What is good customer service? 4 experts weigh in

What is good customer service? 4 experts weigh in

A question like “what is good customer service” will never have a simple answer. Customer service delivery and expectations have changed alongside technology, raising the bar for factors like response time and available channels for customers to reach out on. Add to the mix companies with standout customer service like Amazon and Apple, and you’ll quickly see the high (and continuously increasing) standards that companies need to meet in order to give “good” customer service. (more…)

Forget resumes and define your mission: How to hire the next generation of talent

Forget resumes and define your mission: How to hire the next generation of talent

“Status quo, you know, is Latin for ‘the mess we’re in’.”

– Ronald Reagan

The people you’re trying to hire mostly likely have different expectations to the ones you had when you were hired. Things move quickly. If you keep doing what you’re used to, you’ll get yesterday’s results. But if you want to attract the next generation of talent, you need to think differently. You need to do things differently.

Here we explain what the things are that will make your organization stand out so you can hire the next generation of talent.

(more…)

10 Artificial intelligence startups taking 2017 by storm

10 Artificial intelligence startups taking 2017 by storm

By now we’ve all used at least a handful of systems that are powered by artificial intelligence, even if we’re not aware of it. It could be the Uber rides you take, whose prices and waiting times are determined by artificial intelligence, or Netflix’s powerful recommendation engine.

According to the IDC, spending on artificial intelligence is estimated to reach $12.5 billion in 2017 – an increase of almost sixty percent on 2016 – while earlier this year, Google launched Gradient Ventures to invest specifically in artificial intelligence startups.

Players such as Netflix, Uber, and Amazon are now seasoned professionals within the realm of artificial intelligence, but that doesn’t mean that those outside the Silicon Valley sphere can’t play too.

Below I’ll, go through ten innovative artificial intelligence startups – ranging from health apps, financial assistance apps, to content marketing platforms – which are all riding the huge machine learning wave.

artificial intelligence startups

Digital Genius

Digital Genius uses a blend of machine and human intelligence to aid customer service departments in delivering high-quality assistance.

Using historical customer service interactions data, Digital Genius is able to train neural networks that are integrated into organizations’ contact centre software and connected with their CRM to reduce Average Handling Time (AHT), automate answers to queries, and quickly tag queries in specific ‘categories.’

For example, a customer’s question such as, “How do I arrange extra baggage on my flight?”, will be tagged in terms of its priority, sentiment, case phase, inquiry type, and case detail. The artificial intelligence model then suggests the best answer to customer service agents, and if the answer is classified above a confidence level the customer will receive an automated answer.

Digital Genius serves clients such as KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, HSBC, and BMW and has both Salesforce and Zendesk integrations.

artificial intelligence startups

Echobox

While social media management software such as Hootsuite and Buffer take the legwork out of manually posting on social media networks throughout the day, Echobox’s ‘Larry’ analyzes large amounts of historical and real-time data to strategize and optimize what, when, and where to post content.

Used by publishing juggernauts such as Vogue, The Telegraph, and Le Figaro, Larry learns how audiences react to different content at certain times of the day – for example, maybe the majority of people are searching for ‘quick and easy lunches’ on a Sunday, just before the start of the working week. It also A/B tests content headlines and images, and helps create social media posts to attract the highest levels of engagement.

artificial intelligence startups

x.ai

x.ai takes the pain out of scheduling one step further by using artificial intelligence assistants – Amy and Andrew Ingram – to scan emails and help schedule meetings and appointments based on the emails’ content. Users simply CC Amy or Andrew into their emails, where ‘they’ then analyze replies and send out calendar invitations based on their aggregated knowledge.

The company recently raised $10 million to integrate x.ai into Amazon’s Alexa and collaboration software such as Slack.

artificial intelligence startups

babylon

They say you should never Google your medical symptoms, and babylon agrees. Using artificial intelligence, babylon is a ‘chatbot doctor’, which, using real doctors, advises people on the next best steps based on their symptoms. Their aim is simple: through connecting technology and doctors, they want to make healthcare more immediate, more affordable, and more accessible for everyone.

Users can also video chat with doctors, book appointments, and even receive prescriptions delivered to their front door.

artificial intelligence startups

Dave

Dave is the voice of reason when it comes to your finances. Call him the angel on your shoulder (or in your pocket), because he’s there to help you avoid your overdraft and hefty bank charges.

