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Intelligent Assistants Should Be Your New Coworker—and That's a Good Thing

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CMO Rashmi Vittal knows a thing or two about how AI is going to change your marketing. 

Vittal is CMO at Conversica, a leading provider of AI assistants for sales, marketing, and customer success. These assistants use sophisticated artificial intelligence, natural language understanding and natural language generation to autonomously conduct conversations with prospects, to determine their next best action; like talking to a sales representation.

The result? The company’s customers see 20-25% higher engagement rates on average using Conversica’s AI assistants. 

We caught up with Vittal to get the lowdown on the technology, and what it means for marketers.

Don’t miss Conversica CMO Rashmi Vittal speak at our upcoming Marketing AI Conference (MAICON). Her session is titled The Future of Work is Now: Build Higher Performing Teams with AI Virtual Assistants.

What are AI assistants?

These virtual assistants powered by artificial intelligence conducts a natural two-way conversation with a human to solve some problem. Conversica AI assistants vary greatly from your typical chatbot. Chatbots can only answer so much before the problem must be handed over to an actual person. People know they are interacting with a bot or a program. Chatbots also typically work in real-time.

AI assistants, on the other hand, drive engagement with prospects or customers over email or SMS in a human-like manner. They can interpret longer messages sent back to them with multiple intents, respond correctly, and take an action based on the outcome; all of which chatbots can’t do well today.

What are the benefits of using AI assistants?

Sometimes marketing simply generates too much interest, demand, or leads. It exceeds sales’ ability to follow up and engage in a timely, consistent manner. And then these leads go dormant or get lost. Other times, folks are not ready to have a conversation with sales, so these leads need to be further nurtured.

So what if you could actually automate lead follow-up and engagement, all the while judging their interest level and intent to talk to a salesperson? We’re seeing AI assistants that do just that. They’re driving higher engagement, too. And because of intelligent follow-up by these AI assistants, that happens in a consistent manner. On average, we’re seeing 20-25 percent higher engagement rates when AI assistants are used.

What advice do you have for marketers skeptical of AI assistants?

I could certainly understand the perspective if this was a technology that had been on the market for only a couple of years, without any proof of compelling results. But the technology has been around for 10+ years and produced demonstrable results.

At Conversica alone, we