AskNicely Wants to Empower Frontline Workers


Customer experience provider AskNicely has raised $32 million in a Series B funding round. AskNicely, which provides CX software for service businesses, is also launching its first Frontline Success Platform to improve employee and customer experience.

The round was led by Five Elms Capital with participation from existing investors Nexus Venture Partners and Blackbird. The company also announced that Ryan Mandl of Five Elms will join the AskNicely board. AskNicely’s total funding is now $47.2 million, according to Crunchbase.

“Traditional customer experience software solutions do an OK job keeping analysts busy with mountains of data, but they totally ignore the actual people responsible for serving the customer,” AskNicely CEO Aaron Ward said in a press release. “It’s kind of outrageous that the class of worker that’s most impactful on the customer experience is also the most under-served, under-paid and under-appreciated. We’ve designed AskNicely for the frontline worker and made it our mission to make frontline work awesome.”

AskNicely officials said they drew inspiration from “people-powered” businesses that invest in technology to coach and motivate frontline workers with no requirement for supervision or layers of traditional management.

“Brands like Uber and Airbnb have proven how customer feedback can be gamified for customer-facing staff to unlock small daily improvements which, over time, drive status and rewards with concepts like ‘Superhost’ or ‘Uber Platinum Pro,'” Ward said. 

Ryan Mandl, managing director at AskNicely investor Five Elms Capital, said service businesses are experiencing increasingly high levels of competition for both customers and employees because customer loyalty has declined and labor shortages persist post-COVID. AskNicely’s solutions ensure frontline worker get the right feedback, coaching and recognition for their work, he added.

AskNicely, founded in 2014, expects to double headcount across its Portland, Ore., Auckland and Amsterdam offices.

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