Conversational AI: Interview with Vincent Gire, CEO of Calldesk

Calldesk is a Conversational AI company that helps large organizations to automate repetitive calls and focus on high-value interactions with their customers.

We thank Vincent Gire for participating in the Conversational AI Interview Series and sharing several insights, including:

The story behind the Calldesk's idea.
Calldesk's focus on CX - 'Caller Experience'.
His company's philosophy when it comes to hiring technical talent.

What is your background and what made you start Calldesk?

I am an engineer in Computer Science, graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique in 2007. I also have a Master's Degree from Stanford University in Electrical and Electronics engineering. Since graduation, I have always been an entrepreneur, and calldesk is -already- my third company. With my previous company, Wozaik, I started working on an emerging technology: conversational artificial intelligence.

After selling Wozaik to the Solocal group, the French leader in digital services for local companies, we left for a 6-month boat trip with my wife, sailing around the world. During the trip, she had a big problem with her telephone operator, and as soon as we had network, I tried to call her customer service to find a solution. The experience was a real purgatory: with each call, the queue time exceeded 10 minutes, I had to explain my problem several times, I was sent back and forth from one caller to another... It finally took us 6 calls, spread over more than a month, to find a solution.

That's when I realized the fundamental problem in customer service today: the lack of time to deal with all the requests. And that's when I started wondering if conversational AI might be able to automate some exchanges, to free up customer service resources. Calldesk's idea was born.

What is Calldesk's mission?

Calldesk enables customer service of large organizations to automate repetitive calls, in order to focus on high-value interactions. With the right support, we believe that even a dissatisfied customer can be turned into a brand ambassador. We want to free call center agents of their repetitive tasks, so that they have more time to respond to complex customer requests and problems.

Who are Calldesk’s customers and how do you create value for them?

Calldesk already handles dozens of millions of customer service calls for some 30 top-tier companies. Our solutions deliver financial ROI (handling a call with a voice agent costs 5 to 10 times less than with a human), and improve caller satisfaction by removing irritants on their customer journey: queue time, annoying IVRs (“press 1, press 2…”).

What challenges do they face, or will they face in the future, that Calldesk can help them overcome?

Despite the development of digital channels, the number of phone calls received in customer relationship centers has never been so...

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