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Cyara Executive Interview

Rishi Rana, President, Cyara

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Sheri Greenhaus, Managing Partner of CrmXchange sat down with Rishi Rana, President of Cyara, which is a trailblazer in customer experience (CX) assurance and transformation solutions. In this interview, we discuss Cyara’s innovative strategies for ensuring seamless interactions across global markets.

Sheri Greenhaus: What can you tell us about Cyara?

Rishi Rana: Cyara is the global leader in CX transformation solutions. Our AI-led CX assurance platform automatically tests, manages, and optimizes end-to-end customer journeys across all channels including voice, chat, text, SMS, web and more. 

At Cyara, we pride ourselves on being a customer-centric organization. As such, we strive to always listen to and work closely with our customers. This ensures that Cyara is continually evolving its products and solutions to best suit the current needs of our customer base, as well as their visions for the future.

Cyara revolutionizes the way businesses transform and optimize their customer experiences. Our platform empowers enterprises to deliver flawless interactions across all channels. With Cyara, businesses can better improve customer journeys through continuous innovation while also reducing costs and minimizing risk. 

In the past, customer journeys were relatively simple and linear: call the number, talk to an agent and resolve the problem. With the rise of omnichannel communication, today’s customer journey is much more complex. The route to a successful CX now crisscrosses its way through different channels, including interacting with human agents, AI and bots. And of course, ensuring all customer communication channels operate seamlessly is critical to the bottom line of any company, and that's where we come in!

Sheri Greenhaus: Let's discuss a typical customer journey. Imagine starting on the web, encountering bot issues, then switching to a phone call with poor line quality. How does Cyara ensure a seamless experience?

Rishi Rana: We have numerous solutions to address every aspect of customer communication journeys, including all voice, WebRTC and digital channels – such as web, chat, chatbot, email, and SMS. We analyze over 225 million journeys annually, so we understand exactly what works.

We excel in pinpointing network issues and identifying problems, as well as guiding our customers towards the solutions they need to fix those problems. As we craft millions of test cases, our aim is to cover every possible permutation and combination, guaranteeing thorough validation and assurance of end-to-end customer journeys.

In essence, we minimize failures and frustration by promptly identifying potential issues and alerting our customers before their customers can be impacted by them.

One such example is a customer who was providing customers with three communication channels - voice, SMS, and web; they knew that this meant there was a lot of potential for things to go wrong, so they introduced Cyara’s automated testing across their customer communication networks.

On an ongoing basis, Cyara Pulse’s synthetic interactions are run end-to-end to ensure that all transitions from one channel to the next operate seamlessly. For example, Cyara can detect if a text did not get delivered, if a web page is down, or if the connection is lost on a voice call. Cyara Pulse also performs extensive, 24x7 call monitoring.

Sheri Greenhaus: Congratulations on winning Best of Enterprise Connect for the most innovative use of AI. Was this for your work with bots?

Rishi Rana: Thank you! Yes, Botium is Cyara’s Conversational AI bot optimization platform, designed to enable enterprises to significantly reduce costs, and assure quality throughout the bot development lifecycle. Unlike other chatbot testing tools or manual efforts, Botium provides optimization for everything from selecting the right technology and designing customer journeys that improve containment and self-service, to performing any type of testing and monitoring that could be required.

With Botium, organizations can increase their self-service rates by up to 80%. This means significant cost savings, accelerated innovation, and a flawless CX across all their channels and platforms.

The Enterprise Connect award was granted for our upcoming large language model (LLM) developments which will be launching shortly. Our LLM-powered bot Fact Checker is just one example of these. It provides comprehensive fact checking for LLM generated data. Throughout its development cycle, we worked closely with our customers to ensure the solution best matched their requirements, and the feedback so far has been fantastic!

Sheri Greenhaus: What does Cyara look for when monitoring bots?

Rishi Rana: We look at everything that could impact the experience of a customer when interacting with bots!

Botium specifically focused on end-to-end conversational AI optimization for chatbots, voicebots, and wherever this technology will go next.

With Botium, our customers can compare and select the ideal conversational AI technology to implement and perform every type of testing necessary for both pre- and post-production. They can also augment their training data, assure security and privacy, and monitor performance. Botium also simulates the typical behavior of real humans interacting with enterprise bots across all channels and platforms, conducting automated benchmarking, functional, regression, voice, NLP, load, performance, security, privacy, and in-production testing. 

AI has evolved significantly from its roots in machine learning and natural language programming to the current era of generative AI. Our platform tests various AI models to ensure accurate responses. We’re pioneering solutions to address the challenges of generative AI, focusing on fact-checking, and minimizing incorrect responses. Additionally, our platform seamlessly integrates with over 55 different bot technologies that our customers and prospects are using.

