1. SuggesType: Auto-generate your FAQs and Canned Responses Through Machine Learning

    We’re always thinking of ways to help you be more productive. That’s why we recently released the Hipmob Messenger iPhone app (Android’s coming soon). I want to share the idea behind one of our upcoming features: we’re calling it Suggestype - it helps you respond to customers more quickly, by suggesting canned responses and FAQs based on what you’ve said to customers in the past. Here’s an example:

    1. It scans the contents of your entire communication history with customers: chat transcripts, helpdesk tickets and emails exchanged. From your communication history, it detects and indexes frequently asked questions, and the answers your team sends to customers. We’ll scan sources including Hipmob and Olark chat transcripts, Desk and Zendesk tickets and knowledgebase, Gmail conversation histories, and Salesforce leads.

    2. As you type chat messages to customers, or emails & helpdesk responses, it presents you a 3 options of responses based on what you’ve sent in the past, and what you’re typing right now (see image below). These responses are ranked by

      • Frequency: how often they’ve been sent in the past
      • CSAT: responses sent to higher revenue and more satisfied customers are ranked higher. You can hit select the response you like, edit it, and hit enter.
    3. We’re constantly scanning and indexing your customer communications, to better understand what kind of questions your customers are asking, and preparing responses to help you respond faster and save time. As Suggestype gets smarter, it prepares canned responses and FAQs you can easily edit, update and publish to your knowledgebase.

    4. Using firefox and chrome extensions, you can use Suggestype in any app where you respond to customers: Desk, Zendesk, Salesforce, Gmail, GrooveHQ, Parature, Kayako, Freshdesk, and many more.

    And that’s V1! We’re still working out the kinks, but we should have this in beta in a few short weeks. We’re totally open to ideas, so if you can think of ways to make this better, we’d love to hear them: ayo@hipmob.com.


  2. The “Heartbleed” OpenSSL Vulnerability - Hipmob Security Update

    Earlier this week, a critical security vulnerability was disclosed in OpenSSL, a widely used cryptography software library. A potential hacker exploiting this vulnerability could read confidential data from a server without needing credentials. This vulnerability, called Heartbleed, affected the majority of websites and internet companies, including Amazon, Heroku and more.

    As a company you trust with your data and your customer data, we take your information very seriously. Immediately following the disclosure, we realized we were vulnerable and started to work on securing our servers. We first confirmed that Heroku and Amazon Web Services, whom we rely on, had taken the necessary steps, and we were able to finish securing our servers by Tuesday evening.

    Over the past few days we’ve taken even more steps to shore up our overall security, and just yesterday finished deploying new SSL certificates, along with new keys.

    It’s highly unlikely that our systems were compromised, and we’ve found no evidence of a breach, but out of an abundance of caution, we recommend that you change your Hipmob password.

    You can change your password here.

    If you have any more questions or want to know more about the steps we’ve taken, just email team@hipmob.com. Thanks for being an awesome customer.

    Femi & Ayo


  3. Saas Integrations - How to Improve Partner/App Marketplaces

    Part of our strategy at Hipmob has been to make it easy to use us along with the other tools that you use. To that end, we have over 3 dozen integrations with services as varied as Zendesk, Salesforce, to Shopify. Some of these have been more successful than others as drivers of lead generation, but in polling our fellow founders, we’ve discovered that the ROI for integrations in general is pretty low.

    For the most part, integrations are most useful today when you’re lucky to have a customer that uses both your product and the partner’s product. Otherwise it’s a hard sell.

    In our experience though, this is a huge missed opportunity; to make customers happy, to drive leads on both sides of the table, and to drive forward the cause of APIs as a whole.

    So, if integrations are part of your strategy, or your company has an API and has built an app/partner marketplace on top of it, here are some ideas, ranging from the technical to the mundane, that will drive value for you, your partners, and your users.

    1. No Copy/Paste in the signup flow: Impletent oAuth/SSO so users can automatically create and integrate accounts: Mailchimp, Shopify. Makes life easier for the customer. No more copying tokens and API keys, and definitely no need to enter your password from one system into another. Mailchimp does a good job of this Just authorizes the integration automagically.

