Mailflo is a customer support tool that works right out of Gmail.
Mailflo lets you convert an email into a task, add it to your customer support pipeline, and assign it to any of your customer support agents. It also makes it very easy to look at who is working on what, without ever having to step out of your Gmail.
At whom is your startup aimed?
Mailflo is aimed at customer support and sales teams of one to 50 people in size, who get a lot of their queries via email.
How does your startup stand out against its competitors?
While every other customer support tool tries to portray email as the problem, we enable a workflow that allows teams to stay inside their Gmail accounts, and still be efficient.
By enabling teams to do customer support from Gmail, we make sure that there’s nothing to learn and adapt to. Their customers love it too, because it allows customer support to become very transparent, with no ticket numbers and oddly formatted emails coming from help desks.
Where did the idea for the startup come from?
We have been running a very successful product called GrexIt (grexit.com) for two years now. GrexIt lets users share their Gmail labels with their colleagues, and build Gmail based workflows for customer support, project management, etc.
Mailflo came about from what we learned when building GrexIt and supporting its customers. We could clearly see that one of the top use cases for GrexIt was the support function, and we decided to build a tool customized for this function.
Did you have any concerns when starting your business, if so what were they?
The biggest question in our mind was – would users be open to give a product access to their Gmail accounts. This was very important for us, as Mailflo, and our earlier product GrexIt, need IMAP access to Gmail accounts to function.
We learned that as more and more data and business functions move into the cloud, people are increasingly open about sharing access and information with services that act responsibly and inspire confidence.
What is your business background, and what got you interested in startups?
I worked at Mentor Graphics, the Electronic Design Automation company, writing compilers in C++ for five years. Towards the end of the five year period, I got interested in web and mobile, and that led me to start my first venture. My first venture was a consulting and outsourced application development firm. I ran that for around four years with good success, and then started my current company GrexIt.
How did you initially raise funding for your company?
We initially raised money from Morpheus, a startup incubator in India, and from the Citrix Startup Accelerator based in Santa Clara. It was not very hard, given that we had a good product, and we were focusing on email which is already acknowledged to be a great innovation opportunity.
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
Building a world class team, and keeping it together. Our team is our biggest asset, and whatever our products GrexIt and Mailflo have achieved can almost completely be attributed to the great work our team team has done.
How have you kept your business relevant and engaged with your audience over the last three years?
Listening to customers is the best way to stay relevant. I stay on top of all customer support and sales conversations with our customers, and am constantly looking for signals that can help us improve our product and marketing.
Almost everything we have added to our product in the last two years has been based on direct feedback from customers and users.
How long has your business been in making, and who is the team behind the business?
We have been running our business for a little over 3 years now. The founders are:
Nitesh Nandy – https://www.linkedin.com/in/niteshnandy
Niraj Ranjan Rout -https://in.linkedin.com/in/nirajranjan
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Getting the first 50 paying customers is always the biggest challenge. Its a constant process of talking to users, going back to the product, making tweaks and changes, and achieving a good level of fit with the expectations of the early adopters.
In the coming year, what would you like to achieve with your business?
We would like to build the right partnerships for taking our products grexit.com and mailflo.io to a larger number of customers. We’re looking for strategic partnerships with hosting companies, resellers and integrators.
What has been your most valuable lesson so far since starting your business?
Whenever anything gets too difficult – be it customer conversion, retention, acquisition, marketing or sales, take a long hard look at your product. The key almost always lies in your product.
Finally, if you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about starting a business, what would it be?
Go to market fast. As fast as possible. Find early adopters, put your product in front of them, listen to them, and iterate.