Over the past few years, we have experienced rapid adoption of the Kustomer platform by European and multinational businesses that are seeking to transform their customer service by delivering more personalized and efficient omnichannel experiences.
To further power our global expansion and meet the needs of our clients, we recently launched our first EU region data center. The rollout of this new region provides businesses the ability to store their data and access all of the capabilities of the platform on isolated infrastructure hosted in Europe.
EU Region Ensures European Data Storage and Improves Performance and Availability
By launching in the EU, Kustomer has replicated its entire platform infrastructure in Europe. Hosted in Dublin, Ireland and adhering to leading international standards of security and privacy, this new region will allow Kustomer clients with European data residency requirements to store their data in Europe. Building an isolated infrastructure in the EU also improves the availability and performance of the Kustomer platform for businesses operating in Europe, reducing latency and ensuring better agent and customer experiences.
Kustomer already complies with the requirements of the EU-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shield as well as the GDPR. Launching our first EU region extends the platform’s omnichannel experience, so no matter where in the world brands do business, they can engage customers wherever it is most impactful, while running on infrastructure optimized to meet their performance and data storage requirements.
In addition, we are planning to grow our sales and customer experience teams in Europe in the next year to meet the increasing demand for our customer service CRM platform.
The on-demand economy has made it imperative for businesses to provide service via the communication channels their customers use as part of their daily lives. As a truly omnichannel platform, Kustomer has enabled companies around the world to deliver personalized, efficient and effortless service experiences on the channels most convenient and popular with their customers.
We’re excited to announce that we have added MessageBird for WhatsApp Business and Twilio for WhatsApp Business integrations to the Kustomer platform, extending our omnichannel experience and ensuring brands can communicate with their customers wherever it’s most impactful. With over 1.6 billion global users, WhatsApp has grown into one of the world’s largest messaging applications and become an essential customer service engagement channel for businesses operating internationally.
The Kustomer platform provides an actionable timeline view of a customer’s conversations across channels, as well as their transaction history and other relevant data. Companies using MessageBird for WhatsApp Business or Twilio for WhatsApp Business with the Kustomer platform can access WhatsApp conversations directly on the customer’s timeline, where agents can leverage a customer’s data to resolve issues in real time, without ever having to leave the screen.
By maintaining all conversations through the timeline, Kustomer’s omnichannel platform provides a single threaded conversation with all of the relevant context. Agents and customers can switch between channels as needed, while continuing to progress conversations. Customers won’t need to repeat information and agent collision will never occur.
While other customer service solutions provide multiple channels, only Kustomer gives brands a true omnichannel experience by providing a complete picture of their customers, including real-time and historical conversations across all channels in a single location.
The new MessageBird for WhatsApp Business and Twilio for WhatsApp Business integrations are easily installed like other channels on the Kustomer platform. Once a company has inserted their MessageBird or Twilio API key, agents can begin exchanging messages, images, and other rich media with customers on the timeline.
Companies can track the impact of this service by using Kustomer’s native customer satisfaction solution to survey customers engaging via WhatsApp. In addition, WhatsApp Business is incorporated into the reporting and analytics of the platform to give brands complete insight into the performance of their customer service teams.
In addition to MessageBird for WhatsApp Business and Twilio for WhatsApp Business, the Kustomer platform supports e-mail, web and mobile chat, SMS, voice, Facebook Messenger and Twitter, enabling brands to communicate with today’s customers via the channels and applications they demand.
Learn more about Kustomer’s integrations with MessageBird for WhatsApp Business and Twilio for WhatsApp Business here.
NEW YORK, NY — October 3, 2019 — Kustomer, the SaaS platform that is reimagining enterprise customer service, today introduced KustomerIQ, embedding Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning across the Kustomer platform to enhance the customer service experience of companies competing in today’s on-demand world. KustomerIQ uniquely integrates Machine Learning models and other advanced AI capabilities with the Kustomer platform’s powerful data, workflow, and rules engines to enable companies to provide smarter, automated customer experiences that are more personalized, efficient, and effortless. The Kustomer platform stands out among customer service solutions for the comprehensiveness of available customer data and its business process automation that is driven by branchable, multi-step workflows and custom business logic.
