With Silicon Valley entrepreneurs worldwide believing that artificial intelligence could change the way we work, investors decide in which use cases the money makes the most sense to pump it straight. One focus was the tireless communication between companies and customers, which takes place in call centers.
Call center technology has spawned dozens, if not hundreds, of AI startups, many of which focused on automating services and using robotic voices to advise customers where to spend money. A lot of progress has been made, but not all of these products have been delivered. Cresta is more focused on using AI suggestions to help human contact center workers get the most out of a single call or chat session, based on what has worked well for successful interactions in the past ,
"I think there will always be very simple, boring things that can be automated, like FAQs and" Oh, what is the status of my order? "Says CEO Zayd Enam." But there is always the role of the person who builds the relationship between the company and the customer, and that is a really strategic role for companies in modern times. "
Udacity co-founder Sebastian Thrun is the CEO of the startup and is listed as a co-founder. Enam met Thrun while doing his PhD in Stanford and focused on productivity in the workplace. Cresta expects Stealth and announces that it has raised $ 21 million from investors like Greylock Partners, Andreessen Horowitz. The company recently completed a $ 15 million Series A round.
Cresta wants to use AI to notify customer service representatives and salespeople of the deal.
Turnover in contact center jobs is very high and companies can be forced to spend a lot of time training individual employees. Of course, there are some inherent issues where the employees who interact with a single customer may not have the experience to propose a solution that they could have had if they had more experience. Regarding live feedback, browsing paper scripts at your desk can be as good as possible for many. Cresta hopes that by improving natural language processing, their software can help contact center staff reduce stress and direct conversations towards selling something else for their company.
Cresta enters a field in which there is already great interest among established software giants. Salesforce, Google and Twilio all operate AI-driven products for contact centers. Enam is convinced that the 30-strong Cresta team can offer its customers much more individual support, even in the face of strong competition.
"We are one of the few technical teams where we are only obsessed with the customer, to the point where it is normal for our team's employees to fly to the customer for a week and live in an Airbnb call center. " Said Enam. "When Greylock led Serie A, they heard and said it convinced us that we were the team that solved the problem."
Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, Mark Leslie and Vivi Nevo are also investors in Cresta.