Dave’s machine learning algorithms analyze your accounts, looking at your outgoings and how and when you spend in order to predict when you might be at risk of dropping into the red. Dave also provides you with handy reminders about upcoming bills and transactions.

Dave’s main selling point, however, is the ‘7 Day Low’ predictions, which lets users know how low their balance might get during the following seven days – encouraging users to be mindful of their spending habits. Users can also use Dave for payday loans, and can borrow up to $250 with zero percent interest – helping people avoid racking up large debts from other payday loan companies.

artificial intelligence startups

Agolo

Using artificial intelligence, Agolo reduces larges amounts of similar content down to a summary of the most relevant information. For example, you may want to read four articles written about the new iPhone 8, all containing similar information but one may contain pricing information, while another may compare the price of the iPhone 8 to similar models. Agolo uses natural language processing (NLP) to analyze all sources, draw out the relevant yet ‘different’ key points in all four, and condense them into one summary.

Agolo received $3.5 million in funding from Microsoft’s corporate venture capital arm, Microsoft Ventures, earlier this year, and has plans to extend its summarization services to software (such as Slack) and to chat, voice, and video.

artificial intelligence startupsReflektion

Reflektion uses artificial intelligence within eCommerce stores to predict customer purchase intent and to deliver an individualized shopping experience to each customer. By studying consumer behavior such as what products they browse and their click-through journey, Reflektion acts as a ‘personal shopper’ to predict hyper-personalized suggestions for what they might like to browse next.

Reflektion has also followed in the footsteps of Pinterest by offering a visual search option and voice enabled search.

artificial intelligence startups

Cogito

It may be true that no-one likes hearing their own voice played back to them – but Cogito believes the future of your customer service depends on it.

Cogito enhances call center interactions by conducting voice analysis during phone calls, focusing on six areas of verbal communication: energy, interruptions, empathy, participation, tone, and pace. Customer service agents then receive real-time guidance and alerts during calls, such as “you’re speaking too quickly”, “frequent overlaps”, and “extended silence”, and provides tips such as an “empathy cue”.

By taking advantage of gathered emotional intelligence and recorded conversations, agents are able to speak more confidently and professionally, and are able to improve customer satisfaction levels.

artificial intelligence startups[source: https://www.wired.com/2015/01/persado]

Persado

When your inbox is filled with sales here and deals there, what makes you open one email over the other? Chances are, it’s the way you connect with the language in the subject line.

Persado’s platform helps businesses optimize their marketing messages by transforming them into inspiring, appealing, and motivating messages that engage and draw in the customer.

Persado’s database of “emotional and motivational words and phrases” and images are tagged and given scores based on response data from billions of impressions, which are used to automatically generate persuasive messages. Emails, adverts, texts, and more can be run through the algorithm to provide “cognitive content” and calls-to-action.

artificial intelligence startups

Insidesales.com

InsideSales.com is a predictive analytics platform that aims to accelerate sales through artificial intelligence. The platform provides enhanced information for salespeople on how to discover prospects, when to engage them, and suggests the best way to do this. By amassing vast amounts of sales lead data, InsideSales.com’s algorithms are able to effectively analyze relationships and behaviors.

InsideSales Playbooks, which include recommendations for sales teams such as the best point of contact, and convertible accounts are also available through Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

What other artificial intelligence startups should we know about?

Let us know in the comments below or email me at rhian.davies@getapp.com.

Further reading on artificial intelligence:

How to simplify and speed up the sales software vendor evaluation process

How to simplify and speed up the sales software vendor evaluation process

Deciding which sales performance management (SPM) solution to buy can take more than a year, according to research firm Gartner. Further research says that the cost of choosing and implementing a new sales solution – including license and deployment costs – is often in the high six to low seven figure range.

Luckily, software vendor evaluation and selection doesn’t have to be such a long, arduous, and costly process.

(more…)

Be a part of the customer journey with customer experience management technology

Be a part of the customer journey with customer experience management technology

Between social media, online shopping, and review sites, your customers are hearing about your company from everyone and their brother. Think of them like gossip mags and rumor mills, but for marketing. Does that mean that your customers’ experience is out of your hands? It shouldn’t be. With customer experience management technology, you can get insight, overview, and control of your customers’ experience with your brand.
(more…)