“In today’s crowded market, excellent customer service is often the differentiator that builds loyalty and trust between one brand to another,” said Brad Birnbaum, Co-Founder and CEO of Kustomer. “With KustomerIQ and the inclusion of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning into our omnichannel platform, Kustomer will now go even further in helping brands automate their business processes, while making it easier for their agents to take action on customer information, ultimately developing a stronger and more profitable customer relationship.”
KustomerIQ brings together a wide breadth of Artificial Intelligence methods such as Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Predictive Analytics, Deep Learning, and Multi-dimensional Neural Network Mappings. Companies adopting KustomerIQ use their own data to train the predictive Machine Learning models, automatically customizing them to address their own business needs. With each new interaction and piece of data, these models learn and self-tune increasing their predictive accuracy and improving the decision making of both the models themselves and the customer service organizations using Kustomer.
Through KustomerIQ, companies will be able to automate manual, repetitive tasks and essential processes of their customer service experiences. In addition, KustomerIQ changes the way companies manage knowledge during a service inquiry by surfacing relevant insights and predicting future outcomes to enhance customer self-service, facilitate real time intervention through recommendations, and streamline proactive outreach. By automating everything and providing the right information at the right time, KustomerIQ frees up agents to focus on more complex and emotional customer interactions, resulting in reduced costs and faster resolution of calls.
KustomerIQ is bringing new smart customer service features to the Kustomer platform, including:
Automated Conversation Classification: Intelligently categorizes and classifies conversations using Machine Learning and attributes of the conversation and customer.
Queues and Routing: Routes customers to the most appropriate agent using conversation classification, agent skills, and overall team capacity to drive the machine learning model. As a result, KustomerIQ helps companies improve customer satisfaction, increase first call resolution, and reduce wait and handle times.
Customer Sentiment Analysis: Using Natural Language Processing, the Kustomer platform can read messages between customers and agents and quantify how a customer feels about a brand in real-time. Seeing customers’ sentiment helps agents empathize with customers in a digital medium, and thus determine the best way to communicate with them.
Automatic Language Detection: Using Natural Language Processing, the Kustomer platform can automatically identify the language being used in a conversation and then route the customer to an agent that speaks the language. In addition, if a company has pre-written responses (shortcuts) set up in multiple languages, those responses will automatically switch to the language used by the customer to ensure a better experience for both customer and agent.
Suggested Agent Shortcuts: Provide recommended pre-written responses to agents based on conversation and customer attributes to help agents immediately access the knowledge they need to resolve customer issues faster.
Customer Self-Service: Automatically suggests help articles from a company’s knowledge base providing an immediate answer to a simple customer questions without interacting with an agent, so customers get answers faster and agents can focus time on more complex customer inquiries. By giving a customer more self-service options it also lowers agent volumes and improves resolution and handle times.
Workforce Management: Helps to predict future conversation volume and staffing needs based on historical and trend data of items, such as SLA attainment and seasonality. Can also assist in identifying training needs by providing insights into areas where an agent or agents are deficient.
To further increase its rapid pace of innovation, Kustomer will triple the size of its development team in 2020. The team will focus on ensuring the continuous improvement of KustomerIQ’s machine learning models and further expansion and integration of innovative Artificial Intelligence capabilities throughout the platform.
Kustomer is the omnichannel SaaS platform reimagining enterprise customer service to deliver standout experiences – not resolve tickets. Built with intelligent automation, Kustomer scales to meet the needs of any contact center and business by unifying data from multiple sources and enabling companies to deliver effortless, consistent and personalized service and support through a single timeline view. Today, Kustomer is the core platform of some of the leading customer service brands like Ring, Rent the Runway, Glossier, Away, Glovo, Slice and UNTUCKit. Headquartered in NYC, Kustomer was founded in 2015 by serial entrepreneurs Brad Birnbaum and Jeremy Suriel, has raised over $113.5M in venture funding, and is backed by leading VCs including: Tiger Global Management, Battery Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Cisco Investments, Canaan Partners, Boldstart Ventures and Social Leverage.
If I’ve learned anything from 23+ years as a digital marketer in the software industry, it’s that customer experience is not just the interaction with a product, but the relationship it starts to build by continually offering relevant content and valuable insights. Having recently joined the Kustomer Krew, I can already tell – they get it. In a company who dedicates itself to helping brands provide a great customer experience, it’s my mission to ensure every interaction with our brand is a great experience, at every touchpoint.
