In this particular customer service arena, businesses are faced with a historical labor shortage. Because of burnout, flexibility, and customer satisfaction challenges, agents are quitting at a faster rate than in the past-a problematic trend in an industry with high turnover. According to a Salesforce report in February 2022, 71% of customer service agents have considered quitting their job in the past six months. The effect becomes clear. Forrester’s annual customer service study found that 19% of brands in the year to April 2022 fell in their customer experience rating-the highest proportion that has dropped in a year since the study began.
Vinay Saini and Niken Patel, the cofounder of Neuron7, said they observed it themselves – Patel in advisory roles at Deloitte and Fujitsu and Saini as CFO and COO at Oracle software partner Serene. (Patel also worked at Serene, moving from the role of EVP to CEO.) According to Patel, the organizations he consulted with Saini often collect massive customer service data but find it difficult to use it effectively, leading to with the data becoming obsolete and obsolete.
“The real insight is how [address customer] the issues spread through many loops – and, often, into the heads of experts, ”Patel told TechCrunch in an email interview. “They spend tons on building knowledge bases, and finding applications above the data, but those systems aren’t sophisticated enough to find solutions to customer issues quickly and seamlessly.
The failure led Saini and Patel in 2020 to launch Neuron7, a startup that parses customer service records to help agents and technicians resolve product issues. As Patel describes, Neuron7 uses natural language processing to guide step by step users, analyzing metadata from knowledge bases, products documentation, customer support call logs, and transcripts to create a “collective intelligence” that can help diagnose and solve problems.
Neuron7 isn’t the first to market with a recommendation engine for customer service-far from it. Beyond incumbents like Salesforce, the vendor has rivals Zingtree and Talla, which combine customer content with automation and machine learning to help agents get the information they need. Ultimate.ai also provides an AI-driven service that delivers real-time assistance to staff dealing with customer queries.
Not surprisingly, the segment is full of competition. According to one estimate, customer service is a $ 350 billion-a-year industry-and the stakes are high. Ninety percent of Americans responding to a 2020 Microsoft said they use customer service as a factor in deciding whether or not to do business with a company; 58% said they would move the company because of poor customer service.
But Patel said Neuron7 can enable self-service portals for both customers and employees beyond the customer service division. That’s one variation, in his mind-the other is the algorithmic innovations of Neuron7. Investors have clearly won the pitch, with Battery Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners are leading the $ 10 million Series A of Neuron7 (which closes today).
Drawing on existing systems such as Salesforce Service Cloud, ServiceNow, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Neuron7 attempts to understand the context of a question to find an answer from within a body of customer service documents. To inform future recommendations, the platform is also trying to capture how technicians evaluate and resolve issues, in part by monitoring data streams from associated connected devices.
“We believe it is important for AI to go beyond analytics and high -level AI predictions. We don’t want to just provide a report card that shows how the service organization works – we want to help change the report card by impacting the most important service metrics, ”Patel said. “Customer service data is often siled across geographic locations, product areas, and even within various customer service departments and systems. Neuron7 solves an expensive problem for IT, by putting it to work without making custom search applications or funding expensive data integration and curation projects.The beauty of AI is that it keeps improving with each outcome – nothing becomes obsolete.
Patel did not disclose the number of customers Neuron7 currently serves, but named Sofftek, an IT and business process consultancy, as one of them. He said proceeds from Series A will go towards client acquisition efforts as well as expanding Neuron7’s 20-year workforce, with a focus on go-to-market and product groups.
“The pandemic has hit customer service organizations hard by increasing employee turnover, and with each departure, years of expertise leave the team. It also forced companies not to roll over. trucks and send field service engineers to the area, unless absolutely necessary, ”Patel said. “These scenarios drive customer service productivity and collective intelligence building tools like Neuron7 because of its ability to make new employees as productive as experts and raise customer service KPIs to all levels of service. Unless the productivity and profitability of customer service loses style, Neuron7 will be fine.
Neuron7 has raised a total of $ 14.7 million to date with Series A.