‘Democratically designed software should make customers self-reliant’

[Edit Notes: This blog is part of our series on Indian Democratic Design, a uniquely Indian approach to designing powerfully simple, scalable, well-crafted and affordable solutions that makes our customers self-reliant. In this piece, Prashanthini Mande, manager at Freshworks Academy, talks about the need to empower users with learning tools to make them self reliant. To learn more about Indian Democratic Design go here.]

Our products are used by all kinds of customers. On one end of the spectrum, we have the tech-savvy folks who like to tinker with software and figure things out by themselves. But we also have customers on the other end, who are used to conducting business in person or are brand new to business software. And we aim to serve all of them well. It doesn’t make sense to spend inordinate amounts of time learning, implementing and configuring software when you could just do it yourself.

At Freshworks, we put power into the hands of the users through intuitive, self-explanatory interfaces, easy integrations and straightforward workflows. This not only makes users more confident and autonomous but also spurs them on to get the most out of their software and for their money.

To that end, we try to make our customers self-reliant and empower them with powerful learning tools. And that’s how Freshworks Academy was built– with the democratic design principle of ‘self-reliance’ in mind. New customers don’t have to rely on us to help them set up the product to suit their business workflow. Employees don’t have to depend on their managers to get up to speed. They can enroll and take courses at their own pace in their own time.

“As the manager of our self-service learning portal for Freshworks, I’m at the front lines of user experience and productivity. I spend time with our engineers and designers, sharing with them the latest data and insights from our online courses to constantly improve the user experience and make the learning curve as low as possible,” says Prashanthini Mande, Manager, Freshworks Academy.

While our Product and Design teams strive to make our products easy to use for our customers, we also wanted to create a space that acts as a safety net for those who want more. This led to the creation of a self-learning, always-available training portal with courses tailored for our customers.

When we had the idea of creating a training portal specifically for customers to learn about Freshworks, we spoke to a lot of customers about how they train and onboard new employees. In addition to getting trained on the tools they could use, new employees almost always get trained on soft-skills. This gave us the idea to turn the training portal into a place where customers can get trained on every skill they need to be successful at their jobs, not just in using Freshworks software.

“I constantly talk to customers to understand the latest trends and issues. I create learning modules that help them become self-reliant and share it with the support team. Then we translate that into product improvements,” says Prashanthini.

Academy is also for customers who like to stay on top of the updates and improvements we make to our products. We’re glad to be able to enhance the user experience in a whole another way and help them achieve the career goals they set out for themselves. Just like our products, our courses are loved by customers for their simplicity and user-friendliness.

On that note, we just launched our latest marketing masterclass on Freshworks Academy. Read more about it here.