A company can have a good contact center, but ideally they can help customers before they have to call. Operative intelligence helps contact centers find out what customers want faster, improving automated inquiries and reducing hold times. The Melbourne and Los Angeles-based startup announced today that it has raised $3.5 million in seed funding led by Bonfire Ventures with participation from Wonder Ventures.
Operative Intelligence was founded in 2019 by brothers Peter and James Ianesk, who have worked in customer service and contact centers for 25 years.
More than 10 years ago, James developed a methodology to find out why customers called a major Australian health insurer. At the time, contact center systems didn’t have that information, so James devised a manual system to analyze thousands of Post-It notes transcribed by contact center representatives during customer calls. Those notes were analyzed by a team called the “5 Whys” system to find the cause of a problem. As a result, James was able to help that contact center increase his net promoter score by 5x.
The brothers continued to work on their method with high-growth technology companies, and three years ago began looking for a way to turn it into a software system.
“What we found 10 years later was that all the contact centers we had worked in were still experiencing the same issues and there was still no solution on the market that brought out the kind of insight that contact centers and businesses need to better meet the needs of their customers at scale,” Peter, CEO of Operative Intelligence, told gotechbusiness.com.
Operative Intelligence gives contact centers data on why their customers are contacting them, without spending time digging through different data sources. The fully automated platform analyzes customer inquiries across channels, including phone calls, emails, chats, web requests, social media, online reviews, and customer warranty requests. It then provides reports on the root causes of customers contacting companies.
The platform also splits customer queries into prioritized lists. One describes customer pain points and what they cost the company in service fees each year. Another is questions that can be answered through self-service and the potential ROI. Operative Intelligence also produces reports on contact center performance by location, team, and queries, and agent effectiveness by query type.
One of Operative Intelligence’s customers used its data to prioritize resolving customer issues over implementing new features, resulting in a 32% reduction in call volume and a seven-digit reduction in service costs, according to James. Another moved more than half of their call volume to digital channels and reduced time spent on calls by 23%, using best practices identified by Operative Intelligence.
The startup’s main competitors are NICE Nexidia, CallMiner, and Call Journey. James said Operative Intelligence stands out as the only platform that can automatically identify the root cause of a customer inquiry, requires no model training or business tagging of data, and has ROI built into its insights. It can be implemented by a company in two weeks.
In a statement on Bonfire Ventures’ investment, CEO Mark Mullen said: “James and Peter have built an intuitive solution to improve customer experience at a time when needs are greater. We look forward to their next moves to use AI technology to reshape an unexplored space.”