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Start-up of the Week: Meet Observe.AI, the game-changer in call centre industry

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A call centre, in layman’s terms, represents a centralized office that handles large volumes of inbound and outbound telephone calls, usually customer support requests for large organizations and businesses. From making direct calls to existing/potential calls to performing other functions like handling customer care queries, guiding clients during emergency calls and conducting market research. Call centres can be either manned by professionals or automated (computer-based systems handling caller responsibilities)

With artificial intelligence quickly becoming a part of the 21st-century formal economy, you have chatbots and virtual assistants being deployed by financial institutions, which are enhancing the digital profiles of these banks, apart from saving costs (since some of these functions were used to be carried out by human professionals a few years earlier). In short, artificial intelligence has made its successful entry into the domain of call centre business.

Observe.AI, a start-up based in San Francisco, is known for its voice assistant solutions that can turn a business’ contact centres into profit generation machines, by deploying techs like machine learning and natural language processing to ensure that its client businesses maintain consistency in their phone calls. Observe.AI tracks, monitors, and educates the call agents to ensure the phone calls made by them end up generating profits for the businesses, while cutting down the number of uninterested listeners. The start-up is all about ensuring the perfect marriage between artificial intelligence and human professionals, in order to enhance customer experiences.

The San Francisco-based start-up, helmed by Swapnil Jain, is backed by investing biggies such as Scale Venture Partners, Nexus Venture Partners, Y Combinator, Softbank, Emergent Ventures and Zoom. The company, which currently has funding of USD 213 million, has gained the trust of Tripadvisor, Microsoft, ERCBPO, Talkdesk, and other venture capital firms.

Observe.AI has a staff strength of 250 people, who are providing their inputs on fields like contact centre operations, customer experience and data science in industries ranging from financial services to healthcare, retail, insurance, and education.

The start-up’s products include Conversation Intelligence, Reporting and Analytics, Omnichannel and Consulting Services, apart from providing ‘Real-Time’ and ‘Post-Interaction’ AI solutions. Since its foundation in 2017, Observe.AI has been serving over 150 clients, along with processing over 50 million calls and above 500 million inferences on a monthly basis.

In November 2022, Observe.AI integrated its conversation intelligence capabilities with Zoom Video Communications’ new contact centre offering, under which companies using Zoom Contact Center to handle customer service operations will benefit from AI-powered insights into their customer interactions, which will improve their customer experiences, revenue and retention.

Following this, the company in January 2023, launched its new Real-Time artificial intelligence product suite, in order to help contact centre agents succeed to boost their productivity with live guidance, supervisor coaching and automated actions for after-call work.

“We believe agents are pivotal in transforming contact centre performance. When you coach scientifically on specific agent skills – instead of generic, one-size-fits-all coaching – your KPIs will fall in line. Observe.AI is changing real-time guidance by making it highly relevant to each and every agent, based on their actual performance data, so they are consistently coached in the right areas,” CEO Swapnil Jain told Channel Futures back then.

However, the ongoing tech sector slowdown has affected Observe.AI as well, as the start-up has gone into a layoff mode. As per reports, Jon Heaps, the Vice-President of channels at Observe AI, has resigned. It has to be seen whether the venture, which has been dubbed as one of the most promising AI-based start-ups in the industry, can come out of the rut or not.

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