Calabrio Inc., a Minneapolis-based maker of customer service software, has introduced a new version of its main product that executives believe will accelerate its reach beyond corporate call centers.
The closely held company has been growing quickly over the last two years, more than doubling its revenue since the New York investment firm KKR took a controlling stake in August 2016, executives say. Its approximately 350 employees will move into a new office in the North Loop this fall.
Behind the growth is an expansion in the capabilities of the software tools Calabrio and other firms provide for businesses to offer support to consumers over the phone or via electronic chats and other means.
For years, such software collected call recordings, keystrokes, e-mails and other interactions that chiefly happened between agents in call centers and consumers. The information would later be analyzed by managers to assess how agents were performing or what issues were arising in a company’s products.
Today, that analysis happens instantly in the software. As well, companies have started to use the software outside of their call centers. The latest version of Calabio’s main product, called Calabrio One, tells the agent and manager in real-time whether the customer interaction is going well and, if not, suggests how to turn it around.
“It’s actually checking the sentiment to tell whether the conversation is a positive one or negative one or whether parts of the conversation are starting to turn bad. It’s giving the agent hints,” Matt Matsui, Calabrio’s chief product officer, said in an interview this week.
The company unveiled the software at a customer conference in Florida last month.
For managers who gather data about customer interactions, the sentiment analysis is embedded with the transcript and audio recording of a call. Matsui said the software has been redesigned with an interface that resembles the look and feel of social media products that are familiar and easy to use for many people.
Calabrio was a 2007 spinoff from Spanlink Communications, a call center firm that’s now a unit of ConvergeOne in Eagan.
KKR’s investment in Calabrio came just as the market for software that had been used in call centers was beginning to expand.
Matsui said that one of the company’s largest customers, a European bank, uses its software on the desktop computers of more than 20,000 employees, only about 2,000 of who work in a call center that traditionally used Calabrio products.
“Anybody who interacts with a customer can benefit from our solution,” Matsui said. “We call this phenomenon the company as a contact center because [employees] are all brand ambassadors now.”