The Freshdesk blog
Your daily dose of
peppermints, orange juice and oatmeal cookies...
Freshly squeezed droplets of customer support...
Your daily dose of
peppermints, orange juice and oatmeal cookies...
Freshly squeezed droplets of customer support...
Every weekend is like the arrival of spring here at Freshdesk.
Flowers bloom, butterflies sing, and new features, updates, fixes and refreshing changes see the light, much to the delight of the thousands of agents using Freshdesk.
Speaking of support agents, if you spend 8 hours every day wading through support queries, it’s tough to stay prime, fresh, and in love with every ticket coming in. That’s why, as of this week, we decided to bring some of the flavor of spring into your help desk with the new tickets list view.
The first thing you’ll notice when you jump into “Tickets” in your Freshdesk account today is the new Tickets List View, color coded by Ticket Priorities.
All the Urgent tickets that you need to take care of right away are coded Red, the High priority tickets Orange, the Medium tickets are Blue, and the Low priority tickets are Green. That way, you know exactly how your tickets are spread across priorities, which ones to jump into immediately, and which ones can wait the next few minutes before you resolve them.
In the heat of resolving tickets, you often need to know exactly what the current state of a ticket is. Priorities are great, but you also need to know whether the ticket is new, and waiting to be assigned, if it is overdue, or whether the customer has responded back. You’ll notice these intelligent ticket indicators in the new ticket list view. That means you get to know both the priority of a ticket and what its current state is, the moment you jump into your help desk. Without having to read a single word!
The ticket list view also shows you the time since the last interesting activity on the ticket. That means you now know way more than just when a ticket is due – you know it’s been 10 minutes since your agent replied to a ticket, or 3 since the customer shot a reply. And you still haven’t had to sweat a single click!
“Hover” gets it done – Preview, reassign and modify from the bird’s view
Remember the time in high-school when you had to take a test? You’d run through all the questions, pick out the ones that needed the most attention, and get working on them first. A lot of times in your help desk, you would like to just skim through tickets and replies before you manually categorize, assign or choose to come back later. You now just need to hover your mouse over a ticket to see the latest reply.
You can even modify the ticket properties, change its status and priority, and assign it to an agent right from the Tickets List view.
Microscopes and Telescopes: Jump in and out of Views
“Views” make it easy for you to filter tickets based on what’s important to you, and just view that.
Jumping into views is way easier now – for one thing, they are right there on the top of the tickets view. Want to save a specific filter as a view, or need to throw one of your custom views in the bin? Just choose your filters, click on the view and give it a name to save it. Or hover over an existing view and delete it.
It’s been just two days since the new Ticket List View saw the light, and Freshdesk users are already loving the little intricacies in it that make their help desk even more useful. Love it, hate it, or just have some feedback for us? Let us know on the Freshdesk forums.
For work or for pleasure,
Or for a cup of hot brew,
The world’s on the move,
And so are you.
As with everything else,
Your workplace is now global,
You gotta be prepared,
You gotta go mobile.
So for the super-hero agents
Who smell and fight trouble
Here’s from your refreshing buddy
You’ve now got FreshMobile!
The Freshdesk Mobile App that you guys have been waiting for is finally here
It’s clean, it’s fast, and it works like a charm across a majority of mobile devices. We are calling it FreshMobile!
We know how annoying it is to have to backup your apps every time you change your phone, or not have access when you only have the wife’s iPad with you. That’s why we decided to build FreshMobile as an HTML 5 mobile application that you can fire right out of your browser.
That means you get the same refreshing experience across Androids, iPhones and all your other mobile devices. And you get to access your help desk from any other device as well, without having to deal with app stores and downloads.
Earlier this year, support agents could manage their help desk right from within their mailboxes, with email commands. Now with FreshMobile, agents get to view tickets, resolve issues and win the love of customers right from their phones. You can read more about FreshMobile here.
