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The Rise of Customer Experience (CX) Automation: Why We’re Excited to Co-Lead yellow.ai’s Series C

Over the last decade consumers have come to expect everything on-demand. But as we detailed in a prior blog post, businesses simply can’t hire enough people to attend to the barrage of customer requests they receive daily. And thus, the first generation of chatbots was born. But these bots frustrated customers because they weren’t robust enough to understand conversational language and were limited to regurgitating FAQs. 

Fast forward a few years later, the technology and know-how needed to successfully automate customer requests is now at a level where chatbots can identify intent, manage context and understand the nuances of conversational language. With these developments, the next generation of chatbots is capable of doing much more than ever before, which is why we are excited to back yellow.ai and co-lead their Series C. 

yellow.ai is pioneering the CX Automation category with a platform that not only addresses inbound customer support requests, but also enables businesses to proactively engage customers, as well as complete transactions--across text and voice channels. Here’s more on why we’re excited to partner with yellow.ai.

From Customer Service Automation to Total CX Automation

The customer service team in any organization is often faced with the impossible task of reducing costs while maintaining or improving customer satisfaction ratings. Over the years, increasingly intelligent chatbots have emerged to handle high volume requests that can be easily automated, freeing human agents to focus on more complex requests. Organizations that have seen success in customer service automation, as well as forward-thinking vendors are now pushing the industry beyond customer service into use cases in sales and marketing that can also be automated using chatbots. As this trend gains steam, customer service automation is giving way to CX automation, which encompasses customer service, sales, marketing and other conversational touchpoints with the customer.  

At $20B, the market for automating customer service interactions is a large one, but yellow.ai already does much more than address customer service use cases. yellow.ai’s platform also addresses sales use cases (known as conversational commerce) with deployments in verticals such as financial services where consumers can take out a personal loan online through a conversation with a chatbot. yellow.ai’s platform can also help power insurance companies where chatbots can assist customers with purchasing a new policy. 

Conversational commerce presents a huge opportunity for yellow.ai. In fact, a 2021 study from Juniper Research found that the total spend over conversational commerce channels will reach $290 billion by 2025. yellow.ai’s platform can also be used for marketing use cases, and in particular customer engagement, which is expected to be another multi-billion dollar use case for the company. Customer engagement includes acquiring leads, product discovery and launching smart promotions. For example, in the home décor vertical, customers have used yellow.ai to qualify leads and book appointments with sales associates. 

A Low-Code No-Code Approach to CX Automation

yellow.ai is a robust platform that customers can use to build chatbots for customer support, sales or marketing use cases. In enterprise software, “robust” has historically meant that a product is inaccessible to non-technical users, creating a dependency on engineering teams who have other priorities. yellow.ai differentiates itself by providing a low-code, no-code chatbot development interface that makes it easy for non-technical users to build and iterate on chatbot conversation flows themselves. If you know how to use PowerPoint and Excel, you can create a chatbot conversation flow in yellow.ai.

To support enterprise demand to reach customers on their preferred channel, yellow.ai’s chatbots can be deployed on mobile apps, websites, messaging (SMS, WeChat, WhatsApp etc.), voice assistants (Amazon Echo, Google Assistant), IVR and email. And because yellow.ai’s origins are in the India and APAC markets, its chatbots were built to operate out of the box in 100+ languages such as Spanish, Portugese, Bahasa, Malay, Mandarin and more.

Finally, CX will always be a combination of automation and human effort. yellow.ai is built for this reality and can accommodate human agents in addition to chatbots. yellow.ai’s chatbots seamlessly transition customer conversations to human agents who can address customer requests more efficiently through yellow.ai’s pre-built workflows such as fetching CRM info without an agent having to manually go into the database and providing dynamic canned responses where scripted responses can be dynamically populated with user data.  

A Founding Team Always Up for a Challenge

At Sapphire, we back ambitious founders and management teams building companies of consequence, and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with co-founders Raghu (CEO), Rashid (Chief Product Officer) and Kishore (CTO) on the next phase of yellow.ai’s growth.

After hardening the platform in the India and APAC markets--where multilingual capabilities, support for dozens of conversation channels and ability to scale to millions of conservations are table stakes--yellow.ai’s founders have set their sights on making a big push in North America, building upon an existing beachhead of customers and use cases. 

The market for CX automation is here to stay and we look forward to working with yellow.ai to build the industry leader in this category.

Left to right: Rashid Khan, Raghu Ravinutala and Jaya Kishore Reddy Gollareddy

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