is keeping in contact with potential customers. You may have hundreds of leads to follow up – but you’re only human; how can you give each the time it deserves?
But what if you had a personal assistant who wasn’t human – who could keep up an ongoing conversation with every lead in your pipeline and never get to follow up? That’s where the power of artificial intelligence comes in.
Roman Vinfield, president of A.I. Assist, sees a future where an automated assistant – one who can carry on an email conversation like a human being – keeps up correspondence with leads so that salespeople can concentrate on selling. And for his clients using Conversica presented by A.I. Assist, that future is already here.
“What this product does for customers is allow them to effectively and efficiently maximize every lead that they have,” Vinfield said. “It allows them to communicate with existing or potential customers in a personalized conversation via email. We’re the only company that does that as it pertains to sales specifically.”
Conversica presented by A.I. Assist is, essentially, a digital personal assistant. The program sends emails to leads – emails written in casual, conversational English and signed, as if sent by a person – and can respond by itself when leads email back. When the lead indicates that he or she is interested in buying, the program sends it to the sales staff.
“It allows them to focus on the leads that are actually hot, and enables them to have an assistant to work the leads that have gone stale, identify who’s actually interested, and get them in front of them,” Vinfield said. “Business happens when the right people get together at the right time, and Conversica is the best at doing that.”
And a big part of the product’s success is that it seems human to the end user. People are much more likely to respond to a personal message than a mass email, said Corey S. Willix, A.I. Assist senior vice president of client acquisition. Conversica presented by A.I. Assist will send clients up to seven personalized emails over the course of 30 days – and the more communication it has with clients, the more it learns.
“I see the A.I. space in two buckets emerging downstream,” Willix said. “One bucket is basically technology that thinks like a human and can make decisions like a human. The second bucket is A.I. that feels like a human to other humans. We’re in both those buckets. … What separates us from most other A.I. companies is that we have hundreds of millions of emails that have gone out. Our machine learning has captured the behavior from the responses. Essentially, with every response, it’s learning.”
In other words, Conversica presented by A.I. Assist isn’t simply sending emails – it’s responding to the replies customers send.
“She really understands not just key words, but the entire intent of the message,” Vinfield said.
If the customer’s email seems angry at being contacted, the program will recognize it and make a note for salespeople not to follow up. If, on the other hand, the customer is ready to buy, Conversica presented by A.I. Assist can let the salesperson know it’s time to get in contact personally. And the program seems so human that most leads never realize they’re talking to a machine, Vinfield said.
“You’re constantly engaging with these people, but you’re not engaging with them as if it’s marketing. You’re engaging with them in a way that they think they’re speaking with a live person,” he said. “We’ve actually had leads write to apologize for not getting back to her sooner.”
Both Vinfield and Willix casually refer to the program as “she.” Why “she?” Well, emails sent by the program are almost always signed with a woman’s name – a woman identified in her signature line as a personal assistant. There’s a reason for that, and it informs how users of Conversica presented by A.I. Assist set up their digital assistants.
“People are 56% more likely to respond to a female, and 55% more likely to respond to an assistant than a salesperson directly,” Vinfield said.
And more customer responses translate to more sales – which is why companies from IBM to Mercedes-Benz have used the technology.
Willix said that Conversica presented by A.I. Assist bridges the gap between two customer-engagement philosophies.
“On the one hand you have your marketing systems that are scalable – but they’re not personable,” he said. “On the other you have sales teams. They’re definitely not scalable – and sales teams are also fallible. They make mistakes; they forget to follow up. And then you have us in the middle. This is scalable, and it’s also personable.”
And that combination has resulted in a lot more business for companies that have embraced the technology, Vinfield said.
“I have a lot of clients who are actually hiring additional people,” he said. “All the old data that they have – that used to be useless – has suddenly become useful.”
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