The company also announced that Paula Long, most recently CEO at Data Gravity, has joined the company as SVP of engineering.
This tool combines customer content with automation, chatbots and machine learning. It’s designed to help teams who work directly with customers get at the information they need faster and the machine learning element should allow it to improve over time.
You can deploy the product as a widget on your website to give customers direct access to the information, but Rob May, company founder and CEO says the most common use case involves helping sales, customer service and customer success teams get access to the most relevant and current information, whether that’s maintenance or pricing.
The information can get into the knowledge base in several ways. First of all you can enter elements like product pages and FAQs directly in the Talla product as with any knowledge base. Secondly if an employee asks a questions and there isn’t an adequate answer, it exposes the gaps in information.
“It really shows you the unknown unknowns in your business. What are the questions people are asking that you didn’t realize you don’t have content for or you don’t have answers for. And so that allows you to write new content and better content,” May explained.
Finally, the company can import information into the knowledge base from Salesforce, ServiceNow, Jira or wherever it happens to live, and that can be added to a new page or incorporated into existing page as appropriate.
Employees interact with the system by asking a bot questions and it supplies the answers if one exists. It works with Slack, Microsoft Teams or Talla Chat.
Customer service remains a major pain point for many companies. It is the direct link to customers when they are having issues. A single bad experience can taint a person’s view of a brand, and chances are when a customer is unhappy they let their friends know on social media, making an isolated incident much bigger. Having quicker access to more accurate information could help limit negative experiences.
Today’s announcement builds on an earlier version of the product that took aim at IT help desks. Talla found customers kept asking for a solution that provided similar functionality with customer-facing information and they have tuned it for that.
May launched Talla in 2015 after selling his former startup Backupify to Datto in 2014. The company, which is based near Boston, has raised $12.3 million.
By Ron Miller