This AI Startup Is Improving Customer Call Experience
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On a trip to Manila—the leading call centre hub in the world—Swapnil Jain realised lots need to be improved in call centre operations. “We went to Manila to see some of the world’s biggest contact centers in action. During our trip, we were shocked to see how inefficiently agents were working because of outdated processes and technologies,” said Jain.
He along with his two co-founders, Akash Singh and Sharath Keshava, realized that one out of every two customer goes unsatisfied with their customer call experience. The founders used their technical knowledge of artificial intelligence (AI) to solve this problem and created Observe.ai.
Observe.ai is a voice AI platform that performs continuous and automatic analysis on all calls at customer care centres. “Customer care service experience is very bad. The companies randomly pick up 1 per cent of the calls for monitoring and teaching purposes,” said Jain. He further added, “This random selection does not help in improving the overall quality of the call experience.” Observe.ai analyses 100 per cent of the calls leading to a better coaching and training of the call agents.
Founded in 2017, Observe.ai claims to analyze more than 250,000 calls each day. It has enabled thousands of voice customer service agents across seven countries to provide better customer experiences. Some of the customers of Observe.ai are Concentrix, Talkdesk, Mitel, Microsoft, Sysco, Employee Bridge, John Paul and GroupOne Auto.
Observe.ai is also automating a range of basic and repetitive functions performed at call centres by agents, allowing them to focus on cases where human intervention is needed. “AI technology is helping people to achieve their highest potential by eliminating repetitive and redundant tasks, allowing them to focus on subjective and complex tasks,” said Jain.
Verticalization of AI is the Key
With day-to-day advancement in technology in general and AI in particular, according to Jain what makes his or any other AI company stand out is a focus on a particular segment and sector. “AI basically analyses four things—text, speech, images and videos. But what makes us different from other AI platforms is our focus on the voice customer services. We analyze just text and speeches and we have a vast data set focusing on improving the call experience. We will suck if we try to make an Alexa because the data that we have accumulated and worked on is very different from the one that the AI of Alexa has,” claimed Jain.
San Francisco-headquartered Observe.ai has an office in Bangalore as well. Talking about why the company is headquartered in San Francisco, Jain explained, “Though there are a lot of call centres in India, most of the end customers are the people staying in the US. Coming from India and witnessing the call centre scenario has enabled me with a lot of business insights and wisdom and using those insights while staying near our end customers made more sense for our company.”
The Road Ahead
Observe.ai in December raised series A funding of $26 million led by Scale Venture Partners. Andy Vitus, partner at Scale, will be joining Observe.ai’s board. Talking about the development Vitus said, “Observe.ai is already disrupting the $300 billion voice customer service market by rethinking how agents are coached and the way top brands provide personalized customer experiences.”
The investment has led to a total funding to $34 million in the start-up. Observe.ai plans to increase its revenue by four times and team size by three times in 2020. “We also plan to raise another round of funding in 2020,” shared Jain.
Observe.ai has also been accepted into the Microsoft for start-ups programme 2020. Prior to raising Series A round, Observe.AI had secured $8 million from Nexus Venture Partners in April 2018.