Oh, and in case you are wondering, FreshMobile is already available for you. Go ahead – point your phone’s browser to your support portal, and start carrying your help desk in your pocket!
We’d love to hear your thoughts
The Batmobile wouldn’t have been half as awesome if Fox did not get Bruce’s feedback on the prototype. We’d love to hear what you think about FreshMobile and your ideas on how we can shrink your help desk to fit your pocket, without shrinking your support super powers.
According to the American Express Global Customer Service Barometer released this May, 40% of consumers in Australia are dissatisfied with the customer service they receive from brands they do business with.
Take a moment and absorb that statistic – for every 5 customers that an Australian business today has, 2 do not even consider the service passable. In fact, only the French are more dissatisfied than consumers down under.
We sat and racked our brains as to why that could be.
It isn’t the economy…
With most countries on the list, the level of customer support seems to be highly correlated with hits on the economy. But though the Australian economy seems to just be settling down after 2 decades of skyrocketing, the economic impact on customer satisfaction still does not seem to make sense.
Is Down Under down?
If you had a bad day, you are likely to vent your frustration at the hot dog vendor for putting in too little mustard. It seems natural to assume customer satisfaction would be correlated with the general happiness index.
We turned to the OECD Better Life Index to figure out how happy our Australian buddies are. What do you know, mate? Australians are ranked as the happiest people in the world!
As it turns out, they rank pretty high on their sense of community, civic engagement and their sense of environment. And things start making a bit more sense.
The ‘social’ media gap in Sydney
There is no place that builds the community like social media. As early as 2010, social media penetration in Australia was at a whopping 90%. Interestingly, fewer than 18% of businesses in the country actively use social media to reach out to customers. And less than half of them actually engage their customers and support them there. That means roughly for every 10 customers screaming in social media, less than 1 business shows that it actually cares.
Because they care!
The Better Life Index also sheds light on another important aspect about Australian consumers – they care. For example, the consistently high voter turnout is an excellent indicator that consumers in Australia want to be heard. The support process is not over with the customer flagging an issue and the business eventually resolving it. For Australians, that is just the beginning.
To really give customers a refreshing experience, Australian businesses need to involve them through the support process and educate them with the what, how and why. And at the end of the day, the business needs to give every customer the platform to share what she thinks about that support experience.
Great support is great business, too
Going back to the Global Customer Service Barometer, it isn’t surprising that Australian consumers are willing to pay 12% more for the goods they already buy, just so they get a better service experience.
That’s not just a lot of dollars lying around for business down under to pick up – that’s happy customers too.
Now that’s a point worth thinking about – 12% extra just for better customer service. And that is just on average. Point is, there’s a consumer segment in the demographics that is prepared to shell out a lot more, just to be treated better.
This is a big deal.
Australian businesses have a huge opportunity on their hands. Time will tell which ones recognize this one and step up their game.
It’s the greatest sporting spectacle on the planet, and the world’s eyes will be on London as the 2012 Olympics kick off tonight.
It will be well past midnight here in the sub-continent when most of us will be watching the opening ceremony.
And yeah, we will be watching.
Sushil Kumar will lead the contingent as flag bearer, and the 82 Indians following him will be carrying the dreams of our proud nation.
Freshdesk joins the country in wishing our Indian contingent all the very best.
May we play fair and may we play hard, may our athletes dazzle on the world’s greatest stage and may the Tricolor fly higher than ever.
On Sunday and Monday (July 22nd & 23rd) our DNS Service Provider Zerigo was a target of a massive DDos attack and 4 of their 6 public name servers stopped responding to DNS queries. Starting at around 10PM PST on Sunday, Freshdesk customers from around the world were facing difficulties intermittently, in accessing Freshdesk servers. Though the Freshdesk website and application were up and running, customers were not able to access the website or their Support Portals as the DNS servers were not responding.
