As we wrap 2018 up at Freshworks, my attention was drawn to a New York Times magazine special on technology. The long feature brought to the mainstream something that we are really invested in: Conversational AI (artificial intelligence) and a 360 view of customer data.
From bots that chat with you to help with anxiety and depression, and those that help you schedule deliveries to even robots that do random things you ask them to, there is now a wide swathe of technology that is helping people accomplish what they want to, and at scale.
When we launched Freddy at our user conference earlier this year, this was exactly our vision for it: An AI engine that will enable omnichannel capabilities across our products. Packaged as our uber-cute canine, Freddy became all that and more: working in concert to provide the best experience based on the entire customer journey.
And as the New York Times says, people are going to become more and more comfortable with using technologies like this to help them do their jobs. And we are well placed to take advantage of this shift in behaviour, like what Freddy does for PhonePe, a Flipkart company that is India’s largest UPI-based payment platform.
For PhonePe, Freddy fetches context from the transactions made and offers contextual assistance for a personalized self-service experience from within the app. “We adopted Freshworks’ Freddy Omnibot platform for a highly-automated and personalized customer experience,” says Vishal Gupta, head of product at PhonePe. “We have been using it for a year and can confidently say that we have accomplished most of what we had in mind.”
Additionally, another event across the business landscape lent credence to the other big announcement we had in 2018: The launch of Freshworks 360, our data platform for the entire customer journey.
The event I’m referring to is SAP’s $8 billion acquisition of Qualtrics, a major event in the enterprise software domain. Ben Thompson of Stratechery breaks the move down, getting deep into the why of it. He quotes the chief executive officer of SAP, Bill McDermott, on an investor call: “There are millions of complaints every day about disappointing customer experiences. This is called the experience gap. Businesses used to have time to sort this out, but in today’s unforgiving world, the damage is immediate, disruption is imminent. This has shifted the challenge from running a business to guaranteeing great experiences for every single person.”
Again, this is exactly the reason for Freshworks 360’s existence. With damage almost immediate, organisations have to invest in making sure that their tools talk to one another and that information flows through the system, ensuring great experiences for each and every customer.
With Freshworks 360, a support agent will be privy to all the sales data he needs to give him context as he provides support. Similarly, a salesperson will have all the prospect’s support history on call so he can make sure he is giving his prospect the perfect sales pitch. And this is just one example. With separate bundles for different requirement, including sales, support, and marketing, Freshworks 360 will make sure that information is ready to retrieved and used exactly when it is required to make a decision.
There it is, then. We have everything our customers might need lined up and ready. With the platform we have set up, we will continue to innovate and pack more and more value in our products. In short, we are ready for 2019, and if the success of 2018 is anything to go by, it’s going to be amazing!