Rethink how businesses work: The 6 questions that led to our products

Rethinking how businesses work: The questions that led to 6 products

Written by on November 8, 2017

Every year, a famous business solutions giant hosts a party.

We’ve been to this party because we used to be their customers too.

But we found that the discussions at this party were very similar, “You can achieve your business goals and trailblaze innovations in your field with just three simple steps”

  1. Use our unique business solution – Sure it’ll cost you thousands of dollars, but it will help  target your goals better
  2. Train to use our product – Business solutions are seldom easy-to-use or intuitive and we can provide the special training that your employees will need to use our product.
  3. Oh, you have questions on how to use our product after you’ve bought it from us? Sorry, but you’ll need to pay us extra to answer those questions. Annually.

And the disappointing part was, this was an industry standard that a lot of solution providers enforced.

Rethinking Everything

So we began questioning these practices. What the giant proposed has been the standard business practice for a long time now. Sure, there is always a price for following one’s dreams, but following dreams in any line of business requires you to pay three times. We began to wonder why.

Why were these practices so common? Why were business solutions so difficult to use? What is wrong in applying the same design and development principles to a business product as you would to a consumer product? Both are used by people after all.

That’s why almost all of the products that we’ve built at Freshworks, all of the features we plan or the roadmaps we draw up are driven solely by the same questions,

“Why is it being done this way? How can we make it easier?”

Be it hiring someone new or engaging with a customer who needs help or even planning our own internal workflows – we’ve tried to solve the problems that businesses typically face by asking what the standard practice is, and why it is the standard.

These are the questions that led to us building each of our products.


“Why is it so difficult to have conversations with customers?”

Stuck? Your customers don't like waiting for answers as well.

Businesses have always been able to talk to customers easily. But maintaining conversations and building meaningful relationships was difficult across all the communication channels like phone/social media/email. It was also difficult to build trust and get to know a customer better if the business forgot all their previous discussions every single time.

We wanted to build a solution so simple, that employees wouldn’t need special training just to talk to customers. A solution so intuitive and smooth so that you could just focus on helping your customers out and not worry about which channel the conversation was taking place on. A product that wouldn’t cost as much as a “typical business solution” normally would.

That’s why we built Freshdesk. So that your customers won’t be stuck waiting for an answer, no matter where you or your customers are.


“Why are Service Desks so bloated and expensive?”

“IT does nothing. You’ve to call the IT guy personally to get anything done.”

Companies spend millions on IT service desks and yet these stereotypes exist. From hospitals to educational institutions and e-commerce websites, we spoke to IT service agents around the industry to understand why. We listened to their problems to get their side of the story. And we heard the same things again and again. That their support desk was unintuitive. That their service desk had a lot of features but they needed to hunt through it all for the feature they wanted. That they paid a lot for features they did not need or use.

We wanted to build a solution that treated servicing IT requests like  a conversation, a solution where the minimalist UI would ensure the focus was always on user actions and did not try to show off all the features. A solution where features would be available only if you wanted them and you didn’t pay extra for something you don’t need. Something that we’d like to use ourselves.

That’s why we built Freshservice. So you wouldn’t have to spend millions on a service desk and wonder how to use it. Instead you could set up your desk in 15 minutes and start helping your employees immediately.


“Why should I learn 5 different tools to sell my product?”

Why is the sales team spending 80% of their time entering data?

When we wanted to sell Freshdesk, we wanted a CRM. That’s how we ended up buying the #1 solution from the provider who hosts the gala each year. And we had three problems:

  1. We needed APIs to keep our data synced across our tools. But the #1 solution in the business said it’ll cost us $125 per month per user. That was expensive for a small company like ours at that point.
  2. We needed our Sales teams to work more intelligently and know what our prospects were looking at on our site and what their needs were. But easily accessing that intelligence required us to use other tools in addition to our CRM
  3. Sending Emails, making phone calls, tracking prospects through the funnel, enriching leads with the right data – all of this required our sales agents to juggle 4 or 5 different tools in addition to the CRM and our development team to do significant engineering work to integrate them all with one another.

We are a product company. But the amount of engineering time we spent maintaining all these tools instead of building our product was a joke.

That’s why we built Freshsales. To make it easier for us to sell. With channels like email and phone integrated, and a tracking system to know what potential customers are looking at on our website, it was easier for us to sell better. With a plan that allows for 10 free sales agents and affordable pricing on other plans, we wanted to ensure other growing businesses wouldn’t have to face the same problems we did.


“Why should hiring slow down growth?”

Is your hiring slowing down your growth?

Most of our early hires happened through employee referrals. This ensured that we didn’t just hire more “human resources” but actually got good teammates on board. But as we started scaling, the number of people being referred went up as well and it was difficult for the Talent Acquisition team to manage all the referrals, process other applications, handle conversations and track statuses. Usual tasks became more difficult when it was supposed to scale across tens of candidates each having 5-8 rounds of interviews.

Great recruiters know how to find great candidates, sure. But we found they needed help with all the other things – organizing resumes, finding time on people’s calendars, scheduling interviews, collecting feedback from interviewers – all the operational tasks.

That’s why we built Freshteam. Your teams will be able to coordinate interviews and share opinions about candidates better. Your recruiters will be able to focus on getting the best people possible to join your team instead of worrying about paperwork, team coordination, and calendars.


“Why can’t traffic always lead to engagement?”

Got traffic but no engagement?

We’ve always had chat on our website as a way of talking to our customers. No matter what page they were on, our customers could always ping us asking for help or any support with their helpdesk.

But as we grew, we found more visitors were coming to our websites to learn about our products than actually request for support or ask questions. A significant population was not being contacted by anyone from our company at all and were leaving the website after merely looking around. We found that we were losing huge sales opportunities here because our chat had focused on support-based messaging rather than sales for a long time.

That’s why we built Freshchat. Because nowadays customers wish to engage with businesses at their own pace and businesses can still respond to these customers easily without worrying about staffing or availability or peak times.


“Why should call centers be tied down to phones?”

We’ve always believed that phone support is integral to providing a great customer support experience. But the existing solutions always had some limitation or the other when we tried to setup our own phone channels. Either we couldn’t buy local phone numbers easily enough or we needed to have a strong existing infrastructure of phone lines to implement their solution.

That’s why we built Freshcaller. So that we could set up a call center with just a web browser and a working internet connection. You don’t need phones to run a call center anymore.  Businesses can hold meaningful conversations, and get the insights to solve problems quickly when you rethink how a call center fundamentally operates. Our challenging the status quo helped us rethink call center softwares and build for the modern era, to make everything possible for businesses.

At Freshworks, we try to improve how businesses work. Building products for a newer, more connected era means questioning a lot of “standard procedures” and “business best practices” that were set down in the 80’s and 90’s. And these are our first steps towards building a better, more efficient workplace.

We can help you transform your business and be more efficient by streamlining your operations with better software.  Click here to find out how.

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