By around midnight PST, we had moved our DNS over to Amazon Route 53 and some of our customers were able to access Freshdesk. But DNS propagation is a painfully slow process and we had to wait for over several hours before full propagation happened. In the meantime our website and blog were not accessible to customers, and our emails were also being delivered late. Our only mode of communication to our customers was through our Twitter account (@freshdesk).
As a workaround we enabled customers to be able to access their agent portal by having a static route in their local hosts file (and thereby bypass DNS lookup).
By around 1:45 am PST on 24th we were seeing that Freshdesk was fully accessible for all customers and things were returning to normal.
Lessons and Action
I would like to apologize personally to all our customers for the inconvenience caused by this outage. The Zerigo DDoS attack was a tough lesson, and we’d like to thank all our customers who stood by us during this crisis.
DDoS attacks are nasty and unpredictable, and are the act of unscrupulous criminals who want to destroy good companies like Zerigo. We believe it is important for us to stand by Zerigo during this time, just like our customers have stood by us. We’ve used Zerigo since we launched Freshdesk and have loved them for their awesome service. In fact, up until the DDoS attack we have never had a single issue with them.
We plan to continue using Zerigo as our primary DNS. However to avoid situations like these in the future, we will be using Amazon Route 53 as our secondary DNS. In hindsight we should have planned for redundancy in our DNS before this happened. Once again please accept our apologies. We hope to learn, improve and serve you better in future.
Alright..!! Our most awaited integration is here. Freshdesk is now integrated with Salesforce, the biggest CRM brand on the planet, used by over 100,000 customers worldwide.
The integration lets you
- View, update and manage Freshdesk tickets in Salesforce.
- View Salesforce customer information inside Freshdesk.
Freshdesk for Salesforce helps you to manage Freshdesk tickets in Salesforce, and also check contact, lead and account information in Freshdesk.
View and manage Freshdesk tickets inside Salesforce
View Freshdesk tickets directly from Salesforce, for accounts, leads and contacts. Create Freshdesk tickets and update them, including being able to add public or private notes and notify agents.
View Salesforce customer information inside Freshdesk
View Salesforce CRM information from individual profiles inside Freshdesk and give your support agents that extra edge.
The integration is available for Salesforce Enterprise, Unlimited and Developer editions.
The most awesome way to connect your sales and support operations, try Freshdesk for Salesforce today. You can sign up here for the 30 day free trial.
For instructions on how to integrate your Freshdesk with Salesforce, click here.
Freshdesk is now integrated with Sugar CRM.
The integration lets you view Freshdesk tickets in Sugar CRM and customer information from Sugar CRM in Freshdesk. Part of Freshdesk’s continuing drive to integrate with products that will complement Freshdesk, Sugar CRM will let customers access crucial data at a glance, saving time, energy and resources.
View Freshdesk tickets in Sugar CRM
You can now view Freshdesk tickets in Sugar CRM and know immediately what the customer is looking at and working on, hugely beneficial for the sales team.
View Sugar CRM information in Freshdesk
With the ability to immediately view Sugar CRM contact information in Freshdesk, you can have valuable, and timely information, right at your fingertips.
You can sign up for Freshdesk’s 30 Day free trial here.
For detailed steps on how to integrate Sugar CRM with Freshdesk, click here.
Throughout the spotlight series so far, we spoke about what customer support really means, why you should have the right mix of policy and personality in your help desk, and how you can turn your service from a fire-drill into the perfect customer experience.
As a fitting conclusion, in this last post of the series, we look towards the future, and how you can gear up your team for tomorrow’s support issues, today.
In a time of disruption and innovation, when technologies are being rendered obsolete in a matter of months, the way customers perceive and demand support has undergone a revolutionary change.
In a changing consumer landscape, with so many different ways of identifying, adopting, buying and engaging with a business, just showcasing your products or services are no longer sufficient. Your customers are demanding an experience.
With customers influencing each other in real-time thanks to social media, every support touch-point today is a chance to step up and give customers an experience that wows them. After all, if the internet has disrupted the way even the grand-daddies of businesses like publishing and entertainment, think about customer support.
