How well do we understand the problem!

“If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.”
― Albert Einstein

With the above statement as our guiding light, we at Patch have been working tirelessly to solve some of the communications use cases. Today’s blog is about one such use case of “conference calls”. Here we are providing a sneak peak in how we approached this problem.

One thing, which we established early on in our journey, was that conference calls are still a pain. There is a tremendous number of mobile app and web based solutions/products out there but the none of them seem to provide a hassle free end to end solution for this problem. This got us to the basic principle of problem solving. What exactly is the problem!

Here is our understanding of the problem

WhatsApp Image 2018-07-24 at 11.46.56 AM

After breaking down the problem and identifying key areas, we decided to build a solution for each of those and here is the product.

We have solved the first 2 parts of the problem and the third is a work in progress!

My next post will be about the solution. How did we solve the first 2 parts of the problem! What are the key differentiators? Etc.

Part 3: Finding answers with Patch.

Its time to find answers to all the problems stated in previous blog posts.

Here’s what we at Patch feel will solve most of our communications problems

  1. Contextual calls
  2. Call scheduler
  3. Smart Calling

Let’s just take a closer look at the above-mentioned points with examples:

Contextual calls: We at Patch believe that the world needs Contextual calling. As in, one should always know “WHY?” is someone calling rather than just the WHO! The WHO has been addressed by products like trucaller and it helps to an extent but it’s the WHY which matters the most. Here are the examples:

  1. A HR person calling for a job interview while you are a bit busy in some mundane task, looking at the name you might choose to miss the call, but looking at the Context you can take a better and a more advised action
  2. A business calls you, trying to sell you something, while you are waiting for an important call. Only if you know the Context, will you be able to disconnect the call and keep your phone free from SPAM calls and be available

Call scheduler: Bigger the business, more the number of customers they will have and hence higher will be the wait time for you on their customer support IVR. We believe all businesses should have a scheduler in place, where the customer can just schedule a call at their convenience and businesses availability, there shouldn’t be any painful waiting in todays world. E.g.

  1. If I were to call my bank to request my KYC to be done, I should not wait on their IVR, instead I should be able to choose a time which suits me (is within business working hours) and schedule a call or a meeting by defining the context
  2. If I had a complaint about my DTH and wanted to call my operator, I should just be able to schedule a call with their CC and the system should then dial out and connect me with the right agent at once (someone who already knows the reason of my call and is qualified to assist me), instead of me waiting on their IVR to connect with an agent

Smart Calling: We strongly believe that a user should be allowed to do more than just being able to disconnect or pick up a call e.g. defer and redirect

  1. If you have read my last post you would remember how working parents promise their children that they will call them back, but somehow they forget in their busy schedules. Well we at Patch invented something called as “call defer” so say if you are busy right now, just defer that incoming call. Now if the caller was your daughter or son, they will see that dad is busy and he has deferred the call by 15 minutes (that means the call is scheduled for after 15 minutes) and Patch system will dial out and connect dad and child.
  2. When I go on a vacation, I set “out of office” on my mailbox, but I still end up receiving business related phone calls which isn’t good. So we at Patch invented something called “call redirect”, which helps a user to redirect any business or family related call to his colleague or a family member to attend, whereby ensuring the business doesn’t suffer and neither does your vacation.

We are proud of a few innovations that we have done at Patch as they don’t just signify our high technology prowess but also our high EQ.

Please feel free to post your comments and suggestions. We are here and we are listening. We are committed to making phone communications effective and efficient.


Part 2 of my smart phone is not smart..

Thinking about all the missing use cases related to communications, here are a few more:

  • I can set an OOO (out of office) for my mailbox but what about my phone?
  • Why to say please hold while I transfer your call?
  • Why do I have to ask and check with people which platform they use for a conference call! E.g. Skype, Zoom, Conference. Bridge etc.
  • Shouldn’t I know which all calls are still running – while I couldn’t join earlier I now can
  • Why should I add people in my contact book to make a call on a specific platform e.g. WhatsApp!
  • I think most of my business communications happen on mails, then shouldn’t I be allowed to schedule my business calls via my mail, with a guarantee that the call will happen!

Next post will be about finding some answers.

I don’t think the phone is Smart..

My phone is not smart – I do have a smartphone though!

If you are wondering about the topic of this article and thinking that the writer is confused – you are kinda right. I was confused when I first pondered on the question “is my smartphone really smart?” and then I decided to find out and list down the stuff, which in a way was bothering me about this device I was carrying. This article is about what’s missing in our smartphones.

Now since I can do so much with my smart-device that its nearly impossible to imagine a life without it, but still it so happens that whenever it comes to making or receiving calls, this smart devices seems to fail me almost every single time. Following are the reasons for me saying this.

I will put my problems as use cases:

  • I receive SPAM calls e.g. people trying to sell stuff now these calls are from unknown numbers off-course
  • I end up picking up all the calls as I am not sure which one will be of that delivery boy from my favourite app,
  • I call up the customer care of my bank and I am made to wait on their IVR for 10 minutes – its irritating to say the least
  • My 5 year old daughter calls me when I am in a meeting and I disconnect the call, but she calls again, now I have to pick the call (putting the meeting on a pause) and tell her that I am busy and will call back, to which she always says that u wont – yeah maybe she is right, it happens all the time
  • I ordered a cab for my dad as he is not that friendly with smart-devices and then I juggle between the driver and my dad trying to make them meet at the pick up point

This list can actually go on and on but I would like to save the rest of the use cases for other time. Thinking of these has got me exhausted as it is.

So today I am writing to seek answers and also opinions on how people handle these issues, are we all used to the way we communicate! Or do we deserve better and more out of our Smart-Phone?

This is end of Part 1. To be continued……..