Webinar Wrap-up: Urban Company’s Journey of Scaling Growth by Leveraging AI

If you run an online business, it is vital to ensure that your platform is in top shape and accessible to customers 24/7. Better user experience is the key to earning customer loyalty and driving growth. A customer-focused approach is one of the key factors behind the success of India’s largest home services company – Urban Company. With a fleet of 25000+ trained professionals, the company offers at-home services such as salon, spa, repairs, cleaning, painting, fitness, and pest control through their website and mobile app. As the number of online users, new services, and product features grow, how does Urban Company handle the complexity and challenges that come with managing a rapidly growing online marketplace?

To learn more, we spoke to Mohit Agrawal, Director of Engineering at UrbanCompany in our latest webinar session. In this webinar wrap-up article, we have covered the key takeaways and lessons from Urban Company on leveraging AI-enabled solutions to optimize application performance and drive platform growth.

User Experience Matters

User experience is critical for any online marketplace. In the case of Urban Company, on one side the application caters to service providers, and on the other side, there are the buyers or users of these services. For the buyers of service, in addition to the online experience, there are expectations to be met in terms of the offline experience in form of the home services they receive.

During the pandemic, Urban Company quickly took up new safety initiatives to ensure more hygienic and safer services to clients. Be it platform capabilities or offline services, the team adapts quickly to meet customer expectations and empower service professionals. Urban Company boasts a higher-than-average NPS (Net Promotor Score) of 46% thanks to its customer-obsessed culture and initiatives.

Leveraging Artificial Intelligence to Grow Your Digital Marketplace

Part of managing an evolving and growing marketplace is the complexity that it brings with it. As the business grows, the platform becomes more complex. There are multiple databases and complex microservice architecture to monitor and manage. The more platform capabilities you have, the more data points you need to monitor to ensure that everything works well without a glitch. AI-enabled autonomous monitoring and automation solutions can help digital marketplaces manage this complexity of real-time data monitoring of KPIs and speed up the RCA process for faster issue resolution.

Real-time Monitoring of Metrics that Impact User Experience

The overall digital user experience is impacted by multiple variables such as the performance of the app, any broken flows, and even slow loading pages. There are hundreds of APIs and behind-the-scenes microservice architectures to monitor. Additionally, new product features and codes are added every day. You also need to factor in the geo-specific offers and services being launched. There is a real need for automating the whole process of monitoring and managing these metrics to optimize the online user experience. Artificial intelligence makes it easier to monitor the application KPIs in real-time, taking the efficiency of IT operations to a whole new level.

In addition to monitoring internal IT systems, AI also helps in tracking rapidly changing external variables that impact users such as network latency, issues with third-party payment gateway apps, etc. By leveraging AI, you get an overall view of all the UX metrics in one place for optimizing the end-to-end brand experience.

It helps to invest in a robust data pipeline for collecting data points across domains so that you get a full view of your application performance and user experience. Another good practice to follow is to structure your data right from the start so that it is easier to make sense of it.

Downtimes and Why You Should Care About it?

User experience for any online marketplace is directly proportional to the tech downtime. Consider the number of customers and revenue per minute you lose when your platform stops working. You lose the loyalty of old users. For new users, their first touchpoint with the brand is disappointing and they are more likely to give negative reviews about the app. Downtime has an unfavorable effect on your overall NPS and business. If you run a digital marketplace, reducing downtime should be one of your top priorities.

Alert Fatigue is Real and How You Can Reduce it?

If you are collecting data and setting alerts, there is a good chance that you are getting too many alerts. The engineering team ends up spending a lot of time investigating these alerts and issues even before they start the remediation steps. Alert fatigue is real and there are steps you can take to reduce it.

One way is to leverage AI to set custom alerts, so the alerts are structured and prioritized based on the impact it has on users. Always start by monitoring the top services and systems that are impacted so that alerts are localized.

You should also have a system in place to figure out the correlation between alerts so that you can pinpoint and fix the root cause of issues. It is good to have a system in place to correlate incidents so that you can know all factors that lead to a specific user experience issue. AI-enabled solutions speed up and improve the accuracy of RCA (Root Cause Analysis). It helps in automating incident detection, correlation, and causation, enabling teams to accurately observe and act. You should also invest in the right APM and debugging tools for monitoring and improving your application.

“Proactive planning is better than reactive firefighting.” -Mohit Agrawal, Director of Engineering

Key Takeaways:

  • As an online marketplace grows, the complexity of the IT systems also grows.
  • Reducing downtimes is critical for meeting user experience expectations and business objectives.
  • Invest in a robust data pipeline to gather data-points across domains to get a complete picture of UX metrics.
  • Autonomous real-time data monitoring systems are critical for managing application performance and UX.
  • AI speeds up the RCA, reduces alert fatigue, and aids in auto-scaling the platform.
  • Have a system in place for autonomous monitoring, correlation, and causation.

 

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