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From Series B to Series C in 6 Months…And You Haven’t Seen Anything Yet

A note from our CEO Brad Birnbaum

It’s been an incredible few months filled with exciting activities and milestones here at Kustomer. We have much to celebrate! It’s hard to imagine we raised our Series B only six months ago, and here we are, celebrating another huge milestone – our $35 Million Series C led by Battery Ventures.

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 We provide a next-generation alternative to outdated technologies.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.

And we’re only getting started.

Come with us.

Brad

Why Companies Are Switching from Ticketing Systems to Kustomer

Ticketing systems have been around for decades. Ticket numbers, formal emails (“don’t reply below this line”), isolated data (“what is your order number?”), have been a part of our lives as customers and customer support professionals. It’s hard to believe a better world is possible. Kustomer, built by industry veterans, was created with a different vision in mind—a customer-centric platform that ties together all the conversations and business information about a customer into a single timeline, together with powerful workflows that enable customer-first companies to execute their customer experience vision. In the past year, a number of customers have successfully migrated from ticket-based solutions to Kustomer. Here are a few items that CX agents and executives who made the switch have highlighted about making the move:

1) From Isolated Tickets to a Single Timeline View of the Customer

How many platforms does your team use to communicate with customers? Is your team in constant need to merge tickets? Because tickets from different channels are often disconnected, it’s easy to run into a customer who is chatting with another agent while you’re in the middle of replying to their email. Or worse, you might reply without knowing that they’re already being helped.

In Kustomer, you can see all the communications with your customer in one place. That means that real omnichannel communication is possible. You can go from emailing with a customer to chatting with them, to calling them on the phone, and see all those records in one conversation. That’s because the customer is the atomic unit of our platform—everything revolves around them.

2) From Disconnected Solutions to Actionable Integrations

How many tabs does your team need to keep open at the same time? When your customer support platform is disconnected from the rest of your platforms, agents need to keep copying and pasting customers’ email addresses into your admin systems to get even basic information about the history of their interactions with your company—past orders, delivery status, etc. Kustomer pulls data from all your platforms and tools and arranges it in a way that makes sense for your business.

With Kustomer’s single timeline view, the customer is the focal point, not individual conversations. Not only does Kustomer merge every interaction into the same conversation automatically, it also integrates with your other systems—like Shopify or JIRA, just to name a few. That means you can see when orders are dispatched and delivered, or previous items that customers have added to their carts or subscribed to on your site. All of this is displayed in that same timeline, so you have a deeper context whenever they reach out. Everything is completely customizable, so it’s easy to create a view that empowers your team to tackle your specific business challenges.

With this level of integration, tasks like returns or reimbursements can be completely automated (as we’ll discuss in the next section). No matter if your business is pizza, shoes, or software, Kustomer can be customized to show your agents everything they need to know in a single window. Orders, shipping info, product or version number, buyer and seller information, and social interactions can all appear beside each customer in bespoke “K Objects”. This makes it easy for agents to get the whole picture and take the next best action, or communicate with the right parties while staying on one platform.

3) From Repetitive Tasks to Intuitive Automation

Kustomer makes it easy to automate commonly-used workflows so that your agents can focus on connecting with customers rather than rote tasks. Don’t be limited by basic workflow functionality that won’t simplify your agents’ day-to-day work. Now you can define intelligent, branched workflows and reports encompassing all customer-related systems in your business.

Because Kustomer integrates with your other platforms, it’s way more powerful than just showing your customer history—it allows you to act on it. These branched, multi-step workflows make it easy to efficiently scale your team and automate simple tasks. Sending instant follow-up emails or processing a return is now only a click away and no longer has to take your agents’ attention away from the customer.

4) From Reactive Support to a Proactive Experience

Proactive service solves for what your customers need. That means it may be something they haven’t even asked for, like a faster delivery to avoid an incoming storm that might cause delays. It’s one of the best ways to build stronger relationships and deliver meaningful experiences. Ticketing systems are inherently reactive, as agents only respond when customers have a problem or a question. Because Kustomer keeps all of your customer information in one place, you can create granular searches for customers around specific behaviors or qualities, all on the same platform. That means your service isn’t just efficient—it’s smart.