As I make my long commute into the office today, I think about recent conversations of traditional marketing outreach being replaced by content-driven marketing. Essentially, “If you build it, they will come.” But it makes me wonder, with content alone driving my strategy, will I be able to gain the loyalty and the share of voice (SOV) we desire? I imagine our customers are asking themselves does my company’s customer experience lend itself to building the loyalty we desire?
Now I realize these authors aren’t talking about the marketing side of the house, but without the marketing, how does anyone know anything anymore? If we don’t search for that keyword, read that blog, or attend that webinar how will we gain those insights, find those solutions to help us drive revenue and retain our customers?
This book lays out the four pillars of a low-effort customer experience, with robust data, insights and profiles. The authors provide the tools and templates one can start applying right away to improve service, reduce costs, and ultimately generate the elusive loyalty that the ‘dazzle factor’ fails to deliver. The rewards are there for the taking, and the pathway to achieving them is now clearly marked.
A 4 out of 5-star rating on Goodreads, I invite you to grab a copy of this book and join the discussion on September 4th. Here are a few thought-provoking questions to get those academic juices flowing:
What are the implications for the future? Are there long or short-term consequences to the concepts the authors outline?
Are the authors recommendations doable and will you be implementing any of the templates provided?
Do you agree with the concept that customer experience should be effortless ?
This year is a special celebration because it marks the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
Early on the morning of Saturday, June 28, 1969, people who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer rioted following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar located in Greenwich Village in New York City. The bar was a gathering place for many in the LGBTQ+ community and had been the target of multiple police raids on the basis that the patrons were members of the LGBTQ+ community. The narrative changed when the patrons decided to stand up for their rights to be out in their community without the fear of being arrested. Subsequent protests and riots followed. This revolution ignited a spark filled with bravery and determination, and the communities’ march towards equality was born.
One year later, on the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots, people assembled on Christopher Street and walked 51 blocks to Central Park for the first Gay Pride march in U.S. history. Every June, New York City honors that Pride March on the last Sunday of the month.
Pride is an annual global celebration where the LGBTQ+ community, family, friends, allies and peers come together. It’s a time where hugging, hand holding, or kissing, can be shared publicly without the fear of retaliation, judgement, or violence. It allows our community the chance to come together to celebrate, remember, reflect, love, and live. Pride is diversity, inclusion, and belonging.
Here at Kustomer, we strive to provide the ability to create exceptional experiences for our clients and their customers with an expectation of those interactions being human and personable. As an out-and-proud gay male working in the tech space, I’m so proud to be working for a company that allows me to be my most authentic, and sometimes sassy, self everyday.
Zappos and other companies with a similar “do anything for the customer” mindset have changed what’s expected from customer service – forever. Now, whether a year old or fifty years old, companies across industries and around the world are trying to provide the rich customer experiences necessary to compete.
This is why my Co-Founder Jeremy and I started Kustomer. After years of building technology for contact centers, we made it Kustomer’s mission to reimagine how a software platform could make personalized, efficient, and effortless customer service a reality.
Our latest round of funding, a $40 million Series D announced yesterday, will further accelerate the development of the Kustomer platform and help our customers deliver an even better service experience to their customers. Led by Tiger Global Management, this round of funding is our third in the past twelve months following our Series C this past January and our Series B last June, and brings our total funding to $113.5 million.
We are humbled to have had each of these rounds led by three of the leading venture firms in Redpoint Ventures, Battery Ventures, and now Tiger Global Management. All of our investors offer us tremendous expertise, sound business insights, and support a CEO can only dream of receiving. The opportunity to now partner with Tiger Global Management is particularly exciting as they are true believers in the customer service and CRM spaces and share our vision for the future.
That future is a bright one because of the dedication of our Krew to building a next-generation platform and developing strong relationships with our customers. Through their efforts we have grown by 350% over the past year and extended our technical lead over legacy, outdated solutions in the space.
