sleek UI goes a great deal in enhancing the experience of both the survey creator as well as the survey taker.
Another perk of being a part of the SurveySparrow community is the efficient integrations we host. You no longer have to hassle between multiple tools. Automated data uploads and other features let you stay connected to your favorite tools through SurveySparrow.
When it comes to enterprise-ready features too, SurveySparrow is at par with global standards. From infinite sub-accounts to inside-out customization, including white labeling, the SurveySparrow platform is thoughtfully designed to scale & fit your unique needs. While most of our competitors are too expensive for the SMBs or mid-market, SurveySparrow offers premium services that fits anyone’s budget.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you’re looking to raise?
We have raised $1.4 million in seed funding from Prime Venture Partners early 2019.
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