If you want to build customer loyalty, you can search for customers that may have bought a product that could give them an issue, then send them all a message proactively. Let’s say your new mascara is mislabeled as “Vegan”—you can look up all the customers who have preordered it, then send them an email letting them know the mistake and offering a free refund or exchange if they don’t want it—all before their orders have arrived. Or if there’s going to be a storm that affects customers in a certain geographic area, you can notify all the customers with orders going to that region with a list of options before their shipment is delayed. With all your customers’ information in one place, it’s easier to surprise and delight them than ever.

When you combine this robust search capability with automated workflows, intelligent and proactive outreach can become a reality.

By putting all the information about your customers in a single view and making it easier than ever to act on it, Kustomer is winning over companies across industries. To try our powerful platform for yourself, schedule your demo today.

Press Release: Kustomer Secures $26 Million in Series B Funding to Modernize Customer Experience

Read the announcement from Kustomer’s CEO Brad Birnbaum here.

Kustomer, the modern CRM platform for customer experience, service, and support, announced today it has raised $26 million in a Series B financing round, bringing its total funding to $38.5 million. Redpoint Ventures led the round with participation from Series A investors Canaan Partners, Boldstart Ventures, and Social Leverage. Cisco Investments also joined as a new strategic investor. Additionally, Tomasz Tunguz, Partner at Redpoint Ventures, will join Kustomer’s Board of Directors to further propel the company’s goal of transforming the customer service industry.

“We have all experienced bad customer service. We saw there was a real need for a modern CRM platform that focuses on the customer, rather than a support ticket, in order to eliminate these negative experiences.” – Brad Birnbaum, Co-Founder and CEO, Kustomer

As the digital age continues to bring customer behavior changes, the business processes that handle customer data need to adapt accordingly in order to exceed customer expectations. The only way companies and brands can differentiate in the direct-to-consumer age is with a full view of the customer, enabled by a platform approach to CX and service rather than siloed applications and traditional, outdated support ticketing systems.

“We have all experienced bad customer service. We saw there was a real need for a modern CRM platform that focuses on the customer, rather than a support ticket, in order to eliminate these negative experiences,” says Brad Birnbaum, CEO and Co-Founder of Kustomer. “Kustomer’s single customer timeline and intelligent workflow engine enable companies to personalize and automate complex use cases that take time and resources, allowing service teams to be more effective and productive. For example, if you order a dress for a friend’s wedding that is supposed to be delivered during a snowstorm, you may be a little worried it might not show up in time. To add to the stress, you have to call support, wait on the line, and provide all the personal information the company should already have in order to find out. With Kustomer, support agents already have your information and are able to proactively reach out to you on email or SMS to let you know about the delay, will provide an option to choose an alternate dress at no extra cost, and can update the shipping address as needed. Kustomer is providing modern service for the modern consumer.”

“Kustomer aligns with our approach of providing exceptional customer experiences by leveraging their platform to better empower our teams, and in turn, our customers.” – Jamie Siminoff, Founder and CEO, Ring

Kustomer’s CRM platform for customer experience enables service organizations to know everything about every customer. Kustomer empowers agents with real-time omnichannel capabilities and delivers personalized, memorable experiences at scale by integrating all business data and automating intelligent workflows, resulting in higher lifetime value.

“It is time for disruption in the customer support industry, and Kustomer is leading the way.” – Tomasz Tunguz, Partner, Redpoint Ventures

Kustomer has experienced rapid growth since it was founded in 2015, including clients with thousands of service agents, some of which are industry disruptors themselves. Jamie Siminoff, Founder and CEO of Ring explains, “By switching to Kustomer, we were able to lower our overall service and customer experience costs, while also increasing our team members productivity. Kustomer aligns with our approach of providing exceptional customer experiences by leveraging their platform to better empower our teams, and in turn, our customers.”

“It is time for disruption in the customer support industry, and Kustomer is leading the way,” said Tomasz Tunguz, partner at Redpoint Ventures. “Kustomer has had impressive traction to date, and we are confident the world’s best B2C and B2B companies will be able to utilize the platform in order to develop meaningful relationships, experiences, and lifetime value for their customers. This is an exciting and forward-thinking platform for companies as well as their customers.”