    2. In-Product Appstore: Following (1), enable users INSIDE your UI to be able to discover and get started with integrations from within your webapp, with only clicks (not copy paste) to solve particular problems while they’re in the flow. Zendesk does a pretty good job of this

    3. Partner Content Marketing: This part is critical to long term helping your partners/integrations be successful, and making your core product more sticky. Blog early, and often, before the integration is released, as a way to learn about the use cases. Blog afterwards and share customer stories of the value it adds. After your first few users onboard, this should be pretty straightforward to do. If you can’t find customers to use the integration, it probably doesn’t add enough value. We’ve done this with our integrations with Desk, Hipchat, Appcelerator and PhoneGap and it’s been awesome for us. Those companies all do a really solid job with partner app marketing.

    4. Embed Integration Data: Both applications (the plugin, and the core platform) should have a way to expose each other’s data inside the core UI. The ideal is an embed so tight that users can easily make data driven decisions without having to switch tabs. Short of that, a good starting point is to make it easy to switch between your app and the integration, and back. This way your users can easily perform actions and get back to their day. At Hipmob, we do this within our new live feed - providing a live, real time way for users to switch back into their integrated apps, and take action.

    These steps won’t automatically make your partner/app marketplace succeed; your marketplace has to be solving problems in the first place. But assuming you have a foundation to build on, these steps will make your users happier with your product, and your partners more successful integrating with you.


  4. A Feed Based UI for Hipmob: Watch Users Walk around your (online) store

    For a pretty long while we’ve tried to think of ways your customer communication could be more personal, and today we’re announcing (no April fool’s joke here) the feed. It’s a real time view of who is on your site, where they’re browsing, and what they’re doing. Think of it as the online equivalent of watching shoppers walk around your store, browse clothes, and try them on.

    The Hipmob Activity Feed

    Website chat (which has been longer than mobile) as long centered on the buddy list, a concept borrowed from AIM/IRC (and their predecessors). All you see is a list of people on your site, as well as some details about them. For example, here’s my current buddy list in Adium

    This has a lot going for it - it’s familiar and you can tell a lot at a glance. But it’s not designed for communicating with customers. The promise of live chat is that it brings a level of personal touch to websites, that offline stores have always had. With that in mind:

    See Whose Around The feed shows a live stream of every user who arrives on your site or goes to your support area in your app. You see the user ID, email address, and the URL of the page they are on. You can sit back and watch as users browse around, or jump in and chat to close the sale.

    Jump Into Your Transcripts or the Desk/Zendesk Ticket Every time a conversation is over you can jump directly into the conversation transcript, or into the Desk or Zendesk ticket that is automatically created.

    Quickly Identify Patterns, And Act A feed is a much simpler way to spot trends that are happening in real time. For example, you may notice a lot of people looking at a particular product, and offer a deal to close more sales right in that moment.

    Works For Mobile, too The Hipmob iPhone app also comes with a feed build into the homepage, so you can keep track of everything on the go!

    The Hipmob iPhone App Activity Feed

    What Comes Next

    We’re (obviously) not done here. Our goal is to make sure that you can always easily see what’s happening, figure out what’s important, make a decision, and act. With that in mind, we hope to expose more of your data to you, and pull in more integrations with your external services to make it easier to get to things you need. In the process, we’d love your feedback - drop us a line at ayo@hipmob.com!!


  5. Design For Noobs: Design Resources Used @ Hipmob

    Over the past 2 years, I’ve dived pretty deeply into the worlds of Photoshop and HTML/CSS/Javascript. As a nontechnical guy this has meant asking a lot of questions, taking too long to do things, a lot of trial and error and a lot of copy/paste. I’m finally getting the hang of making things do what I want - I do much of the front-end for Hipmob and a lot of the Photoshop for our mobile stuff. What I’m not yet good at is taste - given a set of mockups I can get you some HTML that’s pretty close and responsive (with a heavy dose of twitter bootstrap), but I’m not yet good at original design. Here’s what Hipmob.com looked like when we launched.

