CX Pioneer Raises New Funding to Boost Frontline Teams
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CX Pioneer Raises New Funding to Boost Frontline Teams

By CIOReview | Monday, January 24, 2022

AskNicely, a pioneer in customer service, raises $32 million to empower frontline staff to delight their customers.

FREMONT, CA: Keeping a brand at the forefront of the clients' minds is as simple as engaging them and adding value to their experience. The more engaged they are, the more likely they will be a customer for the long term. As customer churn decreases and more customers sign up, this will aid in the growth of the client database. AskNicely, a leading provider of customer experience software for service firms, has closed a $32 million Series B fundraising round and unveiled the world's first Frontline Success Platform. This round included Five Elms Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, and Blackbird. Ryan Mandl, CEO of Five Elms, will join the AskNicely board due to the funding.

“Service businesses are experiencing increasingly high levels of competition for both customers and employees as customer loyalty has declined and labor shortages persist post-COVID,” comments Ryan Mandl, Managing Director at Five Elms Capital. “AskNicely has developed a beautifully elegant set of software solutions to ensure every customer gets the right experience and the frontline worker gets the right feedback, coaching, and recognition for their work. Given that frontline workers makeup 80 percent of the planet’s working population, we see an enormous market opportunity for AskNicely’s Frontline Success Platform, and are excited to partner with Aaron and the AskNicely team to continue to develop innovative products for their fast-growing, global customer base.”

For service firms, AskNicely's funding will allow them to lead the next generation of customer experience software by providing frontline staff with the best technology available. Aaron Ward, CEO, AskNicely, states, "Traditional customer experience software solutions do an ok job keeping analysts busy with mountains of data, but they totally ignore the actual people responsible for serving the customer. The frontline worker is the key to whether a customer gets an awesome experience, yet most have to work without regular feedback, recognition, or coaching. It's kind of outrageous that the class of worker that's most impactful on the customer experience is also the most under-served, under-paid, and under-appreciated. We've designed AskNicely for the frontline worker and made it our mission to make frontline work awesome."

People-powered organisations throughout the world have used technology to coach and encourage millions of frontline employees without the need for traditional management levels or supervision, which is where the new Frontline Success platform gets its inspiration.“Brands like Uber and Airbnb have proven how customer feedback can be gamified for customer-facing staff to unlock small daily improvements which, over time, drive status and rewards with concepts like ‘Superhost’ or ‘Uber Platinum Pro’. For the first time, any service business can now empower every frontline worker with the same capability in a simple mobile app at a fraction of the cost,” explains Ward.

Early customers have reaped major rewards. “We’ve had clients report NPS results doubling and multi-million dollar sales and marketing cost savings from increased repeat purchases and referrals,” reports Ward.

AskNicely is creating an "experience-first" culture in its Portland, Auckland, and Amsterdam offices as it prepares to double its current workforce more. Ward concludes, "We think work from home or hybrid work models are short-changing our people. Where you work matters a lot less to us than the experiences you have doing the work". He points to concepts like "Nice Days", where AskNicely staff can take time out anytime for mental well-being and "Work from Anywhere" travel incentives for staff to meet and work together anywhere in the world as examples of the range of experience-first benefits the company offers.