Kustomer will use this round of funding to expand its platform and focus on intelligence, integrations and enterprise capabilities as it continues to take on larger opportunities. Leveraging its rich customer data in the platform, Kustomer will broaden its capabilities starting with engagement. The company anticipates doubling its team within the next twelve months by expanding both domestically and internationally. Kustomer aims to enable all companies to provide memorable experiences by becoming customer-centric.

About Kustomer:
Kustomer is the modern platform for customer experience, service, and support that focuses on customers, not tickets, enabling companies to know everything about every customer to drive informed actions. Used by industry leaders such as Ring, Glossier, and Rent the Runway, Kustomer provides businesses with a full view of every customer by unifying all relevant data, interaction history, apps, and systems. Kustomer was founded in 2015 with headquarters in New York City.

We Just Raised $26M. Here’s Why That’s Great News for Your Customers

Kustomer has raised a $26M Series B round led by Redpoint Ventures and has added Cisco Investments as a new strategic investor to continue to disrupt the customer experience industry.

Brad Birnbaum, Co-Founder and CEO, Kustomer

At Kustomer, we’ve set out to make customer experiences better. We know what it’s like to call customer service, wait on hold, read off our order number, explain the issue, and wait some more—only to be told we should have been speaking with someone else the entire time. It’s bad for customers, and bad for business.

That is why we’re working tirelessly to revolutionize customer experience.

We built Kustomer to be the modern CRM platform for customer support and experience. It’s always been an alternative to outdated and disconnected ticketing systems. Our clients have access to a full timeline of every customer, giving every agent and customer-facing rep the ability to pull in all the relevant data from their customers and across the business to serve them with speed and efficiency. As companies and brands become more customer-centric, we believe all of them will need to transform their businesses into a modern service and support engine to meet rising expectations.

We have made great progress since launching, welcoming clients and fellow industry disruptors such as Ring, Glossier, and Rent the Runway. With this latest round of funding, we’re excited to invest even more in making customer experiences better for our clients, and the world at large.

Making our platform work smarter and harder:

We love our platform, and so do our customers. Now, we want them to love it even more. That’s why we’re investing in improving and expanding our integrations, as well as making our platform even more intelligent and intuitive.

By broadening the depth and breadth of our integrations, we will enable every company to provide a full view of every customer, whether they’re small or large, B2B or B2C, and anywhere in between. By integrating with more e-commerce platforms, data sources, workforce management solutions, third-party voice providers, and industry-specific solutions, we will continue to enable customer-centric companies to have every last piece of customer data in their Kustomer timeline. We know that the ways customers reach your business are always evolving, which is why we’ll continue to add new channels to our platform so they’ll always be engaged.

Our workflows are incredibly powerful, and many of our clients are already using them to do some amazing things. That’s why we’re going to make them simpler and easier to use—so that everyone has the power to deliver incredible automated experiences, no complex technical knowledge required.

We will also continue to make our platform even more intelligent. By continuing our investment in Machine Learning, Sentiment Analysis, Natural Language Processing, and other new advancements, we will continue to ensure that our clients can understand their customers even better so that they can deliver experiences that are truly cutting-edge.

Equipping enterprises for incredible experiences:

Large contact centers shouldn’t deliver experiences that feel like they’re from huge, disconnected enterprises—they should be as personal and meaningful as the most hands-on boutique. That’s why we’re going to offer Enterprise-level routing and queuing, ensuring that clients of all sizes can deliver experiences that feel immediate and valuable.

Keeping customer information safe is crucial—which is why internal security is our top concern and a core part of our ethos from when we were founded. We’re building out advanced new security features throughout our platform accordingly. We’ll never take a chance with your customer’s safety, and will keep working to find new ways to make them safer.

The best part? All of these advancements will give our clients of all sizes access to Enterprise-level functionality. No matter how many customers you have, we’re going to make sure you’re giving them an unparalleled experience.

