AI for Customer service

Updated: May 18, 2020

2020. Kustomer acquires Reply.ai to enhance chatbots on its customer service CRM



CRM startup Kustomer is acquiring Reply.ai, a startup originally founded in Madrid that has built a code-free platform for companies to create customised chatbots to handle customer service enquires that use machine learning to, over time, become better at responding to those inbound contacts. Reply.ai's customers include Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Samsung, and a number of retailers and major ad and marketing agencies working on behalf of clients. Kustomer is taking on the bigger names in CRM, including Salesforce, Zendesk and Oracle, by providing a platform that makes it easier for human agents to handle inbound “omnichannel” customer requests


2020. Omilia raises $20M to use conversational AI for customer support



Omilia, that has built a conversational AI for customer support, has raised $20 million in its first ever funding round. Omilia offers a customer care virtual assistant that uses machine learning to offer what it claims is a more “human-like” experience. It uses a natural language engine, trained via machine learning, to listen and respond to queries and uses voice biometrics to verify callers as they speak. It works on all platforms – phone, web chat, social networks, SMS, email, smart speakers and apps – and integrates with existing customer support systems. The technology has also been adapted for 21 languages, including regional dialects and accents.


2020. Freshworks acquires AnsweriQ



Customer engagement platform Freshworks has acquired AnsweriQ, a startup that provides AI tools for self-service solutions and agent-assisted use cases where the ultimate goal is to quickly provide customers with answers and make agents more efficient. AnsweriQ, which has customers that use Freshworks and competing products, will continue to operate its existing products for the time being. Over time, Freshworks, of course, hopes to convert many of these users into Freshworks users as well. The company also plans to integrate AnsweriQ’s technology into its Freddy AI engine.


2019. AI-based e-commerce helpdesk Gorgias raises $14M


Gorgias, a startup offering artificial intelligence tools for customer service and support, is announcing that it has raised $14 million in Series A funding. Gorgias is taking advantage of a broader shift as brands are looking to sell directly to consumers, rather than going through intermediaries like Amazon. The product integrates with Shopify, using AI and customer data to automate responses to basic questions like, “What’s my tracking number?” By doing this, the business can free customer service representatives from spending most of their time responding to these routine requests, and the customers get faster answers.


2019. Moveworks snags $75M Series B to resolve help desk tickets with AI


Moveworks, a startup using AI to help resolve help desk tickets in an automated fashion, announced a $75 million Series B investment. Moveworks is a machine learning platform that uses natural language understanding to take tickets that are submitted by employees every day to their IT teams for stuff they need, understands the content of the tickets, interprets them, and then takes the actions to resolve them automatically. This should lead to greater user satisfaction because some of their problems can be resolved immediately, even when IT personnel aren’t around to help. Instead of filing a ticket and waiting for an answer, Moveworks can provide the answer, at least part of the time, without human intervention.


2018. Zoho Desk adds AI assistant for customer service



Service management software Zoho Desk is getting new capabilities that allow businesses to elevate agent productivity, manage cross-functional service processes, and contextually integrate customer service with other business functions. Voice and Chat Assistant: Zia helps reduce the load on customer service teams. Through Zia Voice, customers can speak or chat with Zia to receive answers from a knowledge base. Agents can also speak or chat with Zia to receive response suggestions while helping customers. Zia suggests specific sections of a knowledge-base article rather than the entire article. Agents can also speak or chat with Zia to receive response suggestions while helping customers. Zia suggests specific sections of a knowledge-base article rather than the entire article. Agents can add these suggestions to a response with a single click and send the same to the customer.


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.


2018. Microsoft launches new AI applications for Dynamics 365 CRM



A year ago Microsoft introduced its first Dynamics 365 AI solutions and today it’s expanding this portfolio with the launch of three new products: Dynamics 365 AI for Sales, Customer Service and Market Insights. Dynamics 365 AI for Sales, unsurprisingly, is meant to help sales teams get deeper insights into their prospects using sentiment analysis. That’s obviously among the most basic of machine learning applications these days, but AI for Sales also helps these salespeople understand what actions they should take next and which prospects to prioritize. Similarly, the Customer Service app focuses on using natural language understanding to understand and predict customer service problems and leverage virtual agents to lower costs. Finally, Dynamics 365 AI for Market Insights does just what the name implies: it provides teams with data about social sentiment, but this, too, goes a bit deeper.


2018. ServiceNow created helpdesk-chatbot platform



ServiceNow unveiled new chatbot building tool called Virtual Agent that provides developers a way to create an automated bot-driven process for routine helpdesk requests. The company claims that you can build these bots to provide end-to-end service. Meaning if you tell the bot you need a new phone, it can pull your records, understand what you currently have and order a new one all in the same interaction — and all within a common messaging interface such as Slack or Microsoft Teams. It also works for customer service transactions to process routine customer inquiries without having to route them to a CSR to answer typical questions.


2018. IBM unveiled voice assistant for business and it's called ... Watson



In "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" people always asked super-intelligent robot Marvin to fulfill only simplest tasks, that's why he was always depressed. The same thing can happen with IBM's AI Watson. The company will make him working as a voice assistant and answer simplest questions about weather, traffic and schedule. Even worse, people won't know that they are talking to Watson, because it is white labeled service. Any company can now create own voice assistant on Watson Assistant platform and call it Ivie for example. In fact,  Watson Assistant already works in a bunch of spots, including the Munich Airport and the Royal Bank of Scotland.


2017. Freshdesk acquires chatbot startup Joe Hukum



Help desk service Freshdesk has acquired Joe Hukum, a startup out of India that offers a platform for businesses to build their own chatbots. Joe Hukum, formerly known as Speedy, was originally focused more on building its own personal assistant / concierge app to help people order goods and services before pivoting to present the service as a platform for building bots for other businesses. Joe Hukum’s knowledge tree coding has been built to automates sales, service and support workflows, and so the team from the startup will be building bots on top of existing Freshworks products to help it stand out over alternative services. The deal underscores the continuing interest in chatbots that we’re seeing from the world of customer support: companies are looking for more efficient and less expensive ways to provide basic information and help to their customers, and many have their sights set on chatbots as a viable solution, notwithstanding that a lot of what is being built right now still in its very early stages.


2017. Zoho CRM got AI assistant



Zoho has introduced Zia - the Artificial Intelligence-powered Sales Assistant for Zoho CRM. Zia lets you know when something is going extraordinarily well –or wrong- in your sales operation, knows what you want to do – and helps you do it faster and bring the end of voicemails and unread emails. Zia is capable of learning, over time, the most frequent actions a particular user takes on Zoho CRM. Besides, Zoho introduced Blueprint, a sales process automation platform and upgraded two features to platforms: Zoho PhoneBridge, which connects a customer's PBX system to the Zoho CRM system, and SalesSignals, which provides real-time information about the activities of customers and prospects.