A Look Back at 2019 and Ahead to an Exciting New Year
In 2019, the Stratolaunch, the world’s biggest-ever airplane, took flight. A kidney was delivered to a transplant facility by drone for the very first time. And Queen Elizabeth opened an Instagram account. But that’s not all the exciting news from last year.
At Helpshift, we introduced Helpshift for Phone, ramped up our AI and chatbot capabilities, expanded our localization options and launched a phone integration with Amazon Connect. We also experienced a year of monumental growth internally. We expanded our global footprint, hiring our first team members in Europe. We upgraded our offices in Pune, India. We attended numerous industry events and conferences.
As we head into 2020, here’s a recap of what we accomplished in 2019 what the new year has in store and how this will impact your customer service efforts for good!
Developing product and forging relationships
Our team is driven because we have a product we all truly believe in, and 2019 saw a lot of excellent developments, helping further our goal of delivering increased value to our customers, their agents and end users. Here are the highlights:
Helpshift for Phone
Customers have long complained about being tethered to their device while they wait on hold for “the next representative.” We launched Helpshift for Phone in June to solve this problem. Brands can now provide an option for their phone customers to switch to another channel of support that doesn’t require them to wait, so they can get support on their own time through a channel they overwhelmingly prefer anyway: messaging. It also solves a pain point for brands, since phone support is typically the most expensive channel.
Automation and Chatbots
Another major development this year: our chatbots can now communicate in real time with a brand’s internal systems — such as CRMs or order-management systems — to automate common workflows such as order returns, account recovery and delivery status updates. Your customers can now resolve common issues on their own. And your agents have an increased capacity to take on complex, high-value customer issues.
These and other chatbot developments are working well for our customers and their customers. By the end of 2019, Helpshift surpassed 300 million chatbot interactions. Last June, for the first time, more issues were handled by chatbots than agents across our customer base. Through our pragmatic approach to automation that blends conversational AI with pre-programmed bots, our customers have deflected up to 90% of issues and dramatically boosted CSAT.
Internationalization and Localization
In 2019, we released numerous localization capabilities to help brands effortlessly manage translations to support users from different countries with different language preferences. Using Helpshift, brands can internationalize features that automatically detect the language in a support request and send relevant responses in that language. There are also built-in features to help improve security and reduce spam.
Customer Onboarding Package
As more and more brands transition to modern customer support tools that include new technologies like bots and AI, deployment can get complex. That’s why we also started offering our customers the option to purchase an onboarding package, which can help accelerate the time to value, reduce risk and deliver reliable, measurable results. Since our first onboarding package was executed in March, many customers have seen incredible value from the service, enabling them to modernize their customer support offerings rapidly with minimal impact to operations.
A growing and connected team
The incredible Helpshift team spans the globe from India to San Francisco, London to New York, working hard to deliver a product that our customers love. While we’re unified in a single purpose, each individual at Helpshift is a unique thread in the tapestry of who we are. We proudly celebrate our diversity, and the Helpshift team got even more diverse this year as we expanded to Europe, with our first UK team member joining early in 2019. Since then, our EMEA team has grown to cover all go to market functions in Europe including sales, marketing and success. And further east in India, the Helpshift team also opened new offices in Pune.
With our team increasingly spread out globally, collaboration is vitally important, so we prioritize activities that help us stay connected. From Diwali celebrations to weekly team social gatherings, we know how to work hard but also have fun together! Check out what some of our team members have to say above!
Recognition for the Strides We’ve Made
Official awards are always a nice way to be acknowledged for hard work. In 2019, Helpshift won the Contact Center Technology Award from Customer Magazine. In addition, one of our customers, Xfinity home, was awarded the 2019 conversational commerce award by Opus Research for their innovative application of our messaging and automation capabilities. We also were honored to be recognized as a top 100 software company by G2 Crowd.
Even more meaningful are accolades from customers in the trenches using the Helpshift platform. Here’s what some of them had to say:
Getting the word out
In 2019, we attended or hosted many events across the US and Europe — including our recent presence at Dreamforce. We hosted numerous webinars, with the biggest being our MBA in Automation series. We also published several new pieces of content, including The Ultimate Guide to Digital Customer Service and the 2019 State of Customer Service Automation Report — both of which saw significant readership. And of course, all of these efforts were helped by a complete refresh of our website to improve the overall digital experience, driving visitors to our exciting events, webinars and publications.
In case you missed it, here are more of our standout publications from the year:
- [eBook] Get in Sync with your Customers — A Primer to Asynchronous Communication And How It Benefits Customer Service
- [Toolkit] 2019 Customer Service Toolkit — Level Up Your Customer Service Through Messaging, Bots and AI
- [Whitepaper] The Helpshift Benchmark Report — Discover how innovative brands are using messaging and automation
- The Pocket Guide to Smarter Staffing for the Holidays
Marketing goes on the road in 2020
In 2020, the marketing team will hit the road to take our acclaimed MBA in Automation series content to your hometown. Each roadshow will bring you inspiring sessions on the future of customer service, workshops on automation, panels about AI, and more. Is the roadshow hitting your city? Find out here!
Serving the communities where we do business
Beyond serving customers, we believe that it’s vitally important to serve the local communities where we do business. Many of the places where we have offices have social challenges that require the help of everyone to solve. Here’s a list of some of the volunteering activities we got up to in 2019:
- Guest bartending at Soda Popinskis. In honor of Brain Injury Awareness Month, our team members made drinks for patrons and donated all of their tips to the Brain Injury Association of America.
- Park cleanup. The team helped clean Alamo Square Park in San Francisco to provide the community with a clean and safe place to enjoy the outdoors.
- Glide Memorial Church volunteering. Throughout the year, we helped to prepare and hand out food to the less fortunate at Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco.
- Numerous food drives. We collected and donated school supplies and canned food as well as collecting and delivering coats to help keep people warm during the winter months.
- Donations. We helped support the Oakland Youth Chorus.
2019 was an incredible year for Helpshift. All of this growth and change has been driven by a sense of commitment to our customers, to further develop our product and services and deliver the very best digital customer support platform to consumer brands globally.
And now that we’ve kicked off a new year, we’re excited with where it’s all headed. Stay tuned for even more product developments, team expansions, event participation and community service.