If the term artificial intelligence conjures up images of some distant sci fi future, think again. AI is already here. In fact, there’s a chance you chatted with a robot today – and you probably didn’t even know it.
For nearly a decade, Conversica has offered an AI platform that reaches out to potential customers via email and text message to collect data on their needs, qualifications and contact details. If the customer wants to hear more about a product or move forward with a deal, a human salesperson takes over.
The platform has been popular. Roughly 1,200 companies worldwide are using Conversica’s AI sales assistants, including IBM, Hewlett Packard and Oracle.
AI Assist, a company based in the New York City metro area, provides the technology to the financial industry, including lenders, through an exclusive partnership with Conversica.
“AI is not a fad,” said Roman Vinfield, AI Assist president. “It’s here to stay. AI is the future.”
Vinfield said the statistics are compelling: an AI sales assistant can easily send out 50,000 emails in a month, roughly the same volume as 25 human salespeople. And digital workers never sleep, complain or take days off.
“You get all that for the price of a single (human) employee,” Vinfield said.
While some might worry that an AI sales assistant will turn off potential customers, case studies show that is not correct. Plus, Conversica’s AI is not just a featureless bot. Companies give their digital sales assistant a name (typically a female one, as research shows women get more responses) and a script with some personality.
A conversation between an AI sales assistant and a potential customer might look something like this example from Conversica’s website:
AI sales assistant: “We received your request for a quote, and I have been trying to contact you over the past couple weeks, but I have not heard back. Can you do me a favor and let me know one way or the other if you’re still in the market? (That way I can stop bugging you…LOL)”
Potential customer: “You could never bug me! I’m sorry I’ve missed your emails. Unfortunately, I haven’t been faithful to check regularly. Thank you for your kindness and your sweet sprit… I truly appreciate your care.”
While this conversation may bring the term “uncanny valley” to mind, Vinfield noted that top tech companies use AI sales assistants, and their sophisticated customers aren’t objecting.
AI Assist’s data shows that the technology is helping companies convert more leads with less effort, while also saving money, Vinfield said. In the mortgage industry, AI sales assistants can engage customers for a variety of reasons thanks to tailored conversations on topics like reengagement with direct to consumer leads, building realtor referral networks, Recruiting LO's and even upsells of other products like HELOCS or Construction Loans.
“AI is here to stay like the internet,” Vinfield said. “The early adopters who understood that about the internet, they grew some of the most successful companies out there. I encourage everyone to see things from that perspective and seek out those technologies and really figure out how to integrate that into your business, otherwise you won’t be able to compete.”
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