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Aunoa and the AI Customer Service Revolution

Aunoa and the AI Customer Service Revolution

Ask any technophile about the latest buzzword and two words will immediately come to mind: artificial intelligence. No metaverse, no blockchain, no web3. No other phenomenon matches today’s most creative algorithm’s excitement, analysis, insights and potential, capable of mimicking human voices, solving complex equations and writing academic essays in the blink of an eye.

ChatGPT, Claude or Gemini have taken centre stage in front of a public eager for novelties. They are the current stars of today’s show, the benchmark tools on everyone’s lips, yet in the wings there are hundreds of other solutions created by highly disruptive startups. The Valencian startup Aunoa belongs to this avant-garde club.

Launched in 2019 by four founders who have been working together for more than two decades, Aunoa focuses on automating processes linked to customer service, “although it is not the only solution we market,” notes Fernando Pérez Borrajo, the startup’s Corporate Director.

“Our goal is to offer companies a comprehensive solution for all their customer management processes, from the resolution of queries to the management of transactional and documentary processes, also using other conversation channels such as WhatsApp and Instagram,” explained Pérez Borrajo.

The approach could not be simpler: free customer service departments from repetitive and tedious tasks and instead let the combination of machines and humans handle all consumer and citizen queries, as Aunoa’s software can be used in both the private sector and public agencies.

In addition, agents in these areas have a kind of internal chatbot that provides them with response suggestions based on what other agents have answered in similar situations; it helps them classify incidents and suggests semi-automatic responses. The goal is to save time and avoid bottlenecks.

All too often, customer service is a headache for companies. Turnover is high because people get in touch when they have a problem, but if the response is slow in coming, tempers start to flare.”

Losing an employee leaves a big void. Their skills disappear with them, and someone else has to be trained. This costs a lot of money. With our tools, we try to keep the workers from leaving. However, if they do, there are no big gaps because there is already a well-organized knowledge base,” says the Corporate Director.

Despite their shortcomings, large language models like ChatGPT are outstanding: they have been trained with all the data available on the Internet and provide an ideal environment for completing a battery of tasks. A human agent, for example, will give a relatively simple response to the consumer. Still, this action can be supplemented by the algorithm composing the response to make it friendly and assertive.

While this additional help is invaluable, Aunoa never leaves it up to these linguistic models to respond directly, adding instead an intermediate layer of self-experience in the form of supervision. In fact, the transformer models used by OpenAI are also the basis of Aunoa’s AI, designed ad hoc for each client.

The two systems are thus seamlessly connected: Aunoa has a variety of anonymized and pre-trained models for different industries. There are e-commerce and logistics models for utilities (electricity, water, gas, telecommunications, banking and insurance) and for the public administration. These models safeguard the rules imposed by Europe, where the algorithm cannot be trained with data provided by customers. Aunoa then connects to these other major dominant models for very specific tasks (summaries, document compilation, response improvement, etc.).

 

Business overview

Aunoa has more than 100 relevant clients in 10 countries and exceeds the 1 million € of ARR currently. Its artificial intelligence works in Spanish, English, Portuguese, Italian and the co-official languages in Spain (including Basque). To implement each language, it is necessary to have at least one linguist in what seems to be an ode to the humanities in extinction.

“Our average ticket is around 1,200 euros per month. This may seem like a high figure, but it is not. The language models downloaded from the Internet are not sophisticated. If a company really wants to turn customer service around, it needs complex structures that require training and follow-up. That’s what Aunoa offers.” summarizes Pérez Borrajo. The churn rate is practically non-existent with this service model.

In addition to not losing customers, Aunoa benefits from another competitive advantage. More than 40% of its revenue comes from product upgrades. A company usually starts with an essential service but typically chooses to up the ante and deploy more ambitious ideas and services in more channels.

 

New developments on the horizon

The startup’s next giant leap will come with the widespread adoption of generative AI, not just in text, but in voice, images, or video to deliver a fully integrated environment” in less than a year. These new services will not only deploy ‘multi-sense’ environments to help the frustrated consumer at any time of the day. Still, they will also provide powerful tools to human agents to help them analyze and understand customers’ problems and sentiments.

“The human service is often outsourced. Large companies are looking to pay the lowest possible price, so they turn to call centers located in other countries. However, if the service is poor, they lose a customer that has cost the company 700 or 800 euros to win over. Nobody can afford that, which is why customer service has become such a strategic issue. The potential of the combination of people and robots is extraordinary.”

Aunoa is not dazzled by the hype surrounding AI, and his pitch is as slick and thorough as his solutions.

Mar 25 · 2024 GoHub Ventures