The Kustomer platform uses intelligence to automate repetitive, manual tasks and provide service agents unprecedented insight into a customer’s history. By unifying customer purchase and activity history from all of a company’s systems on the Kustomer timeline, agents have data-driven, actionable conversations without changing screens. As a true omnichannel platform customers and agents can switch between different channels as needed during a conversation, while maintaining the context to progress conversations forward without customers repeating information. Kustomer supports seamless communication through email, chat, SMS, voice, Facebook Messenger, and Twitter.
The additional funding dramatically increases our runway even as we ramp up our already aggressive plans to build on our unprecedented growth. This includes significant investments in our product and engineering teams to drive innovation. In particular, we will double down on artificial intelligence and machine learning to further enhance our business process automation capabilities. We will also continue our international expansion and will open our European data center later this summer. Most importantly, we will enlarge our customer experience team to ensure that our customers receive the same strong support from us that they provide to their customers.
Finally, I want to thank all of our customers who make this journey possible. Your passion and customer-first focus is an inspiration to us everyday. Thank you.
As a 15-year industry SaaS software veteran, having grown the likes of NetSuite and Mindjet from nothing to over $100M, I am intimately familiar with companies that raise significant amounts of money, but never quite find their footing in the marketplace. Co-Founders Brad Birnbaum and Jeremy Suriel have a vision that an omnichannel, single customer view — where customers’ histories and live questions exist together to provide agents the full picture to deal with the customer more efficiently — is more valuable for a company than a Zendesk or a Salesforce. I had to learn more about Kustomer.
The commitment that I made to myself early on in my career was that I would only work for a company in which I would invest my time and possibly my money. That company would have to be unique, different, defensible and desirable. In this case, Kustomer was the only company in the market that had an omnichannel, single timeline to engage with customers. They were different from Zendesk and Salesforce in that Kustomer is a workflow enabled application that encompasses all customer related systems into one application. They are defensible in that they have a four-year head start in the market and a well-funded war chest. They are desirable by customers because, well, customers love Kustomer. I needed to meet the team.
My background is the intersection of SaaS software and business technologies. I reached out to Vikas Bhambri, SVP of Sales and CX and asked for a meeting. Interestingly, he responded to me within a few hours. Within a day or so, I was put into the hiring queue. The initial conversations were intellectually stimulating, reflecting a culture to hire the best, while making the experience as pleasant as possible. Within a few weeks, I had met with the sales leadership and executive teams and was sold on the vision. I had to work at Kustomer.
Of course, the team wouldn’t make their decision on hiring me until the following Monday, so I had a long weekend thinking about Kustomer. The customer list was vast and their stories were filled with benefits like “improving visibility by 100% across channels”, “increasing customer satisfaction” and “40% improvement in response time.” These value propositions are music to my ears.
That Monday came quickly and I was happy to learn I was the new Head of the West. Thinking about the gravitas of the investors, the company stability, the culture and the product, I knew that I made the right decision. I am now a happy member of the Krew at Kustomer.
I’m thrilled to use my first-ever Kustomer blog post to announce the launch of Kustomer Book Club. Every other month we’ll be building out a recommended reading list for CX leaders interested in professional and personal development, including staying up-to-date on the latest customer management thought leadership.
If your first reaction is to think you’re too busy for a book club, I get it. Working a long day and then reading a business or industry book can feel like just more work. But I also truly believe that opening ourselves up to new ideas and perspectives is one of the best things we can do for our colleagues, customers, and our careers.
Agree? Please read on.
Our first book club pick is all about bucking convention and becoming a leader who champions new ideas (especially unpopular ones!). Here’s a short description for Originals:
It’s one thing to have new ideas, but another to stand up for them. Adam Grant, one of his generation’s most provocative thought leaders, explores how individuals can recognize good ideas and speak up without getting silenced, parents can raise creative children, and leaders can build cultures that fight groupthink and promote innovation.
Sounds like valuable skills for listening to customer feedback, changing company cultures, and being a better leader. This is also a book blurbed by both J.J. Abrams and Sheryl Sandberg, so you know it’s good. Or the author is just very well-connected.
Topics to think about (and discuss with your teams) while we read Originals:
When’s the last time you championed an idea that you knew was strong even though it was unpopular or complicated to execute?
Do your teams know they can come to you with dissent or disagreement? (Hint: just ask them).
How can our brands encourage AND act on more customer-generated feedback and ideas?
