Freshworks has announced Freshchat, a messaging software solution to better engage with customers. Freshworks are claiming that this next generation messaging solution improves engagement. It is also promoting it as an improvement on legacy chat solutions used on websites.
Using chat on websites is often frustrating. Moving away from the active tab can end the conversation and puts the customer back at the beginning again. If they leave the session entirely they will have to begin from scratch again, often with a new agent. This is the problem that Freshworks believes that Freshchat will resolve.
The new software will work in both a sales and service environment. It also integrates with websites, web-apps, native mobile apps, and other messaging products. To date this includes Facebook Messenger, but other platforms are planned.
Never lose a conversation…almost
The solution works by using cookies. This assumes that the customer has these enabled. If they do they can return to a chat whenever they get back to their PC without losing anything. From the agent point of view the call will be re-assigned to the best agent available. Where possible this is the original agent. If not it can be one of similar skills. The conversation continues where it previously left off. This means the new agent can quickly scan through the history and will not need to ask questions again.
Srikrishnan Ganesan, Product Head for Freshchat, at Freshworks explains: “We don’t say ‘agents are offline, so you can’t talk anyone right now’. Instead we say ‘go ahead, continue the conversation keep sending your message’. Even if you close that tab and you have come back 2 days later you can go in and send a message on the same thread.”
The software integrates with both other Freshworks products such as Freshdesk and Freshsales. It also integrates with other call centre software using CTI such as Avaya and Cisco. Freshchat will also integrate with Facebook messenger and Twitter, so users can use their messaging platform of choice rather than the Freshchat widget. There is the caveat of users not using cookies or on corporate sites having them cleared out for each session. However with support for Facebook and Twitter as long as multiple conversations are not in place this removes many of the problems of existing webchat solutions. This including Freshworks own legacy one.
Its not just the customer who benefits
The benefits are not just for the end user. Using Freshchat, businesses no longer need to scale up teams to support live chat. This is because they can set expectations about response times for the new solution. Customers can stop and start conversations as they need to without the risk of losing the “thread” of the conversation. This reduces the costs that businesses incur when adopting the technology. It also means that managed correctly it should ensure customer satisfaction is not negatively impacted.
Girish Mathrubootham, CEO and Founder of Freshworks commented: “Businesses today want to provide their consumers with contextual, intelligent and personalized chat experiences. We believe there is a huge gap that live chat products don’t address today compared to real-time consumer messaging apps, which are creating high benchmarks for user engagement.
“Sales and support agents need to be empowered with a single platform that provides the flexibility to engage with prospects and customers who are always multi-tasking. We are excited to offer a game changing chat experiences for our customers by enabling possibilities for unique experiences in a multi-channel package and help push the boundaries of an already well-established business communication channel even further.”
Another benefit of Freshchat is the automation that Freshworks has included from Day 1. There is a bot integrated into the solution. Initial chat conversations can be led by the bot to gather basic information before passing the data onto a relevant agent. The bot is intelligent and Freshworks has used machine learning from a recent Freshworks acquisition, Joe Hukum. That they are using the IP from an acquisition is impressive and demonstrates their ability to integrate new technologies to their platform.
Additionally the solution has support for FAQ’s included. Agents are able to quickly deliver FAQ responses to customers when it becomes clear that this is a common question. This reduces the time that the agent spends answering the call and means that they can respond to a greater number of calls.
Starting at free, Freshchat grows
Freshchat is available under a free plan for companies with less than 10 team members across sales and support. This initial price band is given the name “Sprout”. In keeping with a growth theme FreshWorks have named their pricing tiers Blossom ($15 pp) , Garden ($24 pp) and for larger companies, Estate at $39 per active team member. Pricing is per month.
The solution is available now and the entry level Spout offering is aimed at supporting SME’s during the initial phases of growth. This pricing system is similar to other products and while is why the company boasts so many users.
What does this mean
According to Gartner spend on digital advertising will increase during 2017. This improved chat solution will help companies better engage with customers coming onto their website or mobile application. It ensures that there is a continuous conversions without the legacy frustration. Freshworks will hope that this translates into improved revenues and customer satisfaction for their clients. Early adopters have welcomed the new solution.
Rajesh Magow, Co-Founder and CEO-India, MakeMyTrip commented: “At MakeMyTrip, we are always looking to use innovative technology to make travel seamless and hassle-free for our customers. We are using Freshchat to solve for our customers’ needs with precision, in real time. Not only has it ensured that our customers receive prompt personalized experiences, it has also brought in operational efficiencies that make assisted buying extremely scalable.”