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Community Highlights: Meet Liz Tsai of HiOperator

Today we’d like to introduce you to Liz Tsai. 

Hi Liz, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
Originally from Texas, I went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at the age of 15, where I was recognized for my involvement in building robots and 3D printers. After completing my BS and MS at the MIT Media Lab, I spent several years working in the physical commodities trading industry in Geneva and Singapore. I recognized that pairing software automation with people had the potential to create a more efficient commodities world and saw that customer service could experience a similar evolution. I founded HiOperator in 2016 to do just that: to automate customer service while keeping humans in the loop. Since then, HiOperator has received significant investment from Y Combinator, 43North, and HearstLab, and has more than doubled in size every year since it was founded. I believe that the future of work and accessing human potential lies in technology and people working side by side. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I am lucky as an entrepreneur to have the support of many incredible people behind me when I founded HiOperator. Like many entrepreneurs who were just getting started in the customer service industry, you can say we started out overconfident in our ability to automate customer service in the beginning. Ultimately, customer experience is all about exception handling, which means that the problem space is very large. We quickly learned we needed to find a way to structure the chaos and go from there. Also, one great piece of advice that I have followed is that, as an earlier-stage startup, you can’t hire your problems away. Don’t ever be fooled into thinking that you are one hire away from success! Without these “bumps” in the road, my strengths as an entrepreneur would definitely not be as strong as they are now. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
I am the Founder and CEO of HiOperator. HiOperator is a customer service-as-a-service solution that allows businesses to handle client tickets faster and more accurately through the power of human and AI technology. By pairing AI technology with its highly empathic, US-based customer service agents, HiOperator can resolve client tickets faster, more accurately and more securely. Its services are cost-competitive, as it charges per ticket and has low monthly minimums. This also allows it to quickly scale to meet client needs during retail’s busiest seasons. 

I’ve recognized early on that customer service plays a huge role in a business’s success. By providing quality customer service, a customer will be more likely to have a positive experience. When customers share their positive experiences with others, a company can easily gain a larger customer base. Additionally, customer service is an essential tool because it allows you to analyze the interactions your customer service team has with clients. This will provide you with knowledge on where your business is succeeding and areas that may need improvement. 

I was inspired to create HiOperator because customer service is often an overlooked industry, and customer service representatives don’t always receive the recognition they deserve. While businesses often hire customer service teams to help respond to inquiries, they don’t always provide the adequate resources agents need to succeed. It is my goal to help companies realize that utilizing both AI and human collaboration is a much more effective approach than traditional methods of handling customer service. By creating workflow automation, it saves agents time and gives them a chance to provide more quality service. 

What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I was super shy! I was actually homeschooled through most of elementary school, skipped several grades, and then graduated high school early, which didn’t help on the awkwardness front. I loved math and robotics and spent a lot of weekends and summers at math & science competitions throughout both middle school and high school. I was the super nerd who lettered in Mu Alpha Theta! 

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Dan Minor
Joed Viera
Buffalo Business Journal

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