That is one of the many questions that made Hrishikesh Datar curious enough to start VakilSearch.com
VakilSearch is in the business of making tiresome and tedious legal procedures as simple as buying a product from Flipkart or Amazon.Gone are the days where you'd need to run around confused how to get even simple legal and statutory requirements sorted out. Read on to learn more.
A venture funded startup from Chennai with about 100 people on the team, they had significant traction in the market but most of the process was offline driven through phone calls and emails. The old website was only designed to capture customer contact details and pass on the details to the business development team. It was the business development team’s responsibility to call/email the customer, ask a long list of questions and then eventually get the customer to pay for the services.
After 3 days of launching wizards for 44 odd services the daily revenue from the wizard, is already equal to the daily revenue from a 15 person business development team
We started with solving the most important problem first. They didn’t want to scale the customer acquisition process by hiring more business development executives. They wanted to build an online system that would make process collecting customer details and getting the customer to pay online without any intervention from a business development executive.
To solve the problem of expensive customer acquisition, we proposed a wizard based approach that would ask the customer intelligent questions and lead the customer to the right service choices. We validated the idea by building a quick prototype for one type of legal service, in about a week and launched it to paying customers. The prototype generated enough conversion to positively vet the hypothesis that customers would indeed answer questions, select the right recommended service and then make an online payment, bypassing the long phone calls with the business development team.
We built the Customer Acquisition System to solve this problem. The system had the following key components:
Meta Wizard: Hrishi’s (our customer), long term goal was to use the VakilSearch platform to quickly launch any professional services (like, legal, company secretary and chartered accountants). We had to enable the marketing team at VakilSearch to quickly create wizards that would guide the customer to the right product. We created an admin tool what would let the marketing team define services, create wizards by adding questions, expected answer types and logic to conditionally connect the questions.
Recommendation Engine: We created an engine that could analyze customers’ response to questions in the wizard and recommend the services most appropriate. We also enabled the product team to stitch recommended services to the wizard and also configure up sell and cross sell services.
Pricing Engine: Pricing of legal services is complicated because of varying government rules for different types of services. To complicate matters the rules are different in each state of India. We built a pricing engine that would enable the marketing team to create dynamic pricing for complex pricing scenarios in a matter of minutes. It was as easy as creating a formula in an Excel sheet.
Customer Portal: We created a way to generate the customer facing website from a set of configuration files. The marketing team would create wizards, assign recommendations and price services at the backend. The front end of the entire app would then be dynamically generated without writing a single line of code. This would help Hrishi realize his dream of launching new services on the platform in a matter of minutes.
Analytics: Analytics is a key part of any consumer app. It is critical for the product team to know how the user behaves of the site. We created a configurable analytics framework, where success or failure events would be generated at every user interaction without the marketing team having to specify any additional inputs or configurations
Hrishikesh Datar, a graduate from National Law School in Bangalore, wanted to make legal really simple and started VakilSearch about 2 years back. He and his co-founders transformed lengthy processes like company incorporation and trademark registration into simpler process driven tasks that could be largely performed by a back office guided by a small team of legal experts. His vision was to be the Flipkart or Amazon of professional services.
Ruby on Rails