Freshworks freshens up its smart chatbot service for enterprises

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A chatbot service is pretty much a chatbot service, whether on your phone or through a social network  – unless it is a smart chatbot service. 

As part of its summer product launch, San Francisco-based startup Freshworks today made available new capabilities for its standalone chatbot app. AI-powered Freshchat is a tool that helps customer-support (CX) employees expedite calls and includes a unified customer record bank. In Freshchat, bots automatically identify and answer the most common user questions, while agents are directed to focus on the more challenging support requests that require human decision-making.  

Using these AI-based tools, Freshchat aims to support agents, marketers and sales teams with a single platform for engaging customers across multiple messaging channels, Freshworks CX advisor Colin Crowley told VentureBeat.

“What’s important/different today is that we’ve rearchitected the application to include a ‘unified customer record’ with our CRM tools Freshsales and Freshmarketer. Together, they bring support, sales and marketing capabilities into a single platform,” Crowley said. 

Why smart chat? 

“Customers have always wanted a quick and easy way to get what they want, from anywhere,” Crowley said. “They research, ask questions and make purchases directly through their preferred channel – text messages, WhatsApp, Instagram or email. They don’t want to repeat themselves or steam through lengthy introductions — they just want their problems solved. They want it to be as easy as a short text.

“At the same time, customer service agents don’t want to spend their days on repetitive, mundane work like taking down names and looking up orders, either. In a world where most software is designed to predict our every whim, far too many customer service chatbots aren’t actually that smart. They ask customers to provide and repeat basic information. It’s slow and downright agonizing, alienating customers and agents alike,” Crowley said.

Thanks to its AI foundation that remembers everything about each customer, Freshchat can speak with one informed voice to all customers, all the time — across channels, across departments. “That’s the power of smarter conversations,” Crowley said. “With smarter conversations, businesses can manage exchanges on one platform, with access to the complete history and context through past conversations and data from in-house and third-party applications.”

Based on a 2021 internal review of aggregated data of customers using the company’s Freshdesk support platform and Freshchat, customer service agents that used Freshchat AI-powered bots saved more than 37 hours or had an improvement of 94% in average resolution time compared to businesses that only used the support desk. 

“Conversational engagement is at the heart of customer interactions, and Freshworks delivers a powerful data platform across sales, marketing and support so customers and employees can have smarter, faster conversations,” chief product officer Prakash Ramamurthy said in a media advisory.

What sets Freshchat’s AI apart?

“Freshchat’s AI is native, not a bolted-on app from another vendor,” Crowley told VentureBeat. “This means that Freshworks can put the past history of conversations to work to make the AI smarter and understand intent better. This results in better triage, engagement and resolution. Freshchat’s AI also works in 50 languages and helps businesses automate conversational engagement globally, at scale.” 

Freshchat can be used for call centers as well as commercial websites. Freshchat’s capabilities can be used on websites, inside mobile apps, and on third-party messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, Apple Business Chat, Line, Google Business Messages and SMS/text messaging, Crowley said. 

According to the peer-to-peer software evaluation site, Freshworks competes in the same market as

  • Intercom
  • Drift
  • Crisp
  • Zendesk Support Suite
  • LiveChat
  • Birdeye
  • LiveAgent
  • Zoho Desk

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