In this month’s edition of our In conversation… series, we got chatting with someone whose team works hard and smart to ensure Vendekin’s customers – new and existing vending operators (NVOs & EVOs) and brands – achieve business success as they become a part of the instant commerce revolution with smart vending provided by Vendekin’s best in industry cashless vending solutions in India. Vendekin Technologies is known for spearheading VCommerce or vending commerce and unattended retail through a patented touchless and cashless technology complemented by a comprehensive analytics and aggregation portal vNetra.
In this riveting conversation, Apoorv Nene, head of Customer Success at Vendekin Technologies shares his experiences of leading the department and the most common and unusual challenges his teams tackle in providing a delightful experience with smart vending machine solutions to entrepreneurs in India.
Leading Customer Success at Vendekin
Apoorv is an Industrial Engineer from the University of Illinois Chicago and an executive alumnus of IIM Kozhikode. Armed with the experience spent working with American Axle & Manufacturing as a quality & industrial engineer and ZOLLER India & South East Asia as a technical sales manager in the United States and India respectively, Apoorv joined Vendekin Technologies in June 2021, just as the country was coming out of the pandemic-induced lockdowns and getting used to the contactless approach to daily life.
What exactly does Customer Success mean at Vendekin?
According to Apoorv, it’s simple. When a customer feels valued, feels that his/her decision to venture into this industry with Vendekin has begun showing results that are visible and tangible, that there is Customer Success.
Apoorv and his team of 15, which also includes a part of the operations team, work with two kinds of people every day. One, the ‘Customers’ consisting of vending machine operators, entrepreneurs and brands. This can range from experienced players to new entrants, both to whom Vendekin provides vending machine solutions in the form of smart vending machines, intelligent RetroBox and the SaaS software powering them. The second type of folks his team interacts with are the ‘Consumers’, those making transactions and purchases using Vendekin-powered smart vending machines. These consumers reach out to Vendekin using the in-app messenger with suggestions, complaints, or questions. Apoorv’s team steps in here by providing solutions directly or bringing the operator into the loop to ensure the issue is resolved in the shortest possible time. This way it’s a double win for the end-consumer as there is always another level of redressal of their complaints and concerns.
How does the Customer Success team help brands and new entrepreneurs?
The customer success teams are by the customer’s side right from the time they are on-boarded with Vendekin. The teams work in tandem with the marketing team in educating the customer about how to extract maximum benefit out of their smart vending machines by making optimum usage of the analytics platform - vNetra. These smart vending machine solutions provided include technical troubleshooting, marketing assistance, promotional strategy planning, and customisations of the vending machines and the software as per the client’s business requirements. The operations team in particular plays a vital role in ensuring that installation and commissioning of vending machines is carried out with utmost diligence. A thorough software and machine operation training is provided to the customers to ensure a good consumer experience.
A bridge between Customer and Solutions
The Customer Success department is very crucial to Vendekin in making smart, unmanned retail successful globally and for the clients to ensure they embrace and ride this revolution to achieve business success.
This department is the bridge between customers and the various departments of Vendekin, ensuring a thriving synergy that results in growth and ‘success’ for everyone.
Some brands we might know…
The team closely works with EVOs like Instago, Grabbit, Vendiman and Snackit, as well as established brands like Haldiram’s, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages, Georgia Tea & Coffee, Godrej & Boyce and Cafe Desire.
What is next for the future of unmanned retail
Usually people compare the Indian vending machine industry with the ones abroad. The scope to scale was always huge outside the country. But post-pandemic, people in India have increasingly become used to new ways and innovation of retail. Especially in the adoption of smart vending machine solutions when it comes to making impulse purchases made with convenience of time and location. Moreover, post-pandemic end-consumers are also looking for touchless and cashless methods to carry out simple transactions for their own safety and others’. According to Apoorv, the future of instant commerce or VCommerce is only going to get better! Based on the current scenario, labour costs are not going to come down, and for a new entrepreneur, this unattended retail model provides great value at a much lower cost compared to setting up an actual brick and mortar business. This is also true for brands, who have realised that their margins and reach can grow at a greater pace and scale if they are to follow the unattended retail model of instant commerce.
Found this conversation interesting? Check out our other blogs in the In Conversation series. And if you’re a brand or an entrepreneur who would like to explore the possibility of adding a new channel of sales or income through smart vending machines, reach out to us on firstname.lastname@example.org.