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SaaS-based Start-up Freshdesk Refreshes Its Customer Support Platform

Accel Partners-backed SaaS-based start-up Freshdesk Inc has launched what it calls 'version 2.0' of its helpdesk platform to make customer support more engaging, powerful and as simple as sending an email. Freshdesk is a customer support platform that allows organizations to support their customers through email, phone, website, Facebook and Twitter.

The new version of its offering comes two months after a virtual slugfest with the CEO of Zendesk, the market leader in the same business, who attacked the firm (with offices in California and Chennai) as being a rip-off and then allegedly resorted to using a paid blogger-cum-analyst to bad mouth Freshdesk.

So what's new?

Time Tracking – Aimed at tackling the issue of customer service questions getting lost in a black hole of requests, Freshdesk 2.0 integrates time tracking capabilities, giving agents the ability to measure how much time is being spent on each ticket and even generates time sheet reports that can be sent directly to each customer. It also integrates with invoicing tools Harvest and Freshbooks.

Pay as you go support - Starting at $1/day, Freshdesk 2.0 introduces The Day Pass, allowing businesses to add occasional agents for just one day. These occasional agents get complete access to all the functionality in the customer's Freshdesk plan without having to pay for the whole month.

Simonsays - Playing off the popular children's game, Simonsays is a new feature that lets agents assign, update and manage tickets without even logging into their support portal by simply adding the @simonsays tag. It does away with the need to sit in front of a PC and there's no need for an app either. On the go support, from any computer or mobile device at any time allows agents to "talk" directly to their helpdesk and the end customer all from their email client.

Email to KBase – Agents can directly send an email to a specific address, automatically converting the ticket to a knowledge base article that can be accessed by any agent.

"Tomorrow's Google, Virgin and Southwest Airlines will build their brand loyalty by quickly supporting, responding to and engaging customers in ways that promote happiness, satisfaction," said Freshdesk CEO, Girish Mathrubootham.

Freshdesk has also announced a freemium model where the first agent is always free. For small businesses with single agent helpdesks, Freshdesk is now essentially a free support software.

Last December, Accel Partners invested$1 million (~Rs 5 crore) in Freshdesk. The fund raised is to be used to expand the product team and step up marketing and business development efforts. As part of the investment, Shekhar Kirani from Accel Partners joined Freshdesk's board of directors.

Incorporated in October 2010, Freshdesk was co-founded by Girish Mathrubootham, former vice-president (product management) at Zoho Corp and Shan Krishnamurthy.

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