Sheri Greenhaus: Could you share any instances where manual testing resulted in overlooked issues, delays in resolution, or revenue loss for companies?

Rishi Rana: Traditionally, manual testing only scratches the surface, typically covering only around 10-20% of potential use cases. With the shift away from phone keypad inputs to conversational interactions, the limitations of manual testing have become even more apparent. For example, variations in language or phrasing can easily confuse bots, leading to customer frustration and missed business opportunities. Our solution addresses these challenges by creating test cases and ensuring the accurate interpretation of user intent on a scale far beyond manual capabilities.

In 2023, we commissioned Forrester to conduct research on how our customers benefit from the Cyara solutions. The report highlighted that our customers see an average return of 334% within six months of implementing our solutions. This underscores our promise to deliver tangible ROI to our customers.

One example is a major UK bank who previously relied solely on manual testing. When Cyara began working with the business’ IT department, its software releases were bogged down by manual testing processes. Its monthly IVR releases required large numbers of staff to focus solely on testing for several days. This severely restricted the number and breadth of tests the team could perform and, ultimately, led to CX defects and a lack of trust in IT. But thankfully, they found great success by moving to Cyara and utilizing our automation capabilities. The changes included up to 95% greater test coverage, testing times reduced by 300%, a 60% reduction in the number of testers they needed, and significant improvement to internal trust and collaboration.

A leading Canadian bank also observed a significant ROI on their investment when they introduced Cyara Botium; so much so in fact, that they were able to increase their budget for AI and chatbots, allowing them to migrate more work away from already overstretched agents.

Finally, when Salesforce partnered with Cyara, they experienced remarkable enhancements in their call performance, consistently achieving a monthly call connection rate of 99% or higher. This significant improvement underscores Cyara's effectiveness in resolving communication infrastructure challenges and has been instrumental in empowering Salesforce to deliver seamless CX. Salesforce has now gained enhanced visibility into carrier performance, enabling proactive interventions to maintain uninterrupted communication across geographical boundaries, bolstering customer accessibility and satisfaction.

Sheri Greenhaus: How did you enter this business, Rishi?

Rishi Rana: With a background in running diverse businesses, I was drawn to the impact technology could make on customer experiences. Leveraging my expertise in product engineering and management, I saw an opportunity to enhance CX through Cyara's platform. My focus is on building strong teams that will drive our operational efficiencies and deliver cutting-edge products and solutions that will further elevate Cyara’s ability to empower organizations across the globe to transform their CX.

Sheri Greenhaus: What's Cyara's biggest challenge?

Rishi Rana: Our primary challenge lies in scalability, particularly on a global scale, where diverse languages and user bases must be accommodated. While we already serve many customers across Europe, Asia Pacific, and North America, including a significant portion of the Fortune 2000 companies, we recognize there is immense potential yet to be tapped. Achieving scalability means expanding our reach to encompass all Fortune 2000 companies and ensuring seamless and sustained growth for all customers. Scaling to meet the demands of our new and existing customers while maintaining our position as industry leaders is paramount.

However, it’s important to say that our current growth trajectory is impressive, with double-digit increases driven by both organic expansion and strategic acquisitions. We approach acquisitions judiciously, selecting targets that complement our existing offerings and contribute to our overall growth strategy. This three-pronged approach - organic growth, strategic acquisitions, and careful integration - ensures that we continue to thrive and remain at the forefront of our industry.

Sheri Greenhaus: Are there any features you wish to add to the platform?

Rishi Rana: As previously mentioned, we take being a customer-centric organization very seriously. It’s at the forefront of all that we do and as such we strive to always listen to and work closely with our customers. This ensures that we are evolving our products and solutions to best suit their current needs, as well as their vision for their future.

One example of this and how we are continuing to develop our offering based on customer insights and industry changes is with the rise in conversational AI. We're closely monitoring all advancements in LLMs and SLMs to understand exactly how we can help to enhance and protect customer experiences. And this is exactly what led to the latest range of upcoming Cyara Botium features.

Sheri Greenhaus: Final thoughts?

Rishi Rana: Our scale, and the comprehensive nature of our platform, sets us apart as the leader in CX Assurance and end to end Conversational-AI. We cover everything from calls to IVR and chatbot monitoring, with products designed for all scenarios. Our agnostic approach ensures compatibility with numerous technologies, providing unmatched assurance regardless of the communication channel being used.

Recent events have shown that CX is becoming increasingly important and that customers are continually expecting better and more personalized journeys. We also know that security and compliance are paramount in the modern CX industry, and Cyara's platform comprehensively addresses all of this.

We’re committed to ensuring a secure, reliable, and seamless CX, backed by certifications and robust, trustworthy infrastructure, along with a world-class team of communication and CX experts.