Gladly Aims to Take Repetition Out of the Customer Service Experience

Gladly CEO Joseph Ansanelli joins the Kristen Scholar and Brad Smith at Cheddar to talk about the repetition in the Customer Service Experience today and how Gladly is looking to solve this issue keeping the consumer in mind. Watch below:


Interview transcript below:

Brad: What makes Gladly different from other similar Customer Relationship Management systems, is it fair to classify [it as] this?

Joseph: Sure, look our mission is to figure out how to help business to consumer make customer service radically personal, and we do that by putting people or customers at the center of the process. Unlike traditional, I’ll call them ‘legacy customer service platforms’, ‘customer relationship platforms’ – they tend to focus on cases and tickets as the organizing principal. You’ve probably all experienced [when] you call a company and they give you a case number. We said look let’s make it about the person, and let’s enable a lifelong conversation from modern messaging platforms to IVR and traditional phone calls.

Kristen: So what I like about this, and I believe the stat is that 54% of you say of customers claim that they’d rather spend the day in wet socks than repeat themselves I mean I can’t think about how many times I’ve been tossed along to different representatives when I’ve had issues, needed to call customer service – how exactly do you fix this problem by creating this lifelong trail as you mentioned?

[Read More: How to Listen to Customers Effectively]

Joseph: The first thing is we try to identify who this person is, and we only have one place that everyone in the company is managing the conversation so you mentioned JetBlue for example. At JetBlue whether you’re on the phone, you’re emailing, or sms’ing – It’s all about you, and it’s just one conversation history. It doesn’t matter which crew member has helped you, they’re all working off the same proverbial hymn book or song book.

Brad:  And so what and how does the work that you’re doing with JetBlue lend itself to some of the other use cases as well?

Joseph: JetBlue is a customer, TUMI in the commerce space, JOANN, as well as up and coming, I’ll call them ‘up-starts’ so folks like Sonder, or Native Shoes, or Rivian the new electric car company – they’re all customers of ours and they’re all trying to re-think how they build those better relationships with their customers.

[Read more: eCommerce Customer Service Guide]

Kristen: A quarter of consumers had conversations with agents already aware of their previous interactions. I guess the natural question is why is that even a reality?

Joseph: It’s mostly just because the software that most companies use before us was never designed in a world where you’re on the phone, you’re emailing, you’re texting, you’re engaging in the mobile app – they weren’t designed for that kind of world and so it’s only 20-25%, our goal is to figure out how to get that to 90 or 100%.

Brad: And so you’re also a partner at Greylock – how do you look at Gladly from a financial perspective?

Joseph: It’s a massive, massive market you know one of the things we do at Greylock often is we will start and incubate new companies so we started Workday in the office, Palo Alto Networks we started in our office and we looked at the customer service market which is a $20-$30 billion Dollar a year software market and we just thought it was really ripe for innovation and disruption.

Kristen: How much time can this save consumers? That’s what they want to hear.

Joseph: I’ll tell you a story – So a few weeks ago when the hurricanes were happening, a customer of JetBlue was on chat trying to figure out how to get on a new flight and said ‘listen, can I move this to a phone call?’ and they were scared to death that they would have to start all over, but that’s not what happened. They called in and the next crew member to help said look I see the entire chat conversation history, I see you want to re-book on this flight, let me take care of that for you. The customer was blown away, so that’s just a simple, day-t0-day example of the kinds of things people can do.

Brad: What’s next in terms of opportunities for the company to expand right now either with existing portfolio clients or new customers that you’re looking to take on?

Joseph: We are very focused on helping travel and commerce companies so we’re doing a lot of expansion primarily in the United States which is really exciting, but the thing we want to do from a technology standpoint is how do we just help to do more and more to help people understand who you are. So it’s things like – think about the example with Rivian, how do we start to pull information about the car you drive into that customer service software. So if you contact again and they see that your tire pressure is low, that shows up to that agent who can help you with it.

Kristen: How do you protect that customer data?

Joseph: Security and privacy is one of the most important things, so we have a whole team dedicated to that and you have to do all the best practices out there so we invest a lot in that.

Kristen: Explain how you’re monetizing this and what the projections are going forward.

Joseph: …Our model is that we charge our customers based on the number of people that are doing customer support. So if you have 1,000 people doing customer support you pay for those 1,000 people. It’s a pretty straight forward model.

Brad: Correct me if I’m wrong, but about $113 Million raised thus far..

Joseph: Correct

Brad: Where has a lot of that capital been deployed towards, is it hiring, is it R&D back into the product and developing the product at the end of the day?

Joseph: At most technology start-ups, the vast majority of investment goes into people. So it’s been building the product, the engineering team, the go-to-market team. I would say that’s been the vast majority of it and we’re going after a massive market so it’s been a big investment of building out a new customer service platform. You don’t get brands like a JetBlue very easily, you have to really build out the whole thing.


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