How Mobile Apps Increase Engagement By Ditching Email Support

When your mobile app is used all over the world (or you plan it to be), you can expect your customer support to feel like a United Nations conference. Email customer support is tough enough to maintain in just one language — imagine six at once. News Republic needed a solution that would help them get support to their customers and offer them product information when they needed it most. Sasha Pave, the VP of Marketing, spoke with us about how Helpshift’s in-app support and localized FAQs allowed News Republic to ditch the clunkiness of email.

Question: What pain point did Helpshift solve for News Republic?

We do a lot of support daily around the world. For a free news app with such a large audience, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw just how quickly we were answering user support after integrating Helpshift. Previously we used email to service our nine different countries. All those emails and languages were a massive operational headache.

I knew something had to be done, because email is a terrible support mechanism. Things get buried and it’s hard to see context. Just getting out of email improves our efficiency. I talked to Desk, Zendesk, and some smaller players — you guys are light years ahead of them for mobile apps, because nothing else offered the simplicity of Helpshift.

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Question: How was the transition to Helpshift?

It was easy to put together and was a smooth transition. It didn’t take long to learn at all. I did a demo for the team after I used it for a few hours. The interface is very straightforward. As a result we get a lot less app store reviews with support questions in them. That has helped increase our store rank and downloads.

As we rolled out your SDK for iOS, it was very interesting to see the response levels. We’re seeing an increase in the communication with our users and a decrease in their frustration.

Question: How have users reacted to in-app customer care?

We get a lot more product ideas from users than before. We have our developers in the dashboard along with support, searching out new product features and improvements. If that was in email, no one could keep track! The in-app chat is a very personal connection. I noticed that a user could be very angry and send a frustrated message, but once we respond personally, they calm down.

Having this chat interface kind of tones down the conversation to something more constructive and polite. They know that a person is listening and it’s not an email off into the void. Definitely lowers the barrier for communication, and that’s a positive thing.

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Question: Why does your news app focus on customer care?

We’re very product and user experience focused. It’s important to us that users are satisfied, because our biggest marketing channel is user advocacy. Users love our app and recommend it to friends. It’s really our greatest selling point. Sure, customer care is an expense, but it’s something we see as important. Caring pays for itself when our users start talking about us.

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