3 startups with innovative solutions to enhance customer experience

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing the way organizations manage the customer experience they deliver. Here are some key stats that point to this fact:

  • A recent Walker study reveals that 86 percent of buyers will pay more for a product if they also receive a better customer experience.
  • According to an Experian study, 90 percent of organizations say that embracing advanced analytics is critical to their ability to provide an excellent customer experience.
  • According to a report by Digital IQ 2020, 82 percent of the top-performing companies report paying close attention to the digital customer experience.

Though customer experience is essential, most organizations find themselves inundated with data and unable to draw insights from all the data within their confines. The result is that customers experience a fragmented view of the organization, and organizations have an equally fragmented view of their customers.

The solution is to leverage modern technologies that leverage data to transform the customer experience. In this post, we look at three such startups that are leveraging AI and machine learning to reinvent the customer experience. From chat conversations to virtual agents, these organizations are delivering a multitude of solutions to enhance the customer experience.


customer experience

Talkdesk is a successful startup that’s drawing the attention of customers and investors alike. It is out to disrupt the traditional call center as we know it. Talkdesk has created a cloud contact center that is way ahead of typical call center management solutions in use today.

In the past, the call center meant phone-based operations. However, with the advent of smartphones, social media, and artificial intelligence, this notion has been challenged. Today’s call centers operate across multiple platforms, interacting with customers in their preferred way. Talkdesk is built for this world of cross-platform communication and integrates calls, SMS, live chat, email, and social media into a single holistic, 360-degree call center platform.

A core component of the solution is its elastic call center capacity, which relieves call center IT teams of having to plan way ahead of time for capacity. Talkdesk also features a visual call center knowledge base that enables collaboration and quickens call center operations.

Leveraging artificial intelligence, Talkdesk also offers customer experience (CX) analytics. Their Talkdesk iQ product delivers AI-driven CX analytics that optimizes the entire customer lifecycle. Further, Talkdesk also provides virtual customer service agents that can greatly scale support operations cost-effectively. In a remote world, it’s hard to bring all agents under one roof, hiring and onboarding are also complicated. Using virtual customer service agents can alleviate all these problems and enable call centers to still deliver world-class support during these uncertain times.

Talkdesk has recently raised $143 million in a Series C funding round. It is all set to further accelerate its growth and adoption.

Vision Critical

customer experience
Vision Critical Communications

Vision Critical is a data-focused startup that is solving challenges with customer experience using data and insights. Vision Critical is applicable to any brand that is looking to stay relevant and delight its users in today’s connected world.

The key pieces of the Vision Critical platform are customer profiling, surveys, and polls. They enable organizations to capture data from across the customer journey and make sense of it using analytics.

Vision Critical looks to measure and build the net promoter score (NPS) of brands. They believe that brands are no longer created by companies but are co-created by companies and their customers together. This means that shared experiences matter more now than top-down, one-way experiences. The implications of this view cuts across all departments internally, including marketing, HR, and customer support. Vision Critical has solutions for all these teams.

Vision Critical’s Touchpoint product makes it easy for organizations to gain feedback from customers right where they are — on social media properties or on any website. This helps build customer profiles and better influence customer sentiment and behavior. Vision Critical also enables integration of data across internal systems such as CRM, other enterprise applications, and databases with customer data.

Not just for customers, Vision Critical also helps organizations improve their employee experience. By measuring the voice of the employee (VOE) using data analytics, Vision Critical helps build a better culture internally. This is even more essential in these times of remote work.

Vision Critical recently announced a $20 million funding to further strengthen its position as a CX analytics leader.


customer experience

UneeQ takes a one-of-a-kind approach to customer experience. It operates on the premise that chatbots are only good for the simplest of operations. While they can help design close-looped conversation paths, they are adequate to deliver a modern customer experience. In the consumer space, even devices like Alexa are good enough only for simple commands.

Instead, UneeQ helps organizations turn chatbots into digital humans that are multidimensional and more human-like. These digital humans are like a brand ambassador or an actual face of the brand. UneeQ combines chatbot, voice, and visual technology to build its digital humans. These digital humans are created using CGI (computer-generated imagery). They are capable of emoting with complex facial expressions, which gives them an edge over text-based chatbots and voice assistants.

While chatbots are geared towards answering with specific data points, digital humans can hold more complex conversations with questions such as, “How are you feeling today?” UneeQ enables two-way communication by detecting facial expressions of users via a webcam (only if they allow it access) and then responding with appropriate emotions on the face of the digital human. It also uses sentiment analysis of text conversations to increase emotional engagement.

UneeQ builds on top of Google Dialogflow, the popular natural language platform that’s used to build chatbots and more. In doing so, UneeQ is not a far stretch of the imagination for any organization that has built a chatbot already. The learning curve for building a digital human isn’t steep. This is a unique opportunity for early adopters of the technology to create brand experiences.

The use cases for UneeQ run across all industries, but particularly companies that are looking to scale their support operations. For example, a large health insurance company uses UneeQ’s digital humans to explain their policies to customers. This requires a keen awareness of the customer’s needs and even emotions and UneeQ can deliver.

In the past, UneeQ operated primarily as a services company where they used to build digital humans for organizations based on their requirements. However, recently, with the launch of UneeQ Creator, they’ve opened up their platform for any organization to sign up and start creating digital humans on their own. This self-service model also quickens the process of getting started with digital humans.

UneeQ integrates natively with the most commonly used AI services from Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon. Creating digital humans is something that involves cooperation between Marketing and IT teams. While marketing owns the design and results of the customer experience, IT is a key enabler that needs to implement and maintain the technology.

Startups are solving challenges across the entire customer lifecycle and are enhancing the customer experience. Whether it’s for call centers, brands, or customer support teams — there’s something for everyone. These organizations leverage data and modern AI frameworks to build innovative solutions that are pointing to a smarter tomorrow.

Featured image: Pixabay

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