Hard on the heels of new reports that say customers are increasingly relying on mobile apps to interact with the organizations with which they do business, many customer support apps – or companies that help others build these apps – are now beginning to see significant investments.
The latest is Helpshift, an in-app customer support service on mobile. The company announced this week that it has raised a seed round of $3.2 million from True Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners to provide customer support for the tens of thousands of mobile app developers who don't offer such help-desk services.
"Mobile is where the Internet was in the late '90s," said Abinash Tripathy, cofounder and CEO at Helpshift, in an interview with VatorNews. “At that time, there had already been an established group of companies that were able to sell products and services. But what was lacking in the late '90s was customer service and support for the newly-minted Web companies. In like vein, now that app developers have emerged and become viable businesses, what these app developers lack are help desks.”
Tripathy noted that these companies are in the "I am a real business" phase today, and the products they require are business enablers like CRM (customer relationship management) tools, marketing automation tools, accounting and other back-office products.
Helpshift, which Tripathy self-funded initially with $300,000, has now positioned itself to be the outsourced, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS (News - Alert)) help desk.
"The biggest problem [for app developers] is that users just delete and replace the app [because they have a lousy experience]," said Tripathy. Unfortunately, they miss the boat on keeping those customers happy. If you look at app reviews, roughly 50 percent of reviews are negative, said Tripathy. "What we're trying to do is to help app developers service those customers before they get those negative reviews."
Edited by Braden Becker