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Thought Leaders in Artificial Intelligence: Workiz CEO Didi Azaria (Part 2)

Posted on Tuesday, Jan 24th 2023

Sramana Mitra: Tell me more about Workiz that drew you into this as your next step. You’ve got substantial experience. To apply that experience to another problem, this must be a very interesting problem.

Didi Azaria: When I was 22, I was a locksmith for six months. I’m not such a great locksmith, but I do understand the opportunities and challenges in this area. I was a locksmith when GPS didn’t exist. There were no cellphones back in the day.

I realized that my past and my future are attached. When I got the offer, I realized that I can help a lot of these folks in the US to digitize their journey and have better customer service just by applying simple machine learning and AI throughout the processes of field service. This is one of the largest markets in the world. It’s estimated to be about $900 million in the US alone. This is only the US and only one year. When I saw this number, I realized that this is the next step.

Sramana Mitra: Because of what I do, I’m also a serial entrepreneur starting way back in 1994. I’ve been doing this for 12 years now. My brain is trained to look for the market entry points and the segmentation. Explain to me how you thought about the positioning.

Didi Azaria: Because I was a locksmith and my partners were locksmiths, you need to start with the problem. It was obvious that locksmiths are the next phase in our company. There were a lot of friends telling others that this was the best software they’ve seen.

We saw locksmith as a small portion, but it was a very easy entry. We knew that locksmiths are high on advertising. You need to advertise. Cost-per-click is super high. If we can solve these major challenges, we would be number one in the US. This was the case after a few years.

At any startup, this is true. In locksmith, this is the case between 100% success to zero success. If you answer the phone, you got the job. If you didn’t answer the phone, somebody else is going to get the job. Think of it as you have an emergency and you’re not going to wait for the person to get back to you.

This is the problem we’re solving. We’re a platform that connects CRM and payments in one flow. We’re not answering the phone, but we use a lot of automation to allow the locksmith to answer the phone the fastest possible.

Sramana Mitra: What is the automation here?

Didi Azaria: Think about a very simple use case. You call somebody and you left a voice mail. Most of us, when we drive, don’t listen to voice mails. If we do, it’s scary. We take voice mails and transcribe them. We extract who you are, what is the job, and what type of problem you have. We put this in a database. You don’t need to type anything. If you’re on the road, the time that it takes you to send a technician is shortened. There are no mistakes.

Sramana Mitra: Machine learning is answering the call?

Didi Azaria: We don’t do that. We’re not trying to replace humans.

Sramana Mitra: You framed the problem by saying that if a consumer calls and you don’t answer, you lose the business. What is the experience on the consumer side to avoid that?

Didi Azaria: First, we identify where the call is coming from and we place it only in the vacant person. We take a phone system out and apply it to the entire team whether they’re in the office or on the road. How do we do that? A lot of GPS tracks from where the phone call is sourced. In this way, we give the business the ability to answer the fastest.

Assuming they didn’t answer, we do a few things. First we transcribe the voice mail. If not, our automation sends a booking link to the customer and says, “We’re available.” This reduces the chances of the consumer calling someone else. In a nutshell, we give the end consumer an answer. We give them clarity and transparency.

This segment is part 2 in the series : Thought Leaders in Artificial Intelligence: Workiz CEO Didi Azaria
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