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When done right, customer service manifests as one of the most effective sales and marketing channels. However, that’s easier said than done. For instance, handling a high volume of customer tickets, especially in highly competitive markets such as e-commerce, can be challenging for any business and its customer service professionals. This is where California-based Thankful comes to the picture with its AI-driven platform delivered via a ‘service as a software’ business model. The company helps brands holistically and cost-effectively resolve their customer service challenges across all text-based channels, including email, chat, social media, in-app, and SMS. It accomplishes this via three platform components, AI Agent, Agent Assist, and Insight. While AI Agent provides an ability to understand, connect, personalize and resolve customers’ high volume requests like returns, exchanges, and order tracking without the need for a human in the loop, Agent Assist delivers AI intuition to human agents and saves them time by suggesting responses and proactive next steps to customers’ requests. Lastly, the Insight tool provides clients with real-time stats and a unified view of all customer service metrics.
In an interview with CIO Applications, Ted Mico, Co- Founder and CEO at Thankful shared insights and the value proposition that the company brings to the table.
Could you give us a quick overview of Thankful?
Thankful enables companies to thrive in a service-first world. Thankful enables companies to thrive in a service-first world. Our sole focus is delivering the best service experiences to end-customers. To allow brands to be more customer-centric in their service approach we had to build an AI tech-stack that really understood the customers’ needs, enabled brands to be everywhere their customers wanted them to be, and have an intelligence that makes the end-customer feel known and feel valued. This empowers companies to build long-lasting relationships with their customers. The biggest difference between us and other technologies is that we see Tankful as a relationship engine, not a deflection tool. Also, Thankful recognizes that brand engineering resources are precious.
We have therefore developed the most straightforward processes to integrate quickly and effectively with dozens of custom CRMs, OMSs, carriers, and helpdesks.
We provide brands with a scalable platform that can handle large volumes of tickets and simultaneously reply to over 50 different actions. Our solutions and technology work seamlessly with all major helpdesks and e-commerce platforms and help clients by eradicating their repetitive problems. With Thankful, up to 60 percent of customer queries can be solved without an agent in the loop or human.Our AI understands what the customer wants and delivers the answers they need.
With Thankful, up to 60 percent of customer queries can be solved without an agent in the loop or human. Our AI understands what the customer wants and delivers the answers they need. Thankful’s goal is to make sure that the customer service journey is as good as it can be.
Who are your typical customers? What market pain points of your customers have manifested as opportunities for you?
Today, our primary customers are e-commerce brands. We are also looking to add more value to our services by catering to clients in different domains.
We believe customer service not just about problemsolving,it’s really a catalyst for relationship-building
With Thankful on call 24/7/365, businesses can scale and improve customer experiences. In addition to precisely answering customers’ queries, Thankful can also monitor every customer service workflow and instance.
Please comment on how companies can go up and running with your solutions and also what is inherently different about your business model?
We can get most high-volume e-commerce brands up and running within a month. Thankful’s NLP achieves a high level of understanding that is not possible with in-house AI. Our engagement with brands begins with a two-week ticket and response review process where we analyze brands and their tickets. After that, we deliver a Service Scorecard which gives companies a detailed snapshot of their present service – breaking down their queries, end-customer sentiment, etc.
Thankful doesn’t believe that buying SaaS products should be like joining a cult where you pay money upfront and hope that you witness a miracle in months or years. We can prove our worth with a free trial. We train the model specifically for each business and most brands see 75 percent of the benefit in their operations within four to five weeks after adopting Thankful.
Please share with us a customer success story?
Over the years, Thankful was able to add big brands to its long list of clients. One brand faced a 147% increase in ticket volumes and a commensurate increase in customer wait times. In less than four weeks, we resolved 30% of their track order requests and over 50 percent of missing package requests along with several other ticket types. Thankful also helped reduce customer wait times by 55%, bringing their response time and total resolution time back to under one hour for all customers. Similarly, we handled 3.5 times the incoming ticket volume for another brand, and, more importantly, we saw CSAT scores of 99.3%. After deploying our technology, clients have been successful in reducing the wait time to half. Moreover, our AI agents don’t get measles or COVID; they work 24*7 and respond instantly. With that, our customer satisfaction scores go up because we are taking so much of the queue away. By scripting many such success stories, we continue to bring about a customer service revolution.
What steers Thankful ahead of the competition, and could you elaborate more on the distinct features of your platform?
Two defining characteristics set us apart from our competitors. First, our end-customer focus makes us completely different from your average SaaS company whose “customer” is the entity that pays them. This perspective has enabled us to create an entirely different tech stack.
Second, We believe customer service not just about problem-solving, it’s really a catalyst for relationship-building, which really sets a different agenda for customer service beyond a world of dumb, button-based chatbots. If your technology is primitive you’ll end up with a primitive relationship with your end-customer and companies today want a much more sophisticated bond between brand and customer – one that delivers higher lifetime value through service.