Kustomer Book Club FAQs
Q. Are we reading only books about CX and customer service?
A. No! We believe that the best leaders and the best teams are made of well-rounded, curious people. This is a book club intended for professional development, but that is not limited to trends in customer service or experience. In fact, there’s a lot of research on the benefits of being a T-shaped employee/person, especially within industries undergoing rapid digital transformation. (The “T-shape concept” of valuing a broad, cross-functional mindset is typically attributed to McKinsey).
Q. Are you taking recommendations?
A. Absolutely. Especially because there seem to be gender, racial, and age gaps in business book authorship. We are striving to highlight diverse voices in Kustomer Book Club, and would love to receive recommendations. If you’ve got a must-read book, pretty please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. When will the next book be announced?
A. We’ll announce a new pick every other month here on the blog. To make sure you don’t miss updates, subscribe using the form below.
Subscribe For Updates to our Book Club
Jesse Feldman is the Content Marketing Manager at Kustomer.
Our brand is a reflection of our team, our customers and our mission. It’s one of our most precious assets.
Customer Friendships are created with Kustomer. We are dedicated to making people and relationships matter in a complex, noisy, hyper-connected world.
Customer Friendship? I don’t want to be friends with my customers!
Not that kind of friendship. Customer Friendship doesn’t mean your customers should buy you a beer on the weekend. At Kustomer, Customer Friendship means every customer should feel like they are attended, served, cared for by…a friend. It’s what happens when you act in the best interests of your customers. It’s what people-first companies strive to achieve: a deep, meaningful relationship with their customers.
In the experience economy, Customer Friendship wins
In the experience economy, technology impresses no one. Customers expect to form a deeper relationship – a friendship – with brands. They seek open, trust building communication and personalized attention. White glove is no longer a premium. It’s the standard. People-first brands are winning the competitive game in their industries. What’s their secret? Customer Friendship.
Customers are reaching out in friendship
Customers are already actively committing to a more intimate and closer relationship with brands by following them on social platforms, obsessing about their products, identifying with their brand values and leaders, and supporting their community causes.
What’s in a name? The agent’s role is changing
Notice what people-first companies call their agents: Neighbors, brand ambassadors, advisors, stylists, consultants. Agents are now expected to deliver personalized value at every interaction to make customers feel as if they are being helped by a friend.
Outdated technologies and an endless queue of tickets
However, outdated technologies have been weighing companies down by limiting their view of customers and making it difficult to connect customer data spread across internal and external systems. Using currently available CRM solutions, companies are handcuffed to their vendors ‘best practice’ processes, preventing them from meeting their customers’ and agents’ expectations, and getting in the way of building Customer Friendships.
Every interaction is labeled a ticket. Every question is considered a snag. Instead of delivering personalized value to their customers, agents are expected to clear tickets and solve problems. Fast. Agents are growing frustrated because they lack the tools to do their job. Customer data is not instantly available, requiring them to switch between screens, logging-in and logging-out of disparate solutions in search of information that will help them help their customers. They often share or are assigned tickets without context, while still expected to deliver an exceptional experience…
…Then came Kustomer
Kustomer is a next-generation customer management platform for the people-first enterprise.
It was built on one simple idea: to make the customer the atomic unit of an open platform that’s intelligent, easy to use and accessible to everyone. Our customers improve their agents’ productivity and performance metrics by promoting operational efficiencies, and they stand out and grow in their competitive markets because they offer a people-first service experience that creates long-lasting and profitable Customer Friendships.
How Kustomer helps companies create Customer Friendships
At Kustomer, we’re putting the customer back at the center of the experience. Agents become friends. Everyone they serve should feel as if they’re being helped by a friend.
A friendship designed around a lifetime of conversations
A true friendship has a history, and a future. We don’t believe in tickets or case numbers. We manage conversations. Kustomer pulls and organizes all customer data into one single Timeline view that presents the shared history from all channels and conversations in a way both agent and customer can immediately access and remember all key moments like:
That time when we shipped the red dress to the wrong address.
That time when you were billed twice on the sneakers you bought.
That time when you wanted to return the extra device that didn’t fit.
That time when you didn’t know how to install the device and we sent you the guide by email.
