Helpshift: A New Breakthrough In The Industry of Customer Support

Helpshift is a privately held mobile software company based in San Francisco, California founded in 2011 by Abinash Tripathy and Baishampayan Ghose. On October 30, 2012, the company debuted the private beta version of its mobile customer service platfor. In a brief interview with the CEO, Abinash Tripathy, we tracked the USP and the journey of HelpShift.

 What innovation in CRM are you trying bring with Helpshift?
We noticed that in an effort to make customer support more convenient and easier, companies spend huge sums of money on contact centres and customer relationship management platforms and technologies.

The rise in smartphones and the realisation that people were spending 90% of their time in apps forced us to look at how companies were providing help to their users. When we looked into this for all the top apps we were using in 2012, it became clear that there was a whitespace as none of the apps we were using had any ability for users to start a conversation with their publishers/developers. Another key insight was that short form text messaging like Whatsapp, iMessage etc was the preferred mode of communication for mobile users. We then applied these learnings and announced the first in-app support product that enabled apps to deliver that exceptional experience to their users.

In the early days of starting out, we created a Quora-like product called QOTD (Question Of The Day) for knowledge management in enterprises which eventually evolved into the customer support platform, Helpshift.

Helpshift is the world’s leading customer support software for mobile. Through an intuitive user interface, Helpshift makes it easy for businesses large and small to proactively support and engage their customers. Our support platform includes native functionality such as in-app FAQ’s, in-app chat, a full CRM ticketing system, in-app campaigns, and in-app surveys, making it easy for companies to provide a best in class customer support experience on any device. We are a mobile SDK (Software Development Kit) that is embedded into apps. We are able to collect information about the customer automatically at a very large scale in the order of billions per day.

How Different In HelpShift from Other CRM

We at Helpshift are built around providing a very high-quality experience inside an app (whether it is on a mobile device, a desktop PC or the web), and that’s what sets us apart. We aim at making the in-app support experience as convenient and effective as possible.

  • Self Service:

      • We are available in apps even when offline

      • Our search-first experience helps users discover answers fast

      • We are fully internationalised to help users in their local languages

      • We push out content updates in real time to apps

    • 100% In- channel:

      • Our In-App chat feels like those familiar consumer chat experiences (iMessage, Facebook Messenger, etc.)

      • We support Live and Asynchronous communication in a single rich experience

      • CSAT surveys are a part of the chat feature

    • Proactive Messaging:

      • We segment users based on application usage and behaviour.

      • We also send timely, targeted messages to users.

      • We go beyond push Messages with an in app Inbox support that supports rich media content and customised actions

        What will be the future in CRM, will AI play a major role?

        The applications of AI in customer service are wide. Helpshift uses AI to drive quick answers to the most common problems that customers face. We apply AI in gleaning knowledge out of unstructured customer/product information. It helps us in automating and augmenting call centre agent workflows. Our AI engine can group similar tickets (customer problems) together, flag the most urgent issues, surface trends in problems and detect/prevent customer churn which ultimately results in superior customer service experience and happier customers.

        How important is funding for a startup? Can a startup survive without funding?

         In today’s world there are very few startup success stories by bootstrapping it alone. Finding product/market fit is vitally important, but so is building a product customers love. Attracting the right talent to build such a product is a key reason for funding a business. Also, gaining customer attention is becoming more and more difficult. Without funding for marketing and sales it is almost impossible to gain the attention required to gain traction when initially launching a product. Therefore, it is very difficult to survive without funding.

         Can Machine Replace Man in The CRM Industry?

        Last year there was a lot of talk about AI and machine learning. Our view is that machines can take over some tasks usually performed by people, but we still have a long way to go before they are accurate enough. People are inherently impatient and expect a machine to understand them instantly. Today, this is often not the case and a human will get frustrated when dealing with a machine. In the customer service space there is an opportunity for chatbots to respond to human questions – but only for menial tasks. Humans will be required to solve more complex human to human interactions. This essentially means that service centres will become more efficient as agents will be required to be more knowledgeable and only tackle the most challenging questions.

        Helpshift is sometimes considered as Freshdesk Alternatives

Helpshift: A New Breakthrough In The Industry of Customer Support
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