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StepOne, Inc. Launches to Fix Customer Self-Service, Announces $4M Series A Financing

StepOne, Inc., the adaptive self-service company, today announced the launch of their Contextual Care™ system in limited distribution. The company’s flagship product Contextual Care makes it easy for customers to resolve their own problems online by proactively delivering personalized support recommendations based on contextual data. StepOne has deployments currently with two global communication service providers, Telstra (Australia's largest telecomm, a $38B company) and a Tier 1 U.S. cable company.

The company also announced that it closed $4 million in Series A funding led by LiveOak Venture Partners with equal participation from Silverton Partners. Funds will be used to grow the product team, as well as expand sales and marketing efforts.

Large companies with complex products are increasingly investing in customer experience in an attempt to grow satisfaction, reduce churn and lower call volume. In a 2013 study by Ovum, 68 percent of CIOs place spending IT budget on improving customer experience and satisfaction as a high priority for 2014. Looking into the future, ABI Research’s Internet of Everything Research Service predicts that more than 30 billion devices will be wirelessly connected to the Internet by 2020, creating enormous demand for excellent customer support.

Despite a multitude of support options today, customers struggle to find the help they actually need. StepOne’s novel approach to self-service predicts a customer’s question by measuring hundreds of customer attributes like what services they’ve purchased, the state of their billing cycle and the technical performance of the product, and then matches the customer to the optimal content for their predicted question. The adaptive software continuously learns which specific pieces of support content best serve various customers, improving its accuracy over time.

“From product onboarding to in-life support, self-service for customers is broken,” said Alex Mitchell, CEO and co-founder of StepOne Inc. “Even though most customers prefer to solve problems themselves, they give in and finally pick up the phone. There is too much content presented to solve the problem and too many irrelevant results in search queries. Our goal is to make self-service become a driver of customer loyalty and cost savings. When you can answer the customer’s question before they’ve even asked it, they’ll stick with you.”

Over 70 percent of customers prefer self-service to a help desk, and, according to the Corporate Executive Board, customers actually rate businesses up to 20 points higher in customer satisfaction when they are able to successfully self-serve. By mapping to existing data, StepOne builds a contextual picture of the user and their issue. The service predicts the customer’s questions and support needs using the information the business already knows about the customer, and serves up the most appropriate support content. The content is continually adapted and evolved through machine learning algorithms and effectiveness measures.

"As part of our Digital First program, we seek to employ new technologies to make it easier for our customers to make the most of our products and services. We are pleased to have partnered with StepOne to bring a new level of technical support ease to our customers," said Gerd Schenkel, Executive Director of Telstra Digital.

In the summer of 2013, StepOne accepted an undisclosed amount of seed funding from LiveOak Venture Partners.

Companies interested in finding out more can visit http://steponeinc.com.

Investor Quotes:

“Since our seed investment, the StepOne team has achieved significant customer traction, so we are delighted to continue to support the StepOne team as they scale their operations,” said Krishna Srinivasan, co-founder and general partner at LiveOak Venture Partners. “Contextual Care addresses a complex pain point for large enterprises -- they’re struggling to improve satisfaction and loyalty rates as customer behavior and preferences evolve rapidly. From brick and mortar to desktop and mobile, the customer experience is now an organizational imperative. StepOne is well positioned to deliver immense value for these enterprises.”

“I’ve known and worked with the StepOne founding team for a long time," said Kip McClanahan, partner at Silverton Partners. "This team knows the market, understands the problem space and I'm confident in their ability to continue to execute and drastically improve the support experience within their customer's business. We are excited to be an investor and partner.”

About StepOne, Inc.

StepOne Contextual Care is an adaptive self-service system. Our technology makes it easy for your customers to resolve problems by delivering personalized, contextually relevant support content in the right place, at the right time.

The StepOne team has over seven decades of combined experience helping large enterprises drive down the operational costs of customer service and create compelling customer experiences that grow their business. The company was founded in 2011 and is based in Austin, Texas. For more information visit http://steponeinc.com/.

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