Customer support is now evolving faster than ever before. The bad news is, businesses stuck on their old school paradigm of waiting for customers to complain are going to wake up to an apocalypse pretty soon.
The good news is, if you are geared up and ready, here is your chance to get proactive and start giving customers the support experience they will love. Here are 4 ways you can get ready for tomorrow, today:
1. Take your support everywhere your customers go
Don’t be shy, get out there. Whether you like it or not, social is here to stay. Your customers are already talking about you, and hiding your head under the sand is not going to make it go away. Your customers are going to talk more, tweet more, like more and share more information. Being there and showing that you care will be the difference between turning into a bankrupt store offering discounts and becoming the brand that customers love and just can’t stop talking about.
2. Step up, go beyond and get proactive
Love it or hate it, but IKEA have got at least one thing right – the perfect self service experience. It takes a lot for your customers to directly get in touch with you. The customers of tomorrow want to try and ‘do it’ themselves before asking you for help. That means the self-service experience you offer them must account for what customers might want and when, and make sure you have the resources to deliver. And finally, if they have to get in touch with you, make it easy and painless. Having 75 ‘necessary’ fields and 3 homegrown captchas in your ticket form really doesn’t help.
3. Great service is not an option. It is the norm.
Right from automobiles to software, the products and services you offer to your customers are increasingly getting commoditized. Successful businesses today, like Zappos, Apple and Harley Davidson have shown that the brand and its USP lie in the experience that the business is able to offer. As customers learn and keep going back to businesses that are able to differentiate themselves with the support experience, great service will no longer be the exception. In fact, it will be the norm.
4. The Customer is your Hero
Today, customers are contributing to businesses in unbelievable ways. There are brand evangelists who volunteer to step in, help and guide your other customers. Then there are the viral influencers who love talking about you and spreading the word. Even in B2B settings, customers are playing a critical role by supporting others, spreading the word and even pre-selling your brand to their other business contacts and friends. Your job is to encourage them, nurture them and give them more and more reasons to continue to do what they are doing. They’ll take care of the rest.
As the means to share and consume information evolves, so too does the customer’s perception of quality and service.
In this post, we just shared a few paradigm shifts in the status-quo of customer support. If you think we left some out, feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments.
It’s the fourth of July. There’s Firecrackers and celebrations around the stars and stripes. But more globally, it is a day to take a moment and savor the spirit of Independence. And the ideals that make it..
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all support agents are created equal, that they are endowed by their Management with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Every support agent deserves a life. Not just eating and breathing between the refresh button on the email tab. After all, any man spending 6 hours everyday sifting through complaints, solving problems, resetting passwords, and assigning issues deserves a vacation. A vacation where everything that can be automated in the support desk, is automated. Every support agent deserves to live juggle-free. A dreamland where every conversation from email, phone and social are in one place, waiting for them to answer.
Liberty is more than the precondition for creativity. Support agents are born free, with the passion to resolve and the desire to earn more customer love. And yet, everywhere they are in shackles. Tied to the desk, tied to cubicles and offices, to their devices and most importantly, to time. Yet, you cannot throw a bridle in love. The support agent wants to be there, cracking the tough ones, solving the unsolvable. With the liberty to serve customers from anywhere, at anytime, and in the comfort they deserve. With the liberty to choose.
The only real steroids are happy customers. Happiness is knowing, when the support effort is appreciated. The Pursuit of Happiness is knowing when it might go in vain, but still doing a terrific job at the end of the day. Your support agent needs to know, to be able to measure, improve and celebrate customer satisfaction. And get another addictive dose of customer love And then some more, over and over again.
To every single support agent out there, to every person answering a ticket and putting a smile on a face they might never see- Respect!
From this 4th of July, customer support doesn’t have to mean fire-fighting. Happy Independence Day, support agents of the world.