    Thankfully, I have a lot of help (thanks especially to Brandon Carl). In addition, we’ve taken advantage of tons of resources to help us get to where we are today. We’re by no means perfect, but as we’ve made progress, our results have improved meaningfully. Here’s where we are today:

    If you’re learning or just getting started, here are a few resources that have REALLY helped. We’ve a long way to go, but hopefully these can help.

    1. The Design of Everyday Things: My good friend Brandon, founder of JustTheList and responsible for a lot of our design language, sent this to me when I was just getting started. It’s not that long and I’m not finished yet, but I already use the lessons from the book throughout Hipmob. I highly recommend it; if you have no background in design, it really explains why the objects you encounter everyday are the way they are.

    2. HackerNews: A lot of my bookmarks come from here. At least once a week I find some design resources on HN that I either save for myself or forward to someone I know.

    3. Twitter Bootstrap: Powers our site grid/scaffolding (and a lot of the web, too).

    4. My “Design Help” bookmarks folder: These have been super useful for a lot of things we do in HTML/CSS, with effects, buttons, switches and more. There are also several photoshop PSD/mockup listings and some sites for inspiration. I particularly like the following

    5. User Onboarding: they break down some of the most popular webapps in terms of onboarding flow. We’ve done a lot of work to make Hipmob easier to use, and this has helped. If you’re interested in improving conversions and getting more people to use your software, this is really good.

    6. RGB-to-Hex: convert between RGB and Hex color schemes.

    7. Digital Color Meter (Mac Only): This is a Mac utility that displays the RGB values of any color on your screen. I frequently use it in conjunction with the RGB-to-Hex utility.

    If you’re new to design, I hope this helps. If you have resources that you’ve found very useful, please add them to the hackpad! I’m always looking to learn and hopefully others can use it as well. And if you’re looking for awesome customer support - check us out!


  6. Proactive Chat - Engaging Visitors When Agents Are Around

    A few weeks ago we launched our proactive chat feature for websites. . Proactive chat helps you set up automated rules that target users on your site, who perform specific actions/behaviors. Using it, you can send specific users messages, tag users, alert yourself when a user completes an action, and so on.

    One core use case is to send a user a targeted message: for example you may send a message to a user on the checkout page, when they sit there for more than 30 seconds without checking out. Often, when you do this, the user responds, but what if an agent isn’t present? For that, we’ve provided the ability to only trigger a rule when an agent is available (and to design rules to be triggered only when agents are away). To set this up, just select the “An Agent” condition (as shown below):

    And that’s that.


  7. 11 Mobile SDKS For In-App Communication and Customer Support

    Hey there - we’re Hipmob. We help mobile developers and businesses increase conversions, and provide amazing customer support. We work with everyone from small startups to public companies - and our work has been featured on Forbes and CNBC. You can learn more here.

    We often get asked about our competitors; potential customers ask what else they should check out. There are a few folks out there solving problems similar to us, and I’ll share their details below, as well as links to documentation so you can try them yourself.

    First off, here’s a spreadsheet comparing the different services, in alphabetical order. Where available, I provide SDK & API links.. The comparisons here can only be skin deep - although these services offer similar benefits, their implementations and overall use cases often differ, so use this as a high level guide as you choose what service to use. Some notes to remember: * All products compared here are Saas services, with SDKs you install in your app(s). * This is a listing of the services, not an analysis. All of these companies are evolving and frequently updating features, so if you’re not sure about something make sure to check their sites for a full and updated feature list (linked from here). * If you work at any of these companies and I missed anything, you can make changes here.

    In their own words (in alphabetical order):

    Mobile First or Mobile Only: These products focused first on mobile (and sometimes don’t have web/desktop counterparts.)

    1. Appboy: Appboy provides a ” platform for mobile relationship management that helps you understand, engage and monetize your audience.” Features include an in-app feed, in-app messaging, user segmentation, in-app feedback and push notifications.

    2. Apptentive: Apptentive provides “mobile app feedback for app developers working on iOS & Android apps”. Their tools include a ratings prompt, in-app messaging, in-app surveys and in-app analytics.

    3. Appygram: Appygram “Appygram handles messages from web and mobile apps.” You would use it to replace a feedback or support form. Features include in-app feedback, email notifications and webhooks.

