Software April 26, 2022
Automating Support Calls: Our Investment in Replicant
Calling customer support is often a frustrating and time-consuming experience with long queues and hold times stretching several hours. At the same time, COVID has amplified agent turnover and contact centers are struggling to hire, train, and retain agents to keep up with call volumes just as volumes are exploding.
Although chatbots are becoming more common, customers often still want to pick up the phone to speak with someone. However, phone calls are significantly more challenging to automate than chat. Calls are more free form, situations can be complex, voice can convey a lot of information, and customers have less tolerance for errors and delays.
Customer service leaders see automation as key to handling their flood of contacts and are increasingly looking for a high quality, affordable solution for voice, which has historically been underserved by modern deflection solutions.
Replicant is a Contact Center Automation solution that understands natural language and holds extended phone conversations to resolve issues. Deep integrations with backend systems enable sophisticated use cases like account management, scheduling appointments, order placing, and simple troubleshooting. Replicant also closes the loop by completing tickets and logging notes in the CRM. The results are so consistently outstanding (85%+ success rate) that Replicant calls their AI technology “Thinking Machines.”
Even in high stress situations, Replicant can navigate the conversation and understand when a call needs to be elevated to an agent. For example, Replicant helps a healthcare company schedule and reschedule appointments, mange shipments of medical devices, and update payment information. But if the Thinking Machine infers that a caller is in pain, it will transfer them directly to the medical team, with no wait, and with full context.
Unlike traditional IVR phone trees which are rigid, only understand basic keywords, and often assume the caller knows exactly what help they need, Replicant uses advanced AI models to accurately understand customer intent, including through slang and accents. Most importantly, Replicant’s conversations are smooth and natural. Many customers forget they’re speaking with a virtual agent (and often refer to it as sir or ma’am) and Replicant’s customer satisfaction scores typically match or beat human agents.
Replicant provides an exceptional and measurable ROI for its customers. The product contains the majority of calls and increases customer satisfaction. The core technology is also flexible enough to serve customers across industries, including financial services, healthcare, insurance, hospitality, and consumer goods. As Replicant gains experience in each of these industries, they build reusable ‘powers’ which help smaller companies quickly get value out of the product.
Replicant delivers fluid conversations without awkward pauses, while also integrating with backend systems to automatically recall order history and previous conversations.
Stripes Leads Replicant’s $78M Series B
We’re excited to partner with Replicant as they eliminate frustrating call queues and turn customer service calls into a delightful experience in what we believe is the first step towards true end-to-end contact center automation. Replicant’s technology platform is a leap forward and has all the hallmarks of the amazing products Stripes looks for in every partnership.
Customers we spoke with were thrilled with the quality of Replicant’s calls. No one wants to compromise on customer experience and customers were genuinely surprised by how Replicant delivered fluid conversations without awkward delays. Customer service leaders also see Replicant as core to building a cost-effective voice strategy where agents, who will always be crucial to a holistic customer support approach, can focus on the most nuanced and highest value issues.
While chat bots have become more common, Stripes also believes that many of the most important issues will be handled over the phone and agents also have a very important role to play in customer service delivery. This thesis also led to our investment in Balto, a contact center software which understands calls and pulls up relevant playbooks to guide agents. Replicant resolves relatively straightforward calls autonomously and pairs nicely with Balto, which is most helpful on complex support or sales calls.
We spent time with Gadi and Replicant over the course of several months and were impressed with their product DNA and deep understanding of the problem. It was immediately clear that Gadi is a world class operator with relevant contact center experience, as the former COO of TalkDesk, and has a clear vision for the future of customer support. We’re excited to support them as they enter the next phase of the journey!