Ask-AI secures $11 million for enhancing customer support and additional features through its ‘ASK’ Chrome extension.

ByYasmeeta Oon

Jan 15, 2024

Customer support is a crucial area for enterprises, and the implementation of AI solutions in this field can significantly influence customer experience. However, when AI is not utilized properly, it can lead to unintended consequences, as evidenced by the incident with Chevrolet car dealerships using OpenAI’s GPT, which resulted in customers manipulating the system to get car discounts as low as $1.

Ask-AI, a company based in Tel Aviv, Israel, with a major office in Toronto, Canada, is taking a unique approach to this challenge. Founded in 2021 by entrepreneur Alon Talmor, Ask-AI has developed a Chrome extension named ASK, which serves as a model-agnostic enterprise AI assistant. This innovative tool aims to empower human customer support agents by providing them with real-time contextual data about customers, answers to common queries, and knowledge about the company’s products and services.

ASK functions as an AI sidekick, designed to assist rather than replace human agents. It operates as a Chrome browser extension that appears as a sidebar, automatically providing relevant apps and information based on the user’s current activity. This tool not only speeds up tasks like responding to emails and support tickets but also enhances the quality and effectiveness of the interactions.

For customer service personnel, ASK offers a comprehensive view of each customer, including past interactions and key insights like upcoming renewals or potential churn risks. It also supports generative AI actions, such as drafting emails or chats in the company’s tone, answering questionnaires, and conducting support audits. This wide range of applications adds significant value to the customer support process.

A crucial aspect of ASK is that it does not act autonomously. Human agents have the final say in using the information and responses provided by ASK, relying on their training and judgment. This approach aims to prevent the errors and overly ambitious promises often associated with fully automated customer support chatbots.

Ask-AI places a strong emphasis on accuracy and security. To differentiate itself from other customer support solutions, the company focuses on pre-processing and summarizing customer company data, including understanding unique internal jargon. Ask-AI supports various leading AI models, including OpenAI’s GPT-3.5/4, Google Gemini, Meta’s open-source Llama, and its variants such as Alpaca.

Another advantage of Ask-AI’s offerings, which include the real-time

dashboard MosAIc, is their ability to integrate with over 50 popular enterprise applications such as Salesforce, Zendesk, Confluence, and Slack. This integration allows Ask-AI to analyze data from these sources with the enterprise customer’s permission. This means that companies using Ask-AI’s tools do not need to switch from the software they are already using and trust.

The MosAIc dashboard provides a visual representation of recurring issues not only in customer tickets but also in internal communications, like Slack conversations, capturing key insights to increase company effectiveness. Ask-AI’s products, the dashboard, and the ASK sidekick are designed to enhance efficiency across various departments, from customer support to sales, by offering real-time insights and actionable solutions.

Initially focused on customer support agents, Ask-AI also aims to benefit other enterprise employees, including analysts and executives, who may find the dashboard particularly valuable. The company’s end-to-end solution has delivered tangible results, such as a 20% reduction in time-to-resolution for support tickets, for its diverse clientele, including, Callrail, and Yotpo.

Alon Talmor, the founder of Ask-AI, has a background in AI, with his previous venture, BlueTail, being acquired by Salesforce. His team, which includes professionals and academics like Professor Jonathan Berant, Josh Solomon, Dafna Lavran, and Eyal Medar, is focused on integrating generative AI into enterprise operations. With the new funding, Ask-AI plans to double its size within the year.

The recent funding and innovative approach of Ask-AI in integrating generative AI into enterprise workflows position the company uniquely in the increasingly crowded space of enterprise-grade generative AI offerings. By focusing on enhancing human capabilities rather than replacing them, Ask-AI is setting a new standard in the use of AI in customer support and enterprise operations.

The rise of AI in customer support has been a topic of interest and debate in the tech industry. While AI has the potential to streamline processes and provide quicker resolutions, there’s a growing recognition of the importance of human judgment in these interactions. AI tools, like ASK, are seen as augmenting the capabilities of human agents, providing them with information and suggestions that they can use at their discretion. This approach respects the complex and often nuanced nature of customer service, where empathy and understanding are as important as efficiency and speed.

The use of AI in customer support is part of a larger trend towards digital transformation in businesses. Companies are increasingly looking for ways to leverage technology to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance customer experiences. AI tools offer the promise of achieving these goals by automating routine tasks, analyzing large volumes of data quickly, and providing insights that would be difficult for humans to discern on their own.

However, the key to successful implementation of AI in customer support lies in finding the right balance between automation and human touch. Tools like ASK are designed to assist rather than replace human agents. They provide support by offering relevant information and suggestions, but the final decision always rests

with the human agent. This approach ensures that the personal element in customer interactions is not lost, which is crucial for building trust and loyalty among customers.

The use of AI in customer support also raises questions about privacy and data security. Companies like Ask-AI are aware of these concerns and emphasize high-security solutions to protect sensitive customer data. The ability of AI tools to understand and process internal company jargon and data further enhances their effectiveness while maintaining confidentiality.

The flexibility of Ask-AI’s products is another significant advantage. By integrating with a wide range of existing enterprise applications, these tools offer a seamless experience for users. This integration means that companies can continue to use their preferred software systems without the need for costly and time-consuming migrations to new platforms.

In addition to improving customer support, AI tools like ASK have potential applications in other areas of business operations. For example, sales teams can use these tools to gain insights into customer preferences and behaviors, leading to more effective sales strategies. Similarly, marketing teams can use AI to analyze customer data and develop targeted marketing campaigns.

The successful implementation of AI in customer support by companies like Ask-AI could pave the way for broader adoption of AI across various business functions. As AI technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see more innovative applications that enhance productivity, improve decision-making, and create better customer experiences.

The journey of Ask-AI is also a testament to the evolving landscape of AI startups. With its significant funding and ambitious vision, Ask-AI joins the ranks of emerging tech companies that are not just developing new technologies but also redefining how businesses operate in the digital age. The company’s focus on empowering human agents with AI reflects a deeper understanding of the role of technology in augmenting human capabilities rather than replacing them.

In conclusion, the development of AI tools like ASK by Ask-AI represents a significant advancement in the field of customer support. By combining the strengths of AI with human judgment and empathy, these tools have the potential to transform customer service operations, making them more efficient, effective, and customer-friendly. As businesses continue to embrace digital transformation, the integration of AI into various business processes seems inevitable, promising a future where technology and human expertise work hand in hand to achieve better outcomes.

Yasmeeta Oon

Just a girl trying to break into the world of journalism, constantly on the hunt for the next big story to share.