A company that uses artificial intelligence to provide businesses with real-time customer feedback insights, is targeting income of £7million in the next three years.
MyCustomerLens – which works with legal and other professional services clients – is on a rapid growth path, since launching its algorithm-based software in 2020.
Led by data specialist Paul Roberts, the company is on track to deliver revenues of more than £300,000 this year, having secured contracts with several, high-profile clients. This week it was named as a regional winner in the TechNation Rising Stars competition, which showcases the most innovative and exciting tech startups across the country.
The company’s proprietary software provides businesses with a competitive advantage, allowing them to properly plan and make informed decisions, based on real-time information about how they are perceived by their clients.
Following the Glasgow-based company’s first funding round later this year, Roberts plans to recruit up to 30 staff by 2026, including in sales and customer experience teams.
Drawing on customer interviews, feedback forms, operational data and unsolicited verbal and email comments, MyCustomerLens software uses AI to identify themes and trends and to create heat maps and mood charts, which record and how firms and their services are viewed.
As well as constantly collecting and monitoring customer feedback in a centralised location and automating analysis, the software also puts the information in context, and allows firms to engage more effectively with their clients.
Roberts, who has a background as a management consultant, said the pandemic was a turning point for his business – founded in 2017 – as legal and professional services firms no longer had feedback from face-to-face interaction with their clients.
While they were still able to attend virtual meetings, the sort of information they gleaned during informal discussions dried-up.
He said: “senior management needed to make new types of business decisions and they didn’t have a mechanism for collecting and sharing the feedback that each fee-earner was hearing, in a quick and meaningful way.”
Spotting a gap in the market Roberts and his business partner Mike Evans – co-founder and CTO of MyCustomerLens – devised a platform that automatically gathers and updates customer feedback information, providing senior partners with the data input they need to produce client intelligence and actionable insights.
He said: “Beforehand, the normal approach was for legal and other professional services firms to hire consultants to conduct research on behalf of their customers.
“The consultants would interview customers and send out surveys and write-up their findings in PowerPoint reports, which they presented to boards.
“This process could take several weeks, or months, by which time, much of the information was already out-of-date, and the next opportunity to collect feedback would be the following year, when the process was repeated.
“Our software allows us to continuously gather data on behalf of firms and to bring it all together in one place.”
According to Roberts, AI is applied to unstructured text in emails, feedback forms, comment sections and other documents, analysing what customers are talking about and it measures sentiment – positive, negative and neutral.
It also compares feedback against a range of brand values, such as responsiveness, innovation, value for money, approachability, the impact of their work and how well they connect to their network.
He said: “These are the things that clients use when they are making decisions about which firms to use and also that firms differentiate on.
“The AI is constantly looking for comments related to these issues and, if it doesn’t find something, that’s a signal that it’s not being talked about, whereas if a human doesn’t find it, it could just be because they have missed it.
“The process is driven internally, through our clients’ customer relationship management (CRM) systems, so they get a constant flow of insights, bigger response rates and therefore a better experience.
“Because we are giving them the opportunity to constantly listen to their customers throughout the year, the feedback machine is always switched on; it’s analysed and it refreshes instantly to the point where we can update insights daily.
“Client teams can see new information weekly and management can get monthly reports and the board can get quarterly reports, or more frequently should they need them.”