AI for Contact Centers

Updated: September 08, 2022

Contact Center AI rely on speech recognition and natural language processing to automate simple, common interactions, doing handoffs to live agents when needed. AI also can give agents recommendations in real time

See also: Top 10 Call Center software

2022. PolyAI lands $40M to handle contact center calls automatically



Countless tech giants and startups have thrown their tech at the automated call handling problem, from Google (and Google’s Area 120 incubator), Microsoft and Amazon to Got It AI, Replicant and Tenyx. Now, a newer startup called PolyAI claims to be doing it more effectively — and raises $40M. An added benefit of the AI systems is that they enable more open-ended and “intelligent” conversations. Rather than relying on keywords and decision tree-style flows, PolyAI can interpret (to a degree) the context of an inquiry and attempt to respond appropriately. Beyond this, PolyAI can complete many tasks a customer service rep can, including taking payment information as well as names, addresses and account numbers (e.g. for health insurance).


2022. AI-powered conversation intelligence platform Invoca raises $83M



Invoca, a platform that uses AI to analyze calls for marketing, sales and customer agent training purposes, today closed an $83 million funding round. Through services like agent coaching and “automated contact center quality assurance,” the company aims to boost conversion rates, customer satisfaction and service levels in a largely hands-off fashion. Invoca aims to deliver “actionable” data from phone calls between sales or service agents and customers in real time. Entirely cloud-based, Invoca acts as a centralized platform that combines AI-powered speech analytics, automated call scoring, call routing and conversational interactive voice response (IVRs) capabilities.


2022. Call center automation software vendor Replicant raises $78M



Replicant, one of the more prominent vendors in the call center automation space, has raised $78 million in Series B. Replicant aims to automate call flows by integrating with existing systems including customer relationship management software to recognize customers by drawing on their order histories (if applicable) and past calls. The product can capture, transcribe and make searchable customer conversations, and — as do some rival service automation systems — Replicant can engage with customers through SMS and the web in addition to voice.


2022. Contact center analytics firm Loris raises $12M



Contact center analytics firm Loris has raised $12 million in a Series A round. It's software is designed to coach customer service reps rather than respond to customer requests. At the heart of the software is an AI-based solution delivering de-escalation techniques and language suggest features that guide customer service agents through the most challenging conversations. Loris offers granular, impactful data that can drive decisions across the business, because it incorporates customer sentiment in real-time, every day. We see the future of commercial winners and losers tied to customer service experiences and their direct impact on the profit chain.


2022. AI-powered conversational platform Quiq raises $25M



Chatbots are alive and kicking. That’s the message from Quiq, an AI-powered conversational platform, which today revealed that it closed a $25 million Series C. Quiq combines AI and human agents to increase efficiency, drive revenue, and improve customer satisfaction. It’s designed to let customer service agents work alongside first- and third-party chatbots to respond to requests over popular messaging channels, including Apple Messages for Business. Quiq allows conversations, synchronous or asynchronous, to be escalated to agents if an issue can’t be solved with automation.


2020. Snap acquired Voca.ai, which makes AI-based voice agents for call centers


Snapchat's parent company Snap is acquiring a startup called Voca.ai, which builds AI-based voice assistants for customer support services for $70M. Voca offers natural, human-like conversations that will leave you wondering if you spoke with a virtual or human agent. The platform serves as a kind of triage system, which handles simple inbound queries, and then hands over to agents seamlessly for more complex issues. Voca.ai, founded in Israel with offices also in New York — had raised about $6 million


2020. AI startup Cresta wants to reinforce human contact center workers



Call center focused startup Cresta is launching from stealth and announcing that they’ve raised $21M. Unlike majority of call center AI startups, Cresta is more focused on using AI suggestions to help human contact center workers make the most of an individual call or chat session and lean on what’s worked well for past interactions that were deemed successful. Cresta uses AI to school customer service workers and salespeople on how to close the deal. There’s quite a lot of turnover in contact center jobs and that can leave companies reticent to spend a ton of time investing in each employee’s training. Cresta is hoping that by tapping improvements in natural language processing, their software can help alleviate some stress for contact center workers and help them move conversations in the direction of selling something else for their company.


2019. Google launched Contact Center AI


Google is making its Contact Center AI generally available for use. This cloud service is built with conversational AI engine Dialogflow to automate interactions with customers in call centers. Contact Center AI contains Virtual Agent to automatically respond to customer queries with voice or text or handoff the conversation to a person when a bot is unable to help a customer. Agent Assist uses natural language processing to augment customer service agent interactions with customers when a bot is unable to help a customer. Contact Center AI is designed to work with existing contact centers — not against them. Integrations with Avaya and Mitel are already available. CCAI is available in U.K. English, Australian English, as well as Spanish and Russian


2018. Talkdesk nabs $100M for its smart call centers



Talkdesk, the provider of cloud-based contact center software, has raised $100 million in new funding. The round values the company at north of $1 billion. The company, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve customer service, targets mid-market and enterprise businesses, counting IBM, Dropbox, Stitch Fix and Farfetch as customers. With Talkdesk companies with millions customers can allow each customer to connect with a company in the best way possible. Having received a call customer service agent can see what products the cutomer bought, what her tastes are, what she has complained about before.