Online chatbots have been around for a while now, but tend to be limited in terms of automated responses. They also have difficulty understanding those writing in a second language, or uising a local dialect. Maybe AI is the answer, even if it takes a few years to teach software the many nuances of German vs Bavarian, Catalan vs Madrid Spanish, Welsh, Gaelic or Urdu slang.
For insurance brands resolving claims queries is surely the biggest headache long term. These can be complex questions, with legal implications is answered incorrectly. Especially during FNOL, when people are naturally under stress and may be injured.
Any AI start-up needs to understand that resolving a query on a lost Amazon package isn’t the same as dealing with a change of policy details, or the conversation required to make a claim after a car accident. Insurance comms are highly regulated, at every step, so it isn’t just about understanding what the customer is saying, you have a legal obligation to check the policyholder understands what has been agreed – and what happens next.
In terms of selling cover on a PAYG, or on-demand service per day, then AI chat, or a series of automated emails/messages may well be a better way to explain what is, or is not, covered. Here’s the word;
Siena, a US-based start-up launched by Romanian founders and that developed an autonomous AI customer service platform designed for e-commerce, raised $4.7M from a group of investors, including Sierra Ventu-res, Parri Passu Ventures, SpaceStation Investments, Village Global, The Council, and OpenSky Ventures. This investment will support Siena’s vision to transform customer service by integrating human empathy and intelligent automation.
The US start-up was created in 2022 in San Francisco (California) by the Romanian entrepreneurs Andrei Negrau (co-founder and CEO) and Lisa Popovici (co-founder and CMO). The two founders have nine years of e-commerce experience and are second-time founders in conversational com-merce. The first e-commerce business the two founders launched was Cartloop in 2020.
Siena was built on three pillars:
1. Human-like empathy: Siena introduces AI Personas, allowing brands to craft a unique voice and style for their AI agents. This approach goes beyond the standard, offering entertaining and witty interactions on platforms like Instagram and maintaining professionalism in e-mails.
2. Gets the job done: Siena autonomously executes tasks assigned by brands, such as editing subscriptions or arranging replacements. Its capabilities include pulling data from connected sys-tems, asking clarifying questions, and making real-time updates.
3. Human reasoning: Siena’s CORE (Cognitive Reasoning-Based Engine) uses reasoning-based decision-making to handle the complex reality of customer service. In this way, the AI assesses multiple factors in real-time, handling complex tasks like refund requests or multi-step retention plans for subscription brands.
One place for all channels
The platform autonomously handles up to 80% of all customer interactions across more than 100 languages and all channels (including e-mail, social DMs and comments). Siena resolves 80% of conversations with a 4.81 Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT score) based on over 50,000 customer satisfaction surveys.
“We started Siena from a simple question: “How can we create an AI-powered customer support solution that understands context, responds with empathy, and solves complex problems?”
So, our vision was to transform customer service and create an autonomous AI that felt more like a hu-man than a machine. Siena is already changing the everyday lives of customer service teams and consumers, but this is just the beginning. Our recent funding enables us to continue pushing the boundaries by making empathic AI the very backbone of modern CX. This pivotal moment marks not just an expansion but a redefinition of the customer service industry”, said Andrei Negrau, the Co-founder and CEO of Siena.
The co-founders are fervently committed to advancing Siena’s autonomous capabilities and inte-grations while executing a bold global expansion plan. Central to this strategy is enhancing its product suite, which is achieved by attracting elite talent in product development and go-to-market roles.
The company has a fully remote team of 23 people distributed across the globe and is actively seeking professionals in areas such as engineering, operations, product development, and go-to-market.
Siena works with dozens of e-commerce brands such as Kitsch, Simple Modern, Verb, or K18, from beauty, health and nutrition, food and beverage, and fashion.