Getting a line of credit in India is not always easy, especially for students. As they’re usually first-time credit users, they’re looking for a convenient, simple and more accessible source of funding. FinTech startup Slice is on a mission to change the status quo by giving students credit to buy products such as laptops and mobile phones, and enabling them to pay in monthly instalments.
The founders, Deepak Malhotra and Rajan Bajaj, observed that while they were in college, the payment channels they had available were either inaccessible or they had to wait for a long time before they could access the money. Motivated by their own experience, they decided to establish Slice in 2015. Most students are unable to pay for more expensive items in cash, upfront. This is where Slice steps in, giving them access to simple and flexible payment options. “We provide a credit line of up to Rs 60,000 to students from over 300 colleges in Bengaluru and Chennai, and are planning to expand to more cities before the end of this calendar year,” said Suhas Reddy, Director of Operations, Slice.
A slice of the credit pie for young minds
Slice payment cards are tailored to suit the needs of students and young professionals between the ages of 18 and 29 years. It enables them to buy collateral-free products and services online on EMI through an app. It offers a RuPay-powered physical card to purchase items and pay later, which is similar to credit cards.
When a student searches for a product, the platform provides monthly payment options along with down payment details. Students can choose their preferred payment option and use their ‘student ID’ to purchase the product. The platform might require additional information such as the phone number of a classmate or a parent.
Slice had previously selected another messaging platform to help with the growing number of enquiries from students eager to set up accounts. “We found that most students liked to use live chat to contact us, but they expected immediate responses, which put a huge amount of pressure on our customer support team,” said Suhas. The platform they used didn’t offer adequate visibility into how long it was taking the team to respond to enquiries or reporting on how they could improve their customer support.
“The quality of our customer support is extremely important to us. It is what sets us apart in our market and we needed a solution that would help us centralise our support function, give us greater visibility, accountability and ultimately help us to provide a better service to our customers,” he adds.
Managing customer support with Zendesk
In March 2017, Slice decided to migrate to Zendesk to manage its customer support operations. The startup emphasised on enabling customers to self-serve and invested in building a help centre to answer common questions in real time. Even though they’ve only been using Zendesk for a month, the change has been significant and they have transitioned to Zendesk’s ticketing system with Support and help centre through Guide.
“With Zendesk Support, we’re able to answer so many more customer queries and my team loves using it. The analytics information available from Support has proved invaluable to us as we strive to continually improve the service we provide to our customers,” says Suhas.
He adds, “I’ve been so impressed by the data analytics available already. I can see how long our agents are taking to respond to queries and can therefore help to manage their workloads more effectively. This data is invaluable as we grow because I know when we need to bring on more customer agents, which we’re doing over the next couple of months.”
The number of apps that integrate into Zendesk Support has certainly been an eye-opener to Suhas and his team. “Round Robin, the ticket assignment app, has been a particular favourite. I just go into the app store and have a look at what’s available for us to use. It saves me bothering my busy tech team, to be honest. We can try them ourselves and use the ones that work best for our team,” he says.
The way forward with Zendesk
Today, Slice serves 1,50,000 customers and solves around 400 tickets per day. Their average first response time is 7 hours and average resolution time is 9.6 hours. While they are currently focused on optimising their customer experience with Support and Guide, they’re already considering adding Zendesk’s live chat and messaging solutions later in the year.