Heyday raises $5.1M for its unified chatbot platform

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Facebook has acquired Servicefriend, a startup with chatbot capabilities that will help its Calibra platform.

As a consumer, there’s nothing more frustrating than being forced to talk to a chatbot when you need help with an order. However, that’s because the vast majority of chatbots that exist today aren’t good enough to actually resolve real-world problems.

From a company’s standpoint, an automated bot that can answer customer requests is a major asset. Even if it can’t completely solve a customer’s problem, it helps categorize their request and forwards it through the right channels.

The potential for artificial intelligence (AI) driven chatbots remains largely untapped. Startups like Heyday want to make sure things don’t stay that way. The Montreal-based firm recently raised $5.1 million to help expand its mission of creating unified chatbots that work across various platforms, TechCrunch reports.

Easy Chatting

These days, it’s easy to feel like every company and every brand is pushing their own platform and way of doing things. Once again, this is advantageous for the company but gets old from the customer’s perspective when every other business is doing the same thing.

Consider restaurant loyalty apps for instance. Every chain wants you to download its app since it can utilize the data that’s collected. Consumers would much rather have a single app that supports all of their favorite restaurants.

In a sense, Heyday operates on this principle. The startup’s technology brings together communication from multiple platforms, including email, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Google Business, and more. From there, it uses AI to categorize the contents of the message and attempts to answer questions with pre-programmed responses.

If the chatbot can’t answer the customer’s question, it sends it to the right human team member.

However, the bots don’t just bring messages in. Thanks to integrations with the likes of Salesforce, Shopify, Magento, Lightspeed, and PrestaShop, they can also send customers updates about their orders and requests.

Heyday’s CMO Etienne Merineau tells TechCrunch, “We believe helping is the new selling.”

Meanwhile, its CEO, Steve Desjarlais, says, “We’re really against the ticket ID system. A customer is not a ticket… I truly believe that every single customer is a relationship with a brand that needs to be nurtured over time and that will give more value to the brand over time.”

Best of Both Worlds

Based on the technology we currently have available, AI chatbots aren’t going to fully replace human customer service reps. That may change in the future. For now, though, Heyday is focusing on providing a service that benefits both businesses and their customers.

“The new mantra of future-forward brands is ‘adapt or die.’… Brands obviously want to deliver great service, but they care about the bottom line. We help them kill two birds with one stone,” Merineau tells TechCrunch.

Moving forward, the startup will utilize its latest funding to continue scaling its operations in the United States. The round is considered additional seed funding since Heyday previously raised $1.6 million.

As companies look for new ways to interact with their customers using the latest technology, startups like Heyday are poised to deliver an in-demand solution.

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