“Please hold, you are next in line …” – who is not familiar with this irritating announcement, which – according to statistics – makes us spend almost 43 days of our lives on hold? With the help of e-bot7, lengthy customer service will in future be a thing of the past. The fledgling company plans to use adaptive AI in order to make this process more efficient. Furthermore, employees and bots will also be directly provided with relevant information so that they are able to respond to customer inquiries within the shortest possible time. The Munich-based start-up was founded in 2016 when the entrepreneurs – Fabian Beringer (CEO, Sales & Marketing), Xaver Lehmann (CEO, Strategy & Finance) and Maximilian Gerer (CTO, IT & Data Science) – also got so annoyed by customer service and realized that something had to change.
Fabian Beringer & Xaver Lehmann in an interview with Innovation Origins.
Please give our readers a brief history of the origins of e-bot7:
Fabian: After becoming so frustrated when we were kicked off a customer service hotline after waiting for more than 37 minutes, it was clear to us that this was a problem that had to be resolved. That’s exactly why the three of us entrepreneurs were tinkering with an idea that, with the help of artificial intelligence, would not only help agents to be able to work more quickly, but also automate recurring customer queries so that customers will be able to get their answers faster.
What makes your product so special compared to other products?
Xaver: We offer a hybrid Agent + AI platform whereby agents do not have to manually train the AI system, but it is trained automatically during business operations. We also call it “automated supervised real-time learning.” With our solution, we are able to improve customer service efficiency by up to 80%. Integration is simple and fast – less than two to four weeks – and flexible, i.e. it can be used on-premise or in the cloud. Furthermore, you will be able to use our Contextual Dialog Editor to set up complex processes, integrate them into the back-end systems and then fully automate them. We also have the most powerful multilingual algorithm as well as important strategic partnerships with EY, Sopra Steria, Roland Berger, McKinsey, Muuuh! and so on. In addition, the platform is capable of being seamlessly integrated into existing CRM systems.
Fabian: While most of those in the industry still choose to use third-party neural networks, we offer a simple interface for end clients which have our own AI developers and technologies that allow us to constantly update and improve our models, while offering each of our clients a comprehensive, customized solution to get the most out of their resources.
What major challenge have you had to overcome?
Xaver: Over the past year, our team has more than doubled and is set to keep on growing. A big challenge in this growth phase is building structures and maintaining the identity of e-bot7. Therefore it is crucial that we hire the right people.
Do you remember a particularly good time when it came to setting e-bot7 up?
Fabian: It’s very difficult to name the one best moment because life as an entrepreneur is always exciting. We are very happy to see that we can give our team members the opportunity to reach their full potential. At the same time, we are always thrilled with the great feedback we receive from our customers.
What are your plans for e-bot7’s future?
Xaver: We have a lot of stuff planned for our roadmap. One of our milestones for the coming years is our international expansion into Europe, USA and Asia. We want to become the leading provider of artificial intelligence for customer service. With the opening of new offices in London and Paris and an existing office in the United Arab Emirates, E-bot7 might be employing up to 100 people by next year.
Fabian: In addition, we want to expand and develop more languages with a focus on internationalization. In the future, companies will have to concentrate more on extending customer service in order to establish direct contact with customers. This trend is supported by new AI technologies such as the e-bot7 platform. Currently, it is technologically possible to automate up to 80% of text-based queries. We believe that full automation will take 100% longer. This would require an enormous amount of data, computational power and new technologies. As soon as this is possible, e-bot7 will become the first provider of this AI technology.
How important is this work to you?
Fabian: In our opinion, the ‘Life-Balance’ motto is not ‘Work-Life-Balance‘. E-bot7 is a substantial part of our life and we think about it all the time. That’s a lot of fun. Nevertheless it is important to take time for our families, friends and other stuff!
Xaver: It was clear to us from the beginning that you have to give your all and that there is always a solution. If you have enough stamina and ambition, hard work and the openness to constantly see things from different angles, you will succeed in moving a company forward. That’s really the kind of work we enjoy.
What is your final tip for other entrepreneurs?
Xaver: Have confidence in yourself and never give up. Many people will talk down the idea and say that it will never work. Do your own thing and realize your vision! There are some people who believe in you and will help you bring it forward.