It's not very often that you have Indian businesses hosting large conferences, especially in Las Vegas. For Girish Mathrubootham, Founder and CEO, Freshworks, this is to tell the world that dreams do come true, especially for those 70,000 entrepreneurs back in India.
For this startup founder from Chennai, originally from Trichy, it was no easy task to get his company Freshworks to where it is today.
With 35,000 paying customers across the globe, and a total of 200,000 business signed up on its platform in nine years, Freshworks has today become the fastest-growing SaaS company.
Having grown from $1 million in revenue to $100 million in just under five years, Girish is already gazing into the future of customer engagement.
The next step is all about predictive, collaborative, and contextual engagements for companies to wow their customers, and the Freshworks CEO wants to offer this as a single view.
At Refresh 19, the company’s global conference, Girish said, "CRM tools, in the past, were siloed and always provided information about the customer, but, it did not allow business teams to collaborate over the context of why the customer is reaching out. Data today is broken between several stakeholders of the organisation and therefore, they are not able to answer customer queries effectively and it is going to be difficult for the business to retain a customer once their query is not answered.”
And now, its two years of efforts in AI is resulting in Freshworks adding to the customer-for-life experience.
To make businesses more powerful, the company is offering AI-enabled omni-channel chatbot "Freddy" in its suite of products.
"Sales, marketing, and customer support will work together with our AI helping them to answer customer queries faster and contextually. With our AI Freddy, the customer can retain businesses faster and delight end consumers," he added.
Turning up the heat on competitors Zendesk and SalesForce by changing the way businesses interact with customers, Freshworks is going against bloated expensive software, targeting mid-market customers.
The founder said that he wants customers to treat Freshworks as a friend, championing the ‘customer-for-life’ philosophy.
Future of CRM
The future of customer engagement has four mega trends.
"Ten years ago, the customer was under the mercy of the company. Today, it has turned. Customers want instant gratification. People today go online and talk about a business and they expect you to do the right thing. Customer experience is the key. It is much more important than the product. Companies have to understand that today's consumers don't want queries answered on phone; they are on Instagram and Twitter," said Girish.
He spoke about why Lyft, Netflix, Amazon, and Apple were a success, drawing inspiration from Apple for being customer-centric.
"Apple changed the world using existing technology. It is all about the user experience and we at Freshworks, want to do this for the CRM world," added Girish.
According to him, the four key customer engagement strategies are
- Contextual: What are they doing with the information about the customer. Netflix is a great example of how you have watched movies and the product makes recommendations. Can businesses think about this form of engagement with the customer?
- Predictive: Freddy is an AI engine from Freshworks, which can help the customer delight team to get rid of mundane tasks. For example, if there are tickets raised by the customer of the same nature, it can be automated. This is what Amazon does, offering recommendations based on customer purchases.
- Anywhere: This is no longer a choice as customers are going global. Businesses have to be present where consumers are and have to accept that queries can come from any social platform.
- Collaborative: Freshworks wants internal teams to collaborate in real-time, using its products to engage customers better.
All these trends are part of the 360-degree platform of Freshworks.
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Fresh Success as a product suite
Last year, Freshworks 360 was released to integrate sales, marketing, and support. This way, there is master data or a system of records of the customer, which can be used in real-time.
At this conference, the Founder and CEO released Fresh Success, a customer success management software that will deliver an integrated customer view for marketing, sales, support, and success professionals.
It has the ability to help teams leverage unified, holistic data of accounts and contacts, yielding the most up-to-date account activity and health information to identify accounts that are either at risk or ready to buy more goods and services.
Users will get a detailed analysis of past behaviour to create and configure customer health scores, allowing companies to grow an established customer base, identify any red flags, and increase customer retention rates.
Now, it is time to see how Freshworks will continue its momentum for future growth.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)