API-first approach and craftsmanship make a nimble solution

Roadmap to providing an immersive customer experience and the technology that goes behind making Freshworks’ products adaptable and intuitive: Sidharth Malik, Chief Revenue Officer at Freshworks, talks to IDG Media.

Sidharth Malik Feb 24th 2018

1. Could you throw some light on Freshwork’s new offerings in ITSM and CRM. What is the rationale behind aggregating Freshdesk and Freshservice?

Freshdesk is a cloud based Customer Service tool and also Freshworks’ flagship product. Customer experience will soon overtake product and price as the key brand differentiator. Freshdesk enables businesses to upgrade their customer experience to meet the expectations of the customers of 2018 and beyond.
Freshservice is a Service Desk built to simplify IT and other business functions. It has proven to be quite popular solving a range of business problems from Enterprise Service Management at Flipkart to Fleet Management at Delhivery.
I find it surprising that many mature businesses in India still continue to use email to handle critical aspects of a business such as customer experience. The solutions Freshworks offer can help them engage better with customers and employees and ultimately, increase revenue.

2. What new products and services can we look forward to in 2018?

2017 was a good year for us, where we saw the launch of four new products. We will continue the momentum and aim to solve more business problems with new products. We have also started giving back to the community by developing free products such as Inbox Grader.

3. Freshwork’s roadmap to provide an immersive customer experience and what sets it apart from competitors in the same space?

There definitely will be an increased focus on AI and Machine Learning and how it can be leveraged to improve customer experience for businesses. We introduced chatbots last year and it turned out to be a big hit among customers. We aim to build on these capabilities this year. Gartner predicts that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of the relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human.
We are also looking to enable businesses to focus on proactive customer support – to identify and solve customer problems before even they are fully aware of it. Increased context and personalisation is key to this challenge. Freshwork’s ability to provide all this at a reasonable price along with easy adoption is what differentiates us from our competition.

4. With the company offering various applications and tools under a single suite, did you face difficulties in integrating the apps and inter-app operability?

Not at all. All our applications are built on the same platform allowing easy integration between products. The entire ecosystem of our products is evolving to work well together as a single unit.

5. What is the company’s go-to-market strategy for the Indian enterprise?

Indian enterprises still use email and legacy systems to manage their interactions with customers and employees. This is chaotic and not sustainable. We want to empower businesses to meet and go beyond the expectations of their customers. I remember reading a stat from Bain & Co. which says that 80% of companies say they deliver 'superior' customer service while only 8% of their customers agree on the same. We aim to help businesses bridge this gap and reap the generous rewards from implementing a simple but effective solution like Freshdesk. We have seen customers like Decathlon and Hamleys reap great benefits in Retail by focussing on customer experience.

6. What technology goes behind making Freshworks’ products adaptable and intuitive?

Like any modern business, Freshworks is also actively incorporating promising technologies like AI, Machine Learning and Big Data into our existing platforms. Apart from the advantages of being on the cloud, most of our products have also been moved to Ember and we are adopting an API-first framework. This ensures faster product cycles, helping us to keep up with the demands of our customer. Our chatbots have proven to be a great differentiator in the Indian market. As we improve upon its capabilities, we hope Freshworks becomes the obvious choice for any business. We have also built a marketplace with 250+ external apps that our customers can use to solve their business problems in the most effective manner possible.
I would also say it is the craftsmanship that goes into the product that differentiates us. We have a dedicated user experience team that collaborates with product managers to get into the shoes of our customers. The result is a product so refreshing that it surprises our customers how easily they are able to master it, despite the complexity of the technology behind it. We practise what we preach, by putting our customers first in all aspects of our business.

This article has been published as part of IDG’s partner services. The views expressed are solely those of the author and not of IDG Media or its editor(s).