The Freshdesk Story
Freshdesk is a cloud-based app that offers businesses a customer service tool to add value to their service. It was founded and created by Girish Mathrubootham of India. Girish was working for a large company for 9 years before he decided to put up this startup with his partner and co-founder, Shan in 2010. His extensive experience and knowledge of cloud computing and helpdesk services, coupled with following Zendesk’s success inspired Girish to design an SaaS product that would target the customer support market.
Growth in Numbers
According to Girish, the concept behind Freshdesk is to solve basic problems in customer support, and offer a management helpdesk solution system that would incorporate feedback and satisfaction surveys. In short, Girish wanted to design a software that wasn’t too cumbersome or have too many steps or processes.
Freshdesk has seen a recent growth spurt with new funding worth $31 million in June 2015, and another $50 million from investors, Tiger Global, Google Capital, and Accel Partners. Their user-base has grown from 4,000 to 50,000 in the past two years, and their team has grown from 6 to 475 employees.
The Freshdesk Features
Freshdesk has always been on the cloud. It offers phone, email, chat, and web tools alongside social channels. The software is a management tool that provides a way to customize customer interactions and forward them to the proper channels and departments.
- Ticketing is very easy to use. Each ticket provides the necessary information to solve customer issues such as:
- Who is assigned to each ticket
- Start times
- Due dates
- Private notes
- Customer data
- Ticket merge
- Priority status
- Email ticketing provides for unlimited mailboxes in order to effectively manage all emails from one place. This helps you to prioritize and categorize tickets. Agents can also collaborate and work as a team using the private notes. This prevents the duplication of work efforts, collision, and risks.
- The Built-in Phone Channel allows the agent to enjoy a dedicated cloud-based call center, which is a cost-effective solution. Users are required to buy a phone number for $1/month and they can receive calls from anywhere in the world. Calls can be recorded automatically, forwarded to mobile devices, and converted into tickets.
- The Self Service Portal allows for customization of the Freshdesk account so it looks like part of a website.
- Mobihelp is an In-app support tool. It provides instant mobile access on FAQs, chat, and customer support at no extra charge.
- In-house reward system is Freshdesk’s offer to users in recognizing outstanding performance by agents. Users can give them the following recognition awards:
- Most Valuable Player
- Speed Racer
- Customer Wow Champion
- Sharp Shooter
These rewards help add a lot of motivation to agents…making work a fun environment.
- Freshdesk Automation is another valuable feature which includes the Freshdesk Dispatch’r (automated ticket dispatch), Supervisor (support tidy-up or time-based actions), and Observer (automated events-triggered actions).
- Enhanced security that includes SSL encrypted servers, global infrastructure, redundant backups, IP whitelisting, single sign, free upgrades and periodic maintenance and fixes
- Analytics, report on customer satisfaction, surveys, load analysis, phone and chat reports, comparison reports, and summary reports
- Other features include Live Chat, feedback widgets, forums, multiple languages and time zones, multiple SLAs, native integration, FreshPlugs, API assistance, and Facebook and Twitter channels
Freshdesk offers three products:
- Freshdesk – The main customer support software
- Freshservice – The internal IT Helpdesk
- Mobihelp – The In-app support
Freshdesk offers free trials for all its plans, and offers five plans:
- Sprout – Free with a maximum of three agents. More than three agents are $15/month and includes email and phone support.
- Blossom – $16/month per agent if paid annually, otherwise the fee is $19/month per agent. This plan includes social media support, community forums, and game mechanics.
- Garden – $25/month per agent if paid annually, otherwise rate is $29/month per agent. This plan includes live chat, multiple locations, and multiple products.
- Estate – $40/month per agent if paid annually or $49/month per agent. This plan includes portal customization, reports, and custom agent roles.
- Forest – This is the top of the line plan at $70/month per agent if paid annually or $79/month per agent and includes custom email servers and IP whitelisting.
Freshdesk is easy to use, which is one of the reasons why it works. Freshdesk is very similar to Zendesk, and is often sometimes referred to as the Zendesk copycat, but lacking in features. Zendesk’s CEO recently tweeted that Freshdesk was a “freaking rip-off” which set off a flurry of comments from analysts and users alike.
The interface is web-based, centralized and user-friendly. It supports Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS, Linux, HP-UX, AIX, Solaris, Unix, IBM OS/400, Web browser (OS agnostic), and Windows 2000.
The ticketing system is very intuitive and makes tracking simple, quick, and convenient.
On the downside, it lacks comprehensive reporting and analytics. Also, the automation could be more responsive, but what it lacks in features, it makes up in customer support. In summary, it is a basic customer support program that works well but is limited in capacity and features. Thus, for small companies, the pricing may be seen as a little steep considering it is a basic software.
Compared to Zendesk, the leader in customer support software, Freshdesk has a great Self Help Community but is not as good as Zendesk’s Multi-Channel and problem management.