The need to contact customer support is the bane of many a modern consumer’s existence: not only is it likely that you are doing it because you have a problem that needs fixing, but you are inevitably sucked into a vortex where you have to sit on the phone for ages (or wait in stasis for emailed replies), repeat your details several times to subsequent assistants, and potentially risk losing contact and starting again. A new startup called Kustomer is getting ready to come out of stealth with an aim to fix all that by rebuilding the CRM from the point of view of the customer rep. Ambitiously, it is also trying to change the general business mindset in the process. By building a platform that is easy enough for everyone to use and holistic in the data it contains, Kustomer believes that anyone in a company, not just those relegated to the CRM silo, could act as a customer service rep. “Everyone should be able to … [Read more...] about Kustomer, founded by Salesforce alums, nabs $12.5M to repair customer care
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An Italian court has blocked the loan of Leonardo da Vinci's iconic Vitruvian Man sketch to the Louvre Museum in Paris. The world famous artwork was due to appear later this month in an exhibition which will commemorate the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death. It is part of a batch of works by Leonardo and Raphael that the Italian government had agreed to send to Paris. But an Italian heritage group called Italia Nostra, or Our Italy, objected to the loan, saying that Vitruvian Man is too valuable and fragile to travel. A regional administrative tribunal in the Veneto region, which encompasses Venice, on Tuesday upheld the objection and ordered the loan of all the masterpieces to be suspended. The deal will be debated in greater depth by the tribunal at a meeting on October 16 – just over a week before the Louvre exhibition is due to start. … [Read more...] about Italian court blocks loan of Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man to the Louvre
An anti-racism campaigner was told to leave the picturesque Belgian town of Ath on Sunday after being warned by the mayor that he could not “guarantee his safety” from angry townsfolk. Mouhad Neghif from the anti-racism group Brussels Panthers had led a campaign against a blackface figure known as the “Savage” who appears in the town's annual Ducasse procession which dates back to the 15th century. Mr Neghif told media he had been ordered to leave the town and was followed by police until he was twenty-five miles outside the historic city's limits. Two other members of the group were detained by police after they unfurled a banner with the slogan “Stop Blackface”. The Panthers object to a figure in the parade known as the “savage” or “wild man”, who is portrayed in blackface and has chains around his wrists. The character is meant to scare children. The group has launched a petition asking UNESCO to remove Ath's status as … [Read more...] about Anti-blackface campaigner expelled from Belgian town on day of ‘Savage’ festival
Artificial intelligence (AI)-powered speech analytics provider VoiceBase announced today at Tableau Conference 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada, that it will be adding a text analytics component its existing voice speech/voice analytics solution to supplement its voice-driven insights. VoiceBase customers can now ingest text data from chat, email, messaging, social platforms, forums, and helpdesk platforms like ServiceNow, Salesforce, and Zendesk, to help generate a more accurate picture of customer interactions and sentiment. VoiceBase is known for its various technologies that integrate automatic speech-to-text and predictive speech analytics that help businesses gain customer insights. The addition of text analytics can increase the data model exponentially, giving a business a more incisive picture of its users. "This helps in sentiment and categorization that flows into the key driver analysis we do, like competitor mentions, brand mentions, and picking out emotions," said Jeff Huckaby, … [Read more...] about VoiceBase Adds Text Data to Its Voice Analytics Offerings
Washington, DC (CNN Business)For most people building self-driving cars, lidar is viewed as a godsend. In recent years, enthusiasm for the technology has sparked shortages of the depth-measuring sensor, acquisitions of startups developing it and more than a billion dollars of investments. Tesla CEO Elon Musk says they're all wasting their time. "Lidar is a fool's errand," Musk said in April at a Tesla event. "Anyone relying on lidar is doomed. Doomed." Lidar, which stands for light detection and ranging, sends out pulses that bounce off objects and return to the sensor, telling it how far away things are. This point cloud shows where lidar pulses reflected off nearby objects, helping a car to understand its surroundings. Companies with the most experience developing self-driving cars — including Alphabet's Waymo, Ford (F), and Amazon-backed Aurora — believe lidar is critical for safety. Lidar startups have raised $1.2 billion in the past five years, according to CB … [Read more...] about Most self-driving companies say this tech is crucial. Elon Musk disagrees.
Assistly, a cloud-based customer support platform, raised $3 million in funding in January of this year from Bullpen Capital, Index Ventures, Salesforce, as well as several other angels and VCs. Since launching in September of last year and taking on new capital, Assistly has brought on companies like Yelp, Etsy, 37signals, Pandora, Vimeo, and Spotify as paying customers, attracting them with a customer support platform that allows businesses to respond to its customers beyond traditional customer service paths like email and phone calls by tapping into social media conversations on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites. It also helps that the startup counts Mark Cuban and David Liu as advisors. But beyond the ability to monitor customer chatter on a number of different channels, Assistly enables businesses to filter those conversations, organize them in prioritized, actionable lists, as well as achieve access to customer histories, automate all of these support … [Read more...] about With v2.0, Assistly Brings A Simple Pricing Model, Rewards, And A Bit Of Free To Customer Service Software