Agents can immediately see conversations the customer had with other agents or through the website chat or mobile app. They can also collaborate and handle a conversation at the same time. There’s no need to look for customer data in another app since Kustomer seamlessly connects to other systems to pull out the relevant data for each interaction. And it’s all presented on one omnichannel thread.
A friendship is created when customers and agents connect across any channel
Whatever device or communication channel we use, humans remember conversations. We may start a conversation on a brand’s website, and seek to continue it through email.
Kustomer enables customers to reach you through their preferred means of communication, and empowers agents to switch from channel to channel without losing the conversation or its context. Brands always know the best way to reach their customers depending on the situation — a text to inform and a call to proactively address a problem.
A friendship is proactive
Friends know what you need before you can ask for it. Friendships are surprising, delightful and low maintenance. When you have all the necessary context about the people buying your products or using your services, it becomes the foundation for a long-lasting, more meaningful relationship. You can respond to their wants — and even anticipate their needs. Just like a friend would.
Rain in Atlanta? Communicate delays in service.
New line of wedding dresses goes on sale? Send an alert to interested brides.
Seeing the battery is about to run out of the camera? Send an alert to replace it.
A friendship with a heart: sentiments are important
Friends know what you like and dislike, sometimes even better than you do. They can tell when you’re upset, and when you’re happy, and will modulate their message to match. Kustomer always checks the pulse of the relationship. Is everyone happy? Satisfied? Disappointed? When you add heart to the conversation it becomes more meaningful and agents can have a conversation that can truly help the customer.
Now, let’s see it in action. Ask for a demo or check out our website to learn more about how Kustomer help create Customer Friendship magic.
I couldn’t be more proud, and like any proud CEO – I want to give you a brief taste of our Krew’s journey this past year, including a sneak peak of what’s to come.
2018 was a terrific year for everyone here at Kustomer. I can report our Krew keeps doing what we do best – building a cutting-edge product, growing a solid team and deepening friendships with our customers. We’ve grown revenue by 500% year-over-year. 500%! That puts us as one of the fastest growing startups against industry benchmarks!
The Kustomer platform is second to none. We provide a next-generation alternative to outdated technologies. We’re a solution to an endless queue of tickets that weighs companies down and frustrates their agents and customers. We designed our platform from scratch, focusing on a first-of-its-kind data model and incorporating a single view of customer interactions in our timeline. We are the disruptor brand – focused and fierce.
And we’re being noticed.
Brands at the top of their game, logos like Glossier, Away, UNTUCKit, Ring and others, are the companies who choose Kustomer. We’re also being noticed by our competition as we quickly take their market share, offering a better alternative to legacy and decades old products. Finally, we’re being noticed by the VCs. Kustomer is fortunate to have top VCs believing in our mission to disrupt the customer management space. Adding Battery Ventures continues to level up the prestige of our investment team. We’re disrupting one of the largest growing SaaS markets in the world.
I am especially excited to have Neeraj Agrawal join the Kustomer Board of Directors. You may already know Neeraj as the originator of the T2D3 (triple, triple, double, double, double) cadence for measuring hyper-growth in startups. He’s a seasoned investor and has been supporting the momentum of great products and companies. Check out the Midas list. He’s been a member of this exclusive group for 8 consecutive years!
With the additional capital, we’re investing in growth.
2019 will be epic. There’s so much on the horizon for Kustomer and many opportunities ahead of us this year. If you haven’t noticed our new branding, check out our new website. We’re maturing as a company and I am proud of our brand’s new look and feel. We will continue accelerating our go-to-market strategy and investing in our marketing and sales organizations to reach a wider base of companies, faster.
We’re also continuing our international expansion this year. With brands like Glovo and Paddle in the EU using Kustomer every day, we feel this market is ready for us. We’re targeting more up-market companies.
The Kustomer platform will continue to add capabilities and innovations as it evolves. Our product roadmap is extensive and includes significant investment in AI and efficiency capabilities. Keep an eye for our product releases and announcements throughout the year. Exciting stuff is coming your way.
We’re doing all this for our customers. The most passionate, people-first brands, because like you, our customers always come first. That will never change; no matter what we take on in the future. Without our customers, none of our achievements would be remotely possible.
Kustomer is the first company making real Customer Friendships possible.