Udesk aims to transform customer service operations

Beijing-based startup Udesk gets $43 million of funding from private investors as it applies technology to transform the way companies conduct customer services.

Udesk raised Rmb300 million ($43 million) from its series C round of funding, the Chinese customer service outsourcing startup said on Friday, underlining how technology is gradually transforming how companies engage with their customers.

The four-year-old startup said Tiger Global Management led the funding round, while US venture capital firm DCM Ventures and Legend Capital, the venture capital arm of Chinese conglomerate Legend Holdings, also participated.

Udesk aims to help its corporate clients receive feedback and better handle complaints from customers. It runs an intelligent customer relationship management platform that collects queries and complaints directed from various channels – phone calls, emails, short messages, instant messengers and social blogs – and turns them into the same format for easier interpretation.

In particular, Udesk operates a speech recognition system that translates voice messages into text messages. Its clients are able to handle all queries on a single platform without spending excessive manpower to monitor the various incoming channels.

Udesk said it is able to help its clients reduce labour costs by 30% and cut the workload of customer service representatives by as much as 60% to 70%.

The Beijing-based startup also helps its clients by analysing the incoming queries using artificial intelligence technologies, and diverts these queries to the relevant departments or customer service representatives.

Having started off targeting small- and medium-sized enterprises in China, Udesk has expanded its client base to include large businesses such as China Merchants Group and China Everbright Bank, as well as international firms like Shell, P&G and Starbucks.
The company is deploying more resources to develop smart systems capable of analysing customer queries over specific issues and responding automatically.
Udesk’s platform also helps clients to assess online the performance of customer service representatives by recording data such as average handle time, customer interaction counts and total number of resolved cases.
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