Customer experience is one of the most important areas of focus in a business. Depending on the According to PwC, 73% of all customers cite experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions behind price and product quality. However, the pandemic has increased the workload on support teams, making it more difficult to hire customer service agents and reduce turnover while maintaining high standards for customer experience. that much Average The contact center turnover rate is 45%, at least twice that of other departments.
There are no silver bullets. However, Jorge Penalva is a strong advocate for using automation technology to close the gap in customer service. He is the co-founder of Lang.ai, a startup that develops a platform that automatically tags customer conversations to ostensibly faster resolution of service issues. By applying intelligence to service interactions, Penalva argues that technologies like Lang’s can reveal valuable insights that guide product experiences and strategies.
“Customer support automation is not new. As businesses grow, a common approach is to deploy automation through self-service chatbots to grow more efficiently and avoid customer inquiries. Ultimately, Lang’s goal is to become a key layer in the customer experience stack, where teams can structure qualitative data to build automation and extract better insights,” Penalva told TechCrunch in an email interview.
Lang announced today that it had raised $10.5 million in a Series A funding round. Nava Ventures (raised $15 million in total) uses AI to extract concepts from customer requests from existing help desk platforms like Zendesk and Intercom. The code-free product adds incoming messages, including email and text, with labels such as “Speak with an agent”, “Delivery issues”, and “Platform questions”. Using Lang, businesses can visually group concepts identified in customer support data and set up automations that are triggered by specific labels, such as answering a question about shipping a package in boilerplate text.
Penalva says he and his co-founders Borja González and Enrique Fueyo Ramírez came up with the idea for Lang while working together at former startup Sentisis. A natural language processing platform for Spanish. There, Penalva stated that business teams cannot leverage customer service data without the expertise of the data science department, which is responsible for high-priority tasks.
“We realized that instead of adapting our current AI model (built for engineers, built by engineers) and simplifying it for business users, we should instead create an intended no-code platform to think about problems in a completely different way. It’s meant for business users from the start,” said Penalva.It’s not just technology or user experience. Both were equally important and that was our ‘ha!’ Moment.”
Lang isn’t the only one using AI to auto-tag customer service messages. Platforms like Levity.ai and Chatdesk automatically label incoming service requests, including email and text. However Penalva believes that Lang sets itself apart both in its technology and in its approach to market. For example, Lang said he uses AI systems tailored to specific customer domains (eg retail, food service, healthcare) to recognize industry jargon and adapt to changes such as new customer support issues. Startup Partner A vendor that develops front-end and back-end customer service automation products, such as business intelligence tools, sells Lang as a complementary product.
“By making unstructured data available by tagging it, Lang becomes a data platform that can be leveraged for automation, chatbot workflows and machine learning. [Moreover, the platform] It becomes a system of record for all insights across unstructured customer experience data, providing a centralized source for insights from multiple sources,” said Penalva. “So far, our biggest competition for budget share has been not with other platforms, but rather about displacing existing phenomena. That is, hiring or outsourcing more customer experience agents.”
It’s still early days for Lang, but the company is important. Its customers include Stitch Fix, Ramp, Hippo Insurance, and Freshly. Annual recurring revenue – Penalva declined to disclose – has grown 11x in the last five quarters prior to Series A.
With the proceeds of the most recent round (also Oceans Ventures, Forum and Flexport Fund), Penalva said 25-employee Lang will invest in R&D and go-to-market teams. On the subject of the former, Penalva says Lang will try to identify ways to connect support conversations to purchasing data, for example, to determine the likelihood that someone with a particular problem will continue to purchase a product. Future versions of the Lang platform will make automated recommendations for customer service teams based on tasks typically performed by agents.
“We believe that data is the most valuable asset for our support and customer experience teams,” said Penalva. “By structuring data in a simple and reliable way across all customer interactions, our mission is to help support teams get their seats at the leadership table so support is no longer a cost center but a revenue driver.”