AI-driven customer service software Limitless allows expert customers to support service tickets on its platform says co-founder and CEO Roger Beadle
1. Tell us about your role at Limitless.
I am co-founder and CEO at Limitless, a gig customer service (GigCX) platform that combines crowdsourcing and AI to help global businesses address their biggest customer service challenges. I co-founded Limitless in 2016 with Megan Neale, whom I have worked with for over 20 years. Together, with our teams in London, US and India we are pioneering ‘GigCX.’ GigCX is the term used for the pool of gig expert talent, or gig ‘crowds’ mainly made up of brand’s own customers. We call them Experts, and they provide on-demand customer service through the Limitless SaaS platform, mainly through answering customer service queries. Megan and I spend our days working with our amazing team to develop our SmartCrowd® platform to cater to the customer experience needs of our users, who are spread across the globe, supporting our clients who include Microsoft, Unilever, Sage and XBOX.
2. How did you come to be in the AI tech industry?
Megan and I have spent over 20 years in the customer contact center sector, so we’re very aware of the shortcomings of the industry in terms of paying people a living wage, as well as the challenges around staff retention and attrition. Our company name comes from the fact that we truly believe that every person has limitless potential, and so we sought to break the traditional economic customer service model with new technology and a new ideology. Many of our clients that deploy Limitless for crowd service are inviting their own customers to support other customers’ service tickets; others are building crowds of qualified experts who have specific skills. With this model, we are helping brands to build crowds of expert super users to share their brand, product, and service model knowledge as they answer customer service queries.
3. Can you tell us more about ‘humans in the loop’ feature of Limitless?
AI at Limitless is not just about automating simple inquiries – it is about improving the performance across the whole platform. “Humans in the loop” means classifying inquiries so we can route them to the best service option – human or virtual. Let’s not forget that humans augment machine learning as much as machine learning helps us.
Having a human ready to step in where AI is unable to handle a request is vital – and at the same time, this improves the training of AI whereby we can increase the speed of attaining a high degree of confidence in it.
4. Why do you think data points are the Holy Grail when it comes to AI enhancing customer service experience?
Data points are integral to successfully automate simpler inquiries. We gather more data points than traditional models due to our unique data journey via our SmartAI products (SmartAssist and SmartAnswers). In SmartAssist for example, Experts select or reject an AI suggested answer to incorporate into their response – this is a data point. Or, a customer accepts or rejects the answer that has an AI suggested answer incorporated in it – this is also a data point. Another good example of a data point is when a ticket goes to peer review and two other independent qualified experts check the accuracy or inaccuracy of the ticket with an AI suggested answer incorporated in it.
5. Would you say FB Messenger is turning out to be the newest, ideal channels for sales and customer support?
FB Messenger is a perfect channel for sales and customer support, but brands are realizing that automation on its own is not enough – a human touch is often needed. Prospects viewing Facebook can now seamlessly transition from bots to messaging trusted brand advocates, to ask questions before they buy or sign up. These advocates are providing GigCX for on-demand customer service. FB Messenger integrates with GigCX platforms to drive improved conversion, increased awareness and interest in products, and increased engagement and insight.
6. How do you think Limitless’ CrowdFeedback tool is impacting product development?
CrowdFeedback helps companies to create crowds to capture real-time feedback, moderate content and improve AI algorithms. It enables organizations to target specific groups of customers or user groups to answer questions, train AI algorithms or complete tasks to provide valuable feedback on products, features, and customer journeys in real-time. From a product development point of view, this type of solution is really at the forefront – it’s what the future of customer research will look like.CrowdFeedback helps companies to create crowds to capture real-time feedback, moderate content and improve AI algorithms. It enables organizations to target specific groups of customers or user groups to answer questions, train AI algorithms or complete tasks to provide valuable feedback on products, features, and customer journeys in real-time. From a product development point of view, this type of solution is really at the forefront – it’s what the future of customer research will look like.
7. What are the major developments you are planning at Limitless in the upcoming years?
We’re further developing the Limitless platform to deal with rapidly increasing demand. As the stigma around gig work continues to lift throughout the world, we are preparing to deliver to a wider global audience. We’re also in development to enable customer employees to become part of their crowd of experts – building a virtuous circle to improve user experience.
8. What are your predictions about the future of AI in customer service?
However, GigCX need not just be confined to the areas of customer support. The knowledge and passion of your customers can be leveraged to make an impact on other areas of the customer lifecycle including customer acquisition and retention.
AI underpins many gig platforms, from Uber to Deliveroo. More and more, we’ll see GigCX platforms leverage AI to build advanced rating and review mechanisms to deliver quality and drive gig user performance.
For example, car manufacturers could energize their pre-sales efforts by empowering existing customers to convince prospects to sign up for a test ride. Online marketplaces like eBay could tap into the knowledge of their power sellers to help retain new eBay sellers through personal coaching and guidance. Businesses could also use their customers to provide real-time insight on products/services which can, in turn, inform New Product Development plans.
9. What digital innovation in the AI tech space are you on the lookout for in 2020?
Due to the huge rise in customers going online in lockdown, digital customer service should and will innovate rapidly. I believe Artificial Intelligence (AI) will begin to integrate more seamlessly with the likes of chatbots in CS – ‘teaching’ them to improve customers’ virtual experience, and also increasing their cost-effectiveness in the wider business.
10. What advice would you like to give to AI tech start-ups like your own?
Your team is key – hire people you are happy working with, in an intense environment, and who will learn from each other. My business partner and I have worked with some of our team for over 15 years, and the level of trust and respect we have for each other is what has carried us forward to build an amazing business, where we can have fun along the way.
11. What book are you currently reading?
No business tome clichés here – I’m just about to start ‘The Guardians’ by John Grisham, and very much looking forward to it!
12. Can you give us a glance of the applications you use on your phone?
Limitless, of course! Joking aside, I’m seemingly always on the British Airways app to organize business trips to the US. While lockdown is having the impact it is, LinkedIn is another popular one for business networking.
13. We would love to be privy to your much-talked about chic and fabulous work culture! Can you give us a sneak peek into some of Limitless’ get-togethers and office fun activities?
Roger Beadle, co-founder and CEO at Limitless, is passionate about addressing contact center challenges including low pay, high attrition, and access to new talent. The company has reinvented customer service in the gig economy using AI to improve CX. Roger, who earlier founded Semafone PCI compliant security solutions for contact centers, has Bachelor’s in Business Management from the University of Roehampton.