AI for business communications gets boost from $50M investment
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Using artificial intelligence (AI) to help business communications is not a new thing.
Organizations of all sizes in recent years have benefitted from automated voice transcription services, as well as contact center automation. Among the many vendors that have built technologies to support business communications is cloud communications platform Dialpad, which raised $170 million in funding at the end of 2021. Dialpad has had AI-powered capabilities for the last five years, enabling business users to consolidate their communications.
Dialpad’s AI capabilities have enabled the company to collect over 3 billion minutes of data that are now being used to help train a next generation of functionality.
“The goal is for a company to be able to consolidate all their communications around Dialpad,” Craig Walker, CEO and founder of Dialpad, told VentureBeat. “The secret sauce that ties all of that together is the artificial intelligence that is built into that core platform.”
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Today, Dialpad announced that it’s investing $50 million into its new AI Labs initiative, which is an effort to build, test and roll out enhanced capabilities that aim to provide more predictive and actionable insights to business users.
AI Labs extends Dialpad’s Customer Intelligence Platform
The new AI Labs effort will complement Dialpad’s flagship Customer Intelligence Platform, introduced Dec. 6. The Customer Intelligence Platform is a rebranding of the Dialpad cloud communications platform.
Dialpad’s Customer Intelligence Platform integrates contact center functionality with voice capabilities, messaging, virtual agents and live transcription for meetings. The platform also includes Dialpad’s AI CSAT customer satisfaction technology.
Walker explained that using AI CSAT, Dialpad is able to generate a customer satisfaction score for every interaction a contact center has with a customer. It’s a different approach from that used by many organizations, which is requiring customers to fill out a survey after a call. Walker said post-call surveys typically have low response rates — something that Dialpad is aiming to improve with the AI CSAT capability.
As a unified platform, the AI CSAT is able to determine customer satisfaction across all the digital communication tools an organization uses with the Customer Intelligence Platform, including chat and email.
What does $50 million of AI investment buy?
For Dialpad, the AI Labs investment is all about providing organizations with new types of capabilities that further help support business operations and customer satisfaction.
AI Labs capabilities will provide experimental features that are initially available as a preview to Dialpad users.
One such future capability that Dialpad is working on is an AI-powered net promoter score (NPS), which is a commonly used metric to help measure customer engagement. Walker said research efforts are expected to help predict customer churn in the future. In addition, Walker is looking to build out account health-coaching capabilities to help organizations better manage user experiences.
As part of a future AI Labs update, Dialpad is looking to develop a recruiter-screening capability. Recruiters doing candidate-screening calls will automatically have the questions they need to ask appear in Dialpad. The candidate’s answers will be captured by the system and then can be put back into an applicant tracking system.
There are also possibilities for using generative AI to help boost personalization in the Dialpad platform. Dan O’Connell, chief strategy officer at Dialpad, noted that his company’s platform has virtual assistants today for both digital and voice. One of the capabilities of the virtual assistant is to provide suggested answers to questions.
“Generative AI opens up a whole host of opportunities around further personalization for those responses,” O’Connell said.
For example, today if six customers ask the same question, they’re all going to get the exact same answer, formatted in the same way. With generative AI, O’Connell said there is an opportunity to drive more personalization and customization for responses. Overall, O’Connell emphasized that the point of the AI Labs effort is to build new features and give users a place to be able to try them out, as well as provide feedback to help Dialpad improve.
As to why Dialpad is specifically investing $50 million as opposed to some other amount, Walker said that it’s about fuelling continued innovation and getting innovations into the hands of users faster.
“We’re going to invest an incremental $50 million into R&D [research and development], on top of everything we’re already doing, to keep pushing limits,” Walker said. “We truly want to use that investment in AI to help our customers get insights on how to run a better business.”
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