Now more than ever, it’s difficult to control what customers say about a business and how loudly. It is in every company’s interest to pay close attention to how support agents handle complaints and inquiries.
That’s just one reason Facebook’s grand plan to reinvent customer service dialogs with its Messenger chat platform has captured so much attention. But there's another related segment undergoing rapid upheaval courtesy of cloud services: call centers.
One of the latest entries driving word of mouth is Talkdesk, a four-year-old startup originally from Portugal that has closed a $15 million Series A financing round including lead investor DFJ and existing backer Storm Ventures.
The company’s technology, developed as part of a Twilio contest, is used by 2,000 customers—most of them small or midsize businesses—including the likes of Weather.com and Edmunds.com. Although it doesn’t disclose its revenue, sales increased by 10x over the past year.
Talkdesk’s proposition is simple: help businesses set up distributed call centers far more quickly than traditional systems by using a cloud service as the host. Talkdesk’s offering competes with services from the likes of 8x8, Five9, and Genesys (to name just three).
“We are seeing a massive evolution in the call center technology space that, until now, has been dominated by antiquated solutions,” said DFJ partner Josh Stein, in a statement. “This is the classic cloud-software eats the world storyline that we have seen before.”
Like its rivals, Talkdesk is building an ecosystem of partners, especially with vendors that sell established customer relationship management systems such as Salesforce, SugarCRM, Zendesk and Zoho.
The company employs around 70 people, and its new funding will go toward expanding its design, engineering and marketing resources.
Research firm DMG Consulting predicts that the number of call center seats created by cloud services will grow 20% this year. The market has actually been growing faster. DMG Consulting follows about a dozen cloud vendors closely.
Said DMG Consulting President Donna Fluss, in a statement:
We have never seen this market in a stronger position,. Competition is fierce, innovation is at an all-time high, vendors are executing, and users have so many choices for leveraging the real and quantifiable benefits of the cloud. The slower adoption is actually a positive sign of market maturity—it shows that vendors are able to track and delineate sales of these solutions more accurately than ever before—rather than a market slowdown.
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