Working at Balto feels a lot like hopping aboard a bullet train at times. We’re moving fast, and that’s a good thing, but we couldn’t let the momentum draw us further into 2022 without pausing to celebrate the accomplishments of the previous year.
We Launched A New Brand
In 2021, we unveiled our new brand and along with it, a new website. The site launch was the culmination of years spent listening closely to customers and industry leaders to uncover truths about contact centers while developing our transformative vision for the future. One senior industry leader even told us, “Based on your website, it looks like you’re doing quite a nice job of understanding the customer problem very clearly.” We’re proud to see that our message resonates.
Though our brand is fresher and reflects our status as a fast-growing category leader, we stuck to our core belief: real-time is the future of contact center technology. Last year, we found new ways to put our real-time AI to work for our customers.
Solving Your Biggest Quality Assurance and Coaching Headaches
We spent a significant portion of 2021 developing new products that solve two long-standing contact center pain points: quality assurance and agent coaching.
You’re probably already familiar with the challenges of traditional QA and training programs: Most QA processes miss the vast majority (95-99%) of calls. They’re subjective and repetitive and happen way too late to be effective. Meanwhile, managers spend 75% of their time not coaching, but re-coaching. By the time a skill sinks in, deals have been lost and your customers are left with negative experiences.
At the same time, we’ve continued to develop and expand the capabilities of our core product: Real-Time Guidance. Plus, we celebrated some big milestones: Balto has improved over 100 million calls and provided more than 260 million suggestions in real-time.
Set Growth Records and Led the Pack with Real-Time Technology
Among our most exciting accomplishments in 2021 was the completion of a $37.5 million Series B funding round. Led by Stripes and joined by RingCentral Ventures, this round of funding cemented our status as a category-defining company and confirmed our core belief: Real-time technology, not post-call analytics, brings true transformation to contact centers.
With the investment in our company and the launch of two new product offerings, it’s no surprise that 2021 saw record growth and customer satisfaction:
- We grew our customer base to over 135 companies.
- Our Partnerships team became its own department within Balto, with 60+ consultants, master agents, and softphones contributing meaningfully to revenue and providing our customers with the best integrations.
- Thanks to support from our customers, we were named an industry leader by G2, earning 7 new badges including Leader in Conversation Intelligence and High Performer in Contact Center Operations.
- Balto was named a Gartner Cool Vendor in CRM Customer Service and Support, one of only four companies recognized by the research team.
- The Balto team more than tripled in size with employees in 26 states. At headquarters, we outgrew our old office and moved into a beautiful new one in downtown St. Louis.
Delivering Best Practices and Thought Leadership
One of our core tenants is to build confidence and deliver on the trust placed in us. After all, there can be no guidance without trust. Our customers trust Balto’s AI to help their agents say the right thing at the right time, they trust us to deliver more ROI than any other platform, and they rely on our best-in-class transcription and reporting to give meaningful, actionable insight into their businesses.
So, we’ve been thinking about other ways we can help agents, managers, and executives feel more confident in their roles. In 2021, we heard one question more than any other: “Do you have any best practices you can share?” And now, the answer is yes.
We’re excited to announce the launch of Balto Academy, our new certification course for contact center managers. Through the self-guided training course, managers will learn how to make the most out of Balto’s software and how to optimize their operations based on validated best practices uncovered in our trove of data. Be on the lookout for more information as we make Balto Academy open to new users soon.
Making Industry Insights Accessible to All
Last year, we delivered true thought leadership to the contact center industry. Drawing on agent survey responses and data collected from millions of calls and interactions, we started 2021 by releasing the first-ever Contact Center Agent Report. We wanted to know why agents make mistakes, and what we found is good news: We’re all human, and humans need reminders.
But we know that basic human forgetfulness is only one piece of the puzzle. Sometimes training (or lack thereof) is the culprit behind poor agent performance. Managers dedicate a ton of time to training and coaching, so why isn’t it working as it should? We found out in our recently-published report on contact center coaching.
These two reports were valuable additions to our content library, so we’re adding more. This year, Balto will scale its research capabilities through the Conversation Excellence Lab, a new team that will lead our industry surveys, research partnerships, and call data analysis.
2021 was the year of the podcast, and Balto had to join the fun. Since launching Reimagining The Contact Center in January, I’ve interviewed more than 30 professionals—ranging from contact center executives and coaches to agents—to get their take on the future of contact center excellence. Want a quick summary? Read “What Does the Contact Center of 2030 Look Like?”
Envisioning an Even Bigger 2022
We’re so proud of all that we accomplished in 2021, but we have big plans to top it this year. I’m excited to share a brief glimpse into our product roadmap and goals for the coming year.
The first is continual enhancements to our core Real-Time Guidance product that will move the contact center industry forward. We’re advancing our lead in real-time guidance, and we have the resources we need to make it happen. In 2021, we grew our product and engineering teams by 273% and plan to continue growing rapidly in 2022.
Another big-picture company goal is to improve the agent experience. Our customers will be able to both leverage the expertise of top agents and to enable agents to adapt Balto to their own styles.
Next, we’re tackling reporting and analytics. Our reporting dashboard is about to get a major overhaul. You’ll be able to generate reports faster, get the key insights you need, and turn those findings into action even faster. Stay tuned for huge leaps in closed-loop reporting, allowing organizations to not only tie agent behavior to call outcomes but also to automatically scale top-performing behavior to the entire organization.
This year, we’re also making strides toward developing a Spanish-language product that will allow us to expand into new markets.
Finally, we’re becoming omnichannel with our own chat product. We believe voice is here to stay, but chat will allow Balto to guide more conversations than ever before.
I’d like to end on a note of gratitude to our customers, partners, industry friends, and investors. We’re so grateful to be on this journey with you, and our past and continued success is due in large part to your support. As we like to say here at Balto:
Balto to the moon!