Over 100 Million Reasons Why Conversational Customer Service Is The Way Forward

Originally published by Adrian Swinscoe, InfoQ, July 28, 2021

When I spoke to Mads Fosselius, Founder and CEO of Dixa, in February of last year, we talked about the emergence of a conversational age of customer service and that taking a ticketing approach to service was no longer cutting it. A bit later in the year, I wrote about it here too.

A Variety of Customer Touchpoints

This is based on the insight that customers often use more than one channel (phone, text, messaging, chat, email, social, etc.) to contact a brand when trying to solve a problem or answer a question. However, when they do make contact, they don’t tend to think in channels but rather think about having a joined-up conversation with the brand in question.

Given that, it then frustrates them when brands don’t act in the same way.

Research supports this and finds that the number one frustration for customers when seeking help is having to repeat themselves, particularly when they change channels or are transferred between teams.

Dixa’s research and customer results also support the value of this type of approach with their customers reporting that they have achieved improvements in customer retention rates of up to 15% and higher customer lifetime values when they switch to a conversational approach.

Now, when I spoke to Fosselius, we talked about this being an emerging space.

However, that was before the pandemic hit.

How Technology is Accelerating Changes in Engaging Customers

Since then, we have seen massive changes and shifts taking place. In fact, according to McKinsey, organizations are reporting that over the course of the last year, they have been able to achieve seven years’ worth of progress with respect to their digital technology initiatives in a matter of months.

So, is the conversational age still emerging?

Well, it doesn’t look like it.

It looks like it has firmly arrived as today Dixa announced a Series C funding round totaling $105 million.

This round follows on quickly from a $36 million Series B round 18 months ago and is led by General Atlantic with participation from existing investors Notion Capital Project A and Seed Capital.

Dixa will use the new funds to invest in product development, including potential new acquisitions, and plans to quadruple their engineering team by the end of 2022 as well as build out their global presence.

That investment, according to Fosselius, puts them very close to achieving unicorn status and is an endorsement of the huge steps forward they have taken in the last year and a half. He adds that “For today’s customers, channels have ceased to matter. The way they engage now is holistically blended into what is called ‘multiexperience. This is how we’re empowering brands to continuously stay true to their values”.

Focusing on the Quality vs. Time Spent in Customer Interactions

Tom Hussey, Vice President in General Atlantic’s Technology sector focused on B2B software, echoes this and says “Customer service software is undergoing a fundamental transformation, moving away from disjointed, transactional approaches towards longitudinal, conversational engagement. Dixa has helped to define and lead this multi-experience approach, with a product and vision that is meeting the market where it is headed.”

What’s also exciting about this announcement is that Dixa is moving its messaging from solely focusing on urging brands to take a conversational approach to customer service to one that also talks about taking a multi-experience approach. This is an acknowledgment of the idea that while automation will increasingly take care of the simple and repetitive tasks on both the customer and agent side, how we support and enable agents when helping customers solve more complex issues in real-time, regardless of the channel, is becoming increasingly important.

 

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