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Providing in-app customer support help from Helpshift

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Posted Thursday, September 07, 2017 by RICHARD HARRIS, Executive Editor


Providing in-app customer support help from Helpshift
In today's hyper-competitive market, a developer must be sure to remove all potential friction points, which can irritate customers, or risk app extinction. Even the best of apps have seen this negative trend over a long period of time due directly to subjects like, customer support, scalability, and poor retention efforts.

We had a chat with Abinash Tripathy, co-founder and CSO of Helpshift, to learn more about the struggles that mobile developers are currently engaged with.

ADM: What do you think are the biggest challenges facing mobile app developers today?


Tripathy: The biggest challenges facing mobile developers today are having to find and keep their customers engaged and happy so they can have a viable business in the hyper-competitive app economy.

Keeping customers engaged and happy is only possible if the developers have a very efficient way to talk to their customers right in their app and be able to get feedback and reports of issues they are facing in the app. Armed with the insights their customers provide via support issues and feedback, app developers can continuously improve their apps and meet their customer's' expectations to stay relevant to their customer base.

ADM: New consumer expectations have upped the ante on mobile. What is Helpshift doing to meet the new normal?


Tripathy: Take Uber, for instance, where a cab can be hailed with a push of a button and in a matter of a few minutes, mobile has brought about a sense of immediacy like never before. The expectations from customer support in this era are also about immediacy. Helpshift is the only in-app customer service solution that enables brands/developers to engage with their users in real-time and at very large scale, which is typical of mobile apps driving high levels of customer satisfaction while driving down support costs.

ADM: Why is it important to have in-app support today compared with traditional phone or email support?


Tripathy: You do not have to look far to see the negative connotations associated with phone and email support. Phone support leads consumers through a rabbit hole of prompts and suggestions, then problems frequently do not get resolved by the time they reach an agent. It really is a mental drain and waste of time for your users. Email is a little more useful, but it is only an effective channel for non time-sensitive queries. Mobile developers need to put themselves in the shoes of the end user who has little time and lots of other apps to choose from. Users do not want to leave an app to solve a problem, they want to stay within the context of the app, get their problem solved quickly, and move on.

ADM: What is your view on the impact AI will have on the customer support industry?


Tripathy: When you think about the impact younger generations have had on the digital mobile industry, efficiency and accuracy are some of the most important aspects to the mobile experience. So although machine learning and AI technology is nascent, we see AI technology having an important role in assisting agents and end users get problems solved more accurately and quickly.

ADM: What is your view on chatbots and voice technology?


Tripathy: Chatbots have a long way to go until they are effective enough to independently interact fully with humans. However, we see chatbots as an useful tool to handle simple and repetitive actions. For example, responding to simple phrases, welcoming users to a chat screen, or automatically responding when the user is inactive for a certain length of time. With regards to voice technology, functionality like Alexa and Siri have made automatic speech recognition (APR) technologies an effective way to create a personal shopper and assistant for the user. However, when it comes to the complexity of a support query and understanding the nuances of customer support, APR has a way to go before is becomes effective.

ADM: As an app developer, learning where customer pain points are is important to app development. What is Helpshift's approach to learn and iterate?


Tripathy: Many of our customers use Helpshift data as an integral part of their product release cycle. By incorporating feedback, product managers are able learn about those factors that are the most in demand for users. It is that feedback that is used to create a backlog of features for the next release cycle.

ADM: What is Helpshift's approach to workflow management?


Tripathy:
We offer a variety of workflow management tools in order to assists agents in resolving problems as quickly as possible. Helpshift's automations functionality assists agents by allowing them the ability to automate responses and actions based on specific criteria.
Abinash Tripathy Talking About Helpshift
Abinash Tripathy
Co-founder and CSO of Helpshift

ADM: What is Helpshift's approach to handling scale?


Tripathy: Helpshift is used by some of the largest organizations in the world, handling massive scale. It handles 500 million monthly users, more than 150 million monthly messages and more than 3500 apps. From the get go, it's focused on building a robust product that could handle large volumes of issues.

ADM: Why have so many mobile gaming companies opted to have Helpshift integrated with their app?


Tripathy: Helpshift boosts mobile app engagement, retention and monetization. These are metrics that have always been high priority items for the mobile gaming industry. As mobile has become more and more valuable across other industries, companies are realizing that they need to focus on some of the aspects that have made mobile games some of the top grossing apps on the iOS apps and Google Play stores.

ADM: What do you think the future will look like for the customer support industry?


Tripathy: As computers and mobile devices have become interwoven with how we live our daily lives, customer support will enter the world of ambient computing and become a more natural extension of the space around us - driven by voice and AI technologies.

About Abinash Tripathy


Abinash Tripathy is co-founder and CEO of Helpshift, a customer support platform for mobile. Abinash is utilizing his 20 years of experience with mobile technology and CRM to re-imagine CRM for the post-PC era. Prior to founding Helpshift, Abinash created and ran a number of early and growth stage companies where he was responsible for conceptualizing and delivering the world’s first Unified communications platform, Mobile Photo Messaging and MMS products to the market. He started his career at Oracle where he was part of the team that wrote the first in-house CRM solution




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