The DIY trend isn’t something that’s confined to home improvements and upcycling projects. A 2021 Gartner survey found that 71% of the 4,300 customers surveyed – even Boomers – would rather solve their own problems instead of calling customer support.
Yet there are some tricky issues that still require an actual human to resolve. For all the benefits of automation, savvy organizations know that putting customers first requires providing easy access to real live agents.
It’s important to understand, however, that becoming more customer-centric doesn’t have to mean eschewing AI-enhanced systems. On the contrary, the right software can amplify the performance of individual agents and customer support teams. And investors have bet $25 million that the best solution on the market is MaestroQA.
Using AI to Assist Service Reps, Not Replace Them
Founded in 2013, MaestroQA was the brainchild of co-founders Vasu Prathipati and Harrison Hunter. Like many startups, the direction of the company veered after its inception. Within the past few years, Prathipati and Hunter realized that their intuitive software was best suited as a companion to service agents. Consequently, they revised their mission to use technology to help human customer agents be, well, almost superhuman.
So how does MaestroQA work? The system integrates and interfaces with some of the most popular CRMs like Salesforce, Zendesk, and Kustomer. Once installed, MaestroQA collects data from customer-agent interactions. The data can include anything from a call transcript to a chat transcript to viewing the number of times a customer service agent navigates between screens in search of an answer.
This data then gives insights into where and how teams can make individual or support team-wide improvements. For example, a customer may submit a negative CSAT survey after an email exchange. A team lead can use MaestroQA to grade the email exchange and look for any anomalies that could have led to the unpleasant experience, such as a lack of empathetic verbiage. In that case, the agent may be referred to a training module on showing empathy through the written word. The agent could then self-train using the module and make improvements for next time.
Elevating Good Customer Service Agents to Greatness
This type of continuous feedback loop has driven serious results for many top-level companies that use MaestroQA. Noted Jessica Bright, customer support manager of construction software company PlanGrid, “I don’t know where my department would be without MaestroQA. The program helped my team define an excellent level of support, then worked with us to raise the bar.”
Lauren Manser, who works in quality assurance at MeUndies, reports that MaestroQA has led the company’s team to new levels of self-assurance and brand fans. “The feedback has helped our team leads better train our offshore team,” says Manser, “and our CSAT is at an all-time high.”
In fact, MaestroQA has established a strong, loyal following and tens of millions in ARR over the past four years. With such impressive profitability and momentum, why raise $25 million now? In a word, expansion.
While Prathipati and Hunter had begun putting out fundraising feelers, the recent Series A VC funding round really took shape when the pair was contacted by Base10 Partners, a socially conscious technology investment firm. Base10, which describes its mission as investing in automation that “solve[s] problems for the 99%,” couldn’t have been a better fit for MaestroQA’s people-centered partners.
An Offer They Couldn’t Refuse
For Prathipati and Hunter, the decision to go through with the Series A round made sense. Incoming funds will be used to help the company scale further. Case in point: Prathipati has high hopes that MaestroQA can be useful in untapped sectors desperately in need of stronger customer service and support processes. These include the healthcare and insurance markets. He’s even said that, in five years’ time, he expects possible applications to have tripled because MaestroQA can be used across so many fields.
Given that the median Series A funding round is just under $9 million nationally, MaestroQA’s unveiled $25 million round has turned plenty of heads. Clearly, investors are as bullish on MaestroQA’s prospects as its co-founders are.
With an influx of $25 million in capital, MaestroQA can not only continue to expand its market but also to explore other human-software applications. In the coming years, MaestroQA intends to dispel the notion that customer service departments have to choose between bots or live agents. After all, MaestroQA has shown that when used thoughtfully, AI-enhanced systems can assist humans in tackling the biggest challenge of all-becoming the best possible versions of themselves.