Marchex (MCHX), a leading provider of call analytics that drive, measure, and convert callers into customers, recently launched the Marchex Innovation Development (MIND) Lab, a new research and development group, to support product innovation and to help businesses engage and nurture customer relationships across communications channels, including voice and text. Marchex has appointed Dr. Junmei Zhong, a pioneer in artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP), as the company's chief AI scientist.
Dr. Zhong has an 18-year track record of intensive research and development experience in both academic research and industrial innovation in fields of data science, applied mathematics, machine learning, data mining, NLP and more. In addition, Dr. Zhong has published more than 20 scientific articles and conference proceedings for his original research and patented innovations. Prior to joining Marchex, Dr. Zhong held positions as the chief data scientist at Inspur for NLP, principal data scientist at Pitchbook for NLP, and assistant professor at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in Ohio.
“Marchex has an exciting AI platform with a strong team of data scientists and applied researchers, and I'm thrilled to be a part of the next evolution,” said Zhong. “In an era of digital transformation, I believe Marchex is uniquely positioned to help businesses transform sales and marketing with personalized, AI-driven solutions that extract the voice of the customer from huge volumes of conversational data. There is significant potential to continue developing innovative solutions and technologies that address the growing needs of brands as they adopt AI, speech technology and machine learning to engage and nurture lasting relationships with customers in order to grow their business.”
AI adoption is gaining momentum and is impacting the way companies interact with their customers. IDC estimates worldwide spending on cognitive and artificial intelligence systems will reach $19.1 billion in 2018, and a recent Forbes Insights survey indicates that 95 percent of executives believe AI will play an important role in their responsibilities and the way they manage and grow their business in the near future.
As Marchex continues to prioritize and invest in AI, speech, sentiment, personalized customer solutions and conversational analytics, immediate MIND Lab priorities are to:
- Enhance Marchex’s industry-leading speech analytics technology: Marchex’s AI-powered speech analytics solution employs machine learning to capture actionable insights from phone calls and texts that help brands improve customer experience and operations, measure the effectiveness of customer engagements, and boost sales. To date, more than 140 million calls and over 500 million minutes have been analyzed by Marchex’s speech analytics technology. Years of deep learning from this proprietary phone call data has enabled Marchex to reach industry-leading accuracy levels in voice-to-text transcription.
- Invest in top talent: Marchex continues to invest heavily in recruiting and retaining top talent with deep expertise in speech technology and NLP, including several with Ph.D. degrees in related fields. Since the first half of 2018, Marchex has more than doubled its data science team.
- Incubate new technology: With several Fortune 500 companies at the forefront of using Marchex speech analytics technology, the MIND Lab is currently piloting new products across many areas of business conversation to enhance the customer journey with highly personalized experiences across different communication channels, including voice and text.
“Companies making the greatest strides in the AI field have the advantage of massive unique data, which is something we have and differentiates us as leaders in the business conversation space,” said William Li, vice president of engineering at Marchex. “With the rise of speech technology and the need for businesses to have unique personalized solutions for customers and actionable insights to engage consumers across communications channels, we are merely scratching the surface of possible solutions we can develop and bring to customers.”
Marchex understands that the best customers are those who call your company - they convert faster, buy more, and churn less. Marchex provides solutions that help companies drive more calls, understand what happens on those calls, and convert more of those callers into customers. Our actionable intelligence strengthens the connection between companies and their customers, bridging the physical and digital world, to help brands maximize their marketing investments and operating efficiencies to acquire the best customers.
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