Our phones are our lifelines, and as people continue to rely on their mobile devices for just-about everything, businesses are responding accordingly.
Helpshift released its customer-service solution out of beta today, making it available to any business that wants to connect with their customers in the “thumb-driven world.” Helpshift has built a native mobile SDK that developers can download and code into mobile applications. It connects mobile customers with companies’ support staff to provide a “native support experience.” People on their phones can file a customer service ticket without leaving the app, so they don’t have to visit a website, place a phone call, or send an e-mail to get help.
“There’s a noticeable gap in the marketplace for mobile-first customer service and support,” CEO Abinash Tripathy said in an e-mail. “As business goes mobile, they need more effective ways to provide service and support to their customers, otherwise customers abandon the app and the business loses revenue. Helshift is not simply about customer service and support, it’s about providing a uniquely delightful customer experience for mobile customers.
The Apple App Store and Google Play comprise a multibillion marketplace. Mobile is clearly an important revenue channel and Tripathy said mobile customers are fickle and less likely to spend money if they are unhappy with an application. He said that native integration is the “only way” to provide truly mobile customer service and support.
Zendesk and Salesforce offer mobile support products, but Helpshift’s solution has features that stand out. Representatives can create custom alerts and view information about the customers’ mobile devices, account information, debug logs, and transaction history to understand (and respond) to each ticket more specifically. The goal is to boost engagement and sales while reducing customer churn, support ticket volume, overhead costs, and bad reviews.
Hundreds of application including Astrid, DoubleDutch, and Lemon are using Helpshift, and today the SDK is open to anyone from a small startup to a global enterprise. It was cofounded by Tripathy, who started the India division of Zimbra Inc. (which was acquired by Yahoo ) and previously worked at Openwave and Oracle, along with cofounder and CTO Baishampayan Ghose, in 2011.
The company raised $3.25 million from True Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners in October and currently has 25 employees. It is based in San Francisco.