Tech startup Openline has powered up in London to offer IT teams the option to monitor and manage their customer communications tools in one place.
The Openline website doesn’t offer a lot of information, but the intention is very clear.
It’s currently in the building stage and wants to provide businesses a place to secure their systems, avoid downtime, and ensure customers “receive the best possible experience” by bringing on-premise and cloud apps together in one place.
The website shows how the system works and it offers a demo for interested customers.
Matt Brown, CEO of Openline, comments: “For well over a decade now, I’ve been pondering why customer service sucks so bad at most large companies. They have the most to benefit by getting it right. They have the resources. Surely they KNOW they’re getting it wrong.”
He may have a point as companies – big ones or not – do seem to get a lot of flak on social media or in the news. People will have seen – or even faced themselves – how difficult it is to get in touch with such firms as Twitter, Google or Facebook/Meta (or any firm come to think of it).
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For example, Openline’s Twitter account relates the unfortunate experience of someone dealing with Optus, an Australian telecommunications company. That poor soul reckons it took almost ten months, 26 people, four case managers, 67 pieces of communication and a TIO complaint to get the firm to resolve the error on their end.
Those stats are extreme, but Brown’s argument is that big firms are failing. They have replaced humans with bots; and that “most businesses simply hide their contact numbers all together”.
Openline senses profits from change and wants to offer an “empathetic” and different approach.
For instance, the future of contact centres isn’t about closing more cases, but about preventing them in the first place. It isn’t about bots over humans, rather a case of both of them.
Brown explains: “It’s about engaging your customers on their terms and leveraging their data to personalise the experience.”
These are early days for Openline, so whether this will all work and upset the status quo remains to be seen. The big companies have a way of stifling competition – sometimes by acquiring them.
That said, the tech startup is making progress and revealed it is part of Y Combinator’s Summer ’22 batch.
According to LinkedIn, Openline’s founders are Jonty Knox and Vasilica Coscotin.