Our support teams were one of the early adopters of Freshdesk’s new version — the Mint Experience. We caught up with Andy, our regional support manager, to talk about his experience with transitioning from the old Freshdesk UI to the Mint Experience. Here’s what he had to say.
Hello, Andy! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your role at Freshworks?
I’ve been a Support Engineer in different SAAS companies for over 11 years. I made the switch to Freshworks five years ago, when it was still a small startup. From being one of the first few support engineers, today, I’m the regional manager for the Freshdesk support team at Freshworks. It has been one exciting journey!
What does a typical day look like for you and your team?
My team and I spend the majority of our time supporting customers using our Freshdesk account.
The team answers customer questions from various channels- phone calls, chat, social media, and of course, email. A typical day involves helping customers with their questions, troubleshooting complex technical issues, understanding their support use-cases and providing them with solutions.
Often, customer issues require us to consult the product team. The questions can be about feature requests, product behaviour or bugs. We’ve established a smooth process to work with our product managers and developers, right from our Freshdesk account. They help us with updates that we pass on to the customer.
Can you give us an idea about how your Freshdesk account is set up?
We use our Freshdesk account to support both the users of Freshworks’ products and prospective customers. It’s used by our support, customer success, sales, pre-sales, and billing teams.
To paint a picture of our setup, we have configured 8 products, 120 groups, 35+ email addresses, 7 Twitter accounts, and 4 Facebook pages. We receive 35K+ tickets each month.
In order to manage this volume of tickets, we rely heavily on automations and assignment rules to route all of them to the right agents. Considering the scale at which we’re using our Freshdesk account, we have around 100+ active Dispatch’r Rules, 30+ Supervisor Rules and 100+ Observer Rules created to take care of all routine and arduous tasks. Thank heavens for the automations. Can’t imagine having to assign and route all these tickets manually. Phew!
What was your experience when you first started using Freshdesk Mint?
We have always been the lab rats for our product team :). So we got introduced to Mint many months before it was introduced to our customers. On first look, I felt the UI was clean and crisp. The real estate was used wisely allowing me to get more context in one single screen.
Since the Freshdesk Mint that we first used was like a pre-beta version, it had many bugs. We created a small pilot batch to work extensively with the Mint UI. They were responsible for providing feedback to the product team.
Can you tell us how you worked with the Freshdesk product team?
We synced up weekly with the product team to talk about our experience with Freshdesk Mint. We continued to give feedback over several months. Seeing Mint evolve from a pre-beta version to what it is now, I am super excited and happy that the product team was all ears to our feedback.
What was your personal experience in having to switch to a new UI?
Moving from a familiar interface to a new one, especially when there’s an option to continue using the more familiar interface is a challenging task. Even I have been guilty of favoring the old version for a few months, not because I did not like the new UI because I had been on the old Freshdesk for a few years and was very familiar with it.
There was this one time when our Head of Product, Gireesh, dropped by my desk to have a chat. He was very upset to find out that I was still using the older version of Freshdesk. After all the efforts he and his team put to accommodate most of our feedback, this was not what he wanted to see. I made a decision that day to switch to the Mint experience for good.
Similarly, my team was very comfortable using the old version but they were quick, in fact, quicker than me, to adapt Mint. The biggest driving factor for them was the rollout of many features that were available only on Mint. They loved some features enough to make the transition to Mint’s new UI.
Their favorites appear to be shortcuts for canned responses, the reply option in the ticket list view, the to-do reminders which helped schedule callbacks and ticket summaries which came in handy when moving tickets to other groups.
Can you tell us the things that you did to encourage your team to start using the new UI?
One of the major encouragement for our agents was to give feedback to the product team. Weeks before we introduced Mint to our customers, we requested all our agents to switch to Mint because using the new UI on a day to day basis would be the best training they can get to answer customer queries on Mint. So it was like a win-win for us.
For those agents who continued to use the old UI, we made them test some of the features on Mint that boost productivity. They naturally made the switch?
What do you like best about the Mint UI?
Personally, I like the “Undo Send” feature the most. I am prone to fat finger errors and a few times I have ended up sending half-baked replies. So it’s a savior for me. I also like how I can customize my ticket views using the Table view. With the additional ticket fields values in the list view, I get more context without actually opening the tickets. Overall, I really like the design change and additional productivity features it offers.
Do you see any difference in your team’s performance?
One thing that has helped us tremendously is the customizable Team Dashboard. We have a dashboard created for my team which displays our team’s open and pending ticket count split by agent. It helps the agents keep track of their ticket count and also compare it against their peers to keep a healthy competition going.
Have you switched to the old version in the recent days?
To be honest, ever since that embarrassing conversation with Gireesh, I haven’t switched back to the old UI. I did not have the need to do it.
I’ve gotten so comfortable with the new UI that whenever I come across a Freshdesk account in the old version, I’m almost surprised that I had preferred using it over Mint earlier.
Would you like to give customers a few tips on how to handle the UI change?
I would like to quote a line that I have come across by James Belasco and Ralph Stayer—
Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have—and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up.
I understand how difficult it can be to switch from an interface that you’re already comfortable with to one that’s completely new. I’ve been there. But give it a day or two, I’m sure you’ll not want to go back to the old version.