Customer service is a huge industry. Meanwhile, employees are still hard to find in many industries, so it’s not surprising that many startups have sprung up to help companies provide better experiences for their customers through advanced technology. There’s money in them thar hills.
Many have started to turn to chatbots, but these rely on what is known as a manual flow, in which case a sort of decision tree is built by populating conversation blocks that help the bots fulfill customer requests based on specific triggers. The bots usually buy the company time while allowing it to gather information, which in some cases can lead to human interaction when the problem arises (assuming it can’t be solved at some point). But it can require heavy work in the form of expensive professional services.
Now, a startup called Got It AI is emerging from stealth mode and claiming it has a whole new way of helping its customers, one that focuses on dialogue. Silicon Valley investor Peter Relan, who helped found the company in 2018 (he also helped launch Discord and was on the board until 2020), likens it to a “fully autonomous” call service center .
Led by David Chu, who previously worked with Relan and Discord founder Jason Citron on Citron’s first company, Open Feint, the startup targets small and medium-sized businesses that don’t have the time, people, or financial resources to design the manual processes that power their chatbots. Relan says she can simply port both voice and chat log conversations into the platform and, based on that data and the magic of natural language processing and machine learning, it can immediately start communicating with customers.
He compares it to the GPT-3 bot used a few years ago to emulate someone’s dead fiancé based on old texts and Facebook messages she wrote that he fed into the platform.
Got It AI isn’t the only autonomous contact center going beyond what conversational AI software can do. Replicant, for example, is a startup that promises its AI voice agents can handle complex, nuanced conversations in real time, using human-like pitch and speed. (Replicant, founded five years ago, has raised at least $113 million in funding from investors.)
Still, of course, Relan insists that Got It AI – which has raised just $15 million in two rounds he’s chaired – has the best technology currently available; He also says the company has a strategy that it’s starting to implement now that it’s confident in its offering.
Step one focuses on partnering with cloud contact center software makers like Five9 and Twilio as they are “not companies that have amassed the AI talent to pull it off,” which Got It AI, the round 30 employees, has succeeded.
Step two focuses on selling directly to companies like current clients Indiegogo and baby brand Frida, which use Got It AI’s omnichannel software-as-a-service offering to largely answer emails, along with compound questions to content such as articles. In fact, Got It AI isn’t just aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, but primarily at e-commerce companies (in addition to companies like Twilio, which haven’t yet adopted conversational AI in any meaningful way).
In terms of the guard rails needed to ensure these autonomous conversations don’t land a company in hot water, Relan says Got It AI invites its enterprise customers to set the tone for customer service conversations. It also works with them to identify so-called hyperparameters, based on confidence that a customer complaint can be resolved fully autonomously.
Says Relan, “If the trust is less than [100%], you can set the parameter to say, “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand. Can you repeat that?’ And if that happens two or three times, it’s like, ‘Let me help you,'” and a human intervenes.
As with any AI, Relan now insists that Got It AI keeps getting smarter as the conversations it records constantly change, updating both its own style and results. “The virtual agent improves itself,” says Relan.
https://techcrunch.com/2022/06/27/the-vc-who-helped-incubate-discord-has-quietly-spun-up-an-autonomous-contact-center-startup/ The VC who helped incubate Discord has quietly spun up an autonomous contact center startup – TechCrunch