    4. Awesomatic: Awesomatic describes itself “as a real time community powered customer support tool.” Features include in-app forums, in-app feedback and real time community analytics.

    5. Converser.io: Converser “helps you understand your app users, transform them into loyal customers & increase the success of your mobile marketing strategy.” Features include user profiles and segmentation, in-app messaging and push automation.

    6. Doorbell.io: Doorbell helps you “gather in-app user feedback on [your] websites, iOS apps and Android apps.” Features include in-app feedback, integrations with several issue trackers, and support for attachments.

    7. Helpshift: Helpshift is an “end-to-end mobile customer service help desk”. Their tools include in-app messaging, an in-app knowledgebase and an in-app helpdesk.

    8. Hipmob: (This is us) - we’re a customer communication service for mobile businesses (and for websites). Our tools include in-app chat, in-app helpdesk, an in-app knowledgebase, and similar tools for your website.

    Web First: these products launched first for websites/desktop businesses, and have expanded into mobile.

    1. FreshDesk Mobihelp: Freshdesk helps you “bring your customer support right into your Mobile App”. Their tools include an in-app feedback form, forums, knowledgebase and helpdesk, and works seamlessly with FreshDesk for the web.

    2. Intercom.io: Intercom replaces “helpdesk, email marketing, customer relationship management, and marketing automation tools for thousands of web businesses”. Their tools include analytics and segmentation, in-app messaging and email management.

    3. Uservoice: Uservoice (for iOS) provides a “contact form [that] gives users a quick, easy way to get in touch and reduces annoying spam and blank mail messages.” Their tools include an in-app feedback form, forums, knowledgebase and helpdesk, and works seamlessly with Uservoice for the web.

    Hope this helps. If you’ve used any of these and have more feedback, we’d love to share it with the community! Also, if you have any others to add, please add them to the list here.

    And if you’re looking to amaze your customers with customer support, just drop us an email at ayo@hipmob.com, or check us out at www.hipmob.com!


  8. Hipmob iPhone app preview: an early peek (screenshots)

    One of our most requested features (and something we’ve been thinking about for a little while) is a dedicated mobile app you or your agents can use to chat with your users. For ages, we’ve encouraged users to download IM+ or Verbs for iOS, or Xabber for Android. Of course, these apps weren’t designed with chatting with your users in mind, so you’d have all sorts of problems setting up notifications, getting new chats to come through (using IM+) and more. Over time, these problems have become more and more intractable.

    So today, here’s the first look at the iPhone app we’ve been putting together (Android coming soon).

    First - the main page (after you log in). Right swipe brings you a top menu. Left swipe shows you active conversations. You can also set yourself as present (so your users see you) or away.

    Next, for any user, you can see all the information you currently have about them, including location, number of visits, how long they’ve been on site, and so on.

    Third - the buddy list with an overview of all your current visitors including those in conversations.

    And finally, the settings page where you can manage your push notifications and get help from us.

    This is a work in progress - we still have much development and design work to do, and hopefully we can have it out in the next week! We’d love your feedback at ayo@hipmob.com. Thanks for reading!


  9. Get A Month Free By Telling Your Friends About Hipmob!

    Announcing the Hipmob Referral Program - tell your friends about Hipmob, and get a month of service for free!

    At Hipmob, we’ve been lucky enough to have you all, our customers, telling your friends about us. Now we’re making it official with a referral bonus. For every friend you refer, - who becomes a paid subscriber for at least 60 days, - you’ll get one month off your subscription, - up to a $50 value.

    There’s no limit to how many times you can do redeem this referral deal. If 100 of your friends sign up for at least 60 days, you’ll get 100 months free.

    How To Redeem Your Referral Bonus

    To redeem your referral bonus, simply have your friend sign up from your unique referrer link. If they sign up from one of the regular links, you (or them) can simply email us, and we’ll hook you up.

    You can get your unique referral URL from the Hipmob dashboard here (image below)

    We’re always trying to improve so if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please just ask. I’m ayo@hipmob.com, and thanks for using us!


  10. This has nothing to do with customer support, but this video of divers in Hawaii saving dolphins is pretty awesome. Makes me want to go scuba diving again.