Realizing our vision for the Kustomer platform:

Not to brag, but we know the customer service and experience space inside and out. Jeremy and I have over 20 years of experience in the industry, and we always planned to create an amazing platform for service and support. However, our ambitions don’t stop there. We built the Kustomer platform to be versatile, and already our customers have been using it for more than just service—they’ve been using it for engagement, marketing, and more. Now we’re going to be investing heavily in this functionality. We always knew our platform could do so much more for you and your customers, which is why we’re making it more powerful than ever. We recognize the power behind the rich customer datasets that are stored within Kustomer. Rest assured, we intend to help you leverage them to the fullest so that more teams within your organization can deliver experiences that will wow your customers.

Growing to serve you better:

In order to maintain the incredibly high level of customer focus we demand from ourselves, we will be tripling our Customer Experience team in the next 6 months to make sure we are always there for you; whatever you need. Also, to continue working towards our vision of the richest customer-centric platform available we will be more than doubling our engineering and product teams in the next 12 months to continue to be the most innovative product in the market. We will also continue to expand beyond our New York City headquarters by placing customer-centric roles across the US and eventually Europe.

And finally, thanks:

Kustomer customers, we see you, and we want to thank you for all of your support up to now. It’s been an incredible journey, not without a few bumps, and we have so much further to go. So thanks—we’ve got a lot to show you, and we hope you’re as excited for what’s to come as we are.

Learn more in our Press Release.

From Bots to Superheroes: Empowering Agents to Deliver Amazing Service with the Help of Chatbots

There are a lot of buzzwords gaining traction as we settle into 2018, but probably none are bigger than “Bot”. Particularly in the customer support arena, as companies look to further reduce the cost of serving customers. This has resulted in the rise of chatbots. However, no matter how good the technology, bots aren’t going to be able to resolve every situation or interaction anytime soon. That means that transferring from bot to agent will remain a crucial part of the chatbot experience. What do agents and customers expect when the time comes for them to be connected?

Chatbots are undoubtedly improving and becoming better at seeming human while collecting crucial customer information—their name, address, and description of the problem—and based on that they may be able to produce some initial solutions.

However, the risk companies face is that they give their customers flashbacks to the 90’s. That means an experience that’s identical to the Interactive Voice Response phone trees that end up connecting them to an agent who needs to ask all the same questions over again. How can brands prevent this? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Put Agents in the Driver’s Seat: Empower agents to select the right channel to engage with the customer and best resolve the issue.
  2. Deliver Complete Context: The agent of the future will be a critical thinker. If you provide them with all the information they need about the customer story so they are well-informed of their profile and history, agents can craft some of their own dialogue based off of talking points from reference scripts. While this creates a more natural customer interaction, it also means that agents must be able to think on their feet and deal with possibly tense situations. Adapting to every situation and keeping calm and focused under fire is thus crucial for great customer service.
  3. Give Agents a Heads-Up: Automate agent alerts based on changes to the customer’s status, order updates, or snoozes so they’re always aware and ready to connect.
  4. Enable Empathy: It’s always great for agents to show empathy, but empathy is hard for any human being to deliver if they don’t understand the gravity of the situation. Brands can use tools like NLP (Natural Language Processing) to provide some insight into how the customer is feeling at the time of engagement, and know whether their outlook is positive, negative, or neutral.
  5. Streamline Connectivity: Efficiency is still critical at the point of contact, but not at the detriment of communication skills. Create personalized shortcuts that don’t just display simplistic customer information like name and email, but provide details of their relationship such as recent items they’ve viewed, their current sentiment, their order’s delivery status, etc.

For brands to be successful in the future, the hand-off between bot and human needs to promote a differentiated experience. If your customers have to start the process all over again when they switch to an agent, then they’re better off just connecting with one in the first place.

However, if your customer can go from speaking with a bot to an informed and empowered agent, that’s a game-changer. If your agents are equipped with all the context and transaction information they need, then they’re well-placed to deliver a meaningful experience. Combining chatbots, automation, sentiment analysis, and a full view of the customer is what it takes to turn your agents into heroes and deliver next-level service. Instead of going from a bot to a human who’s asking mundane questions, doesn’t know anything about the customer, and is powerless to make a decision, they can be connected to a CX superhero.

Vikas Bhambri is Kustomer’s VP of Global Sales and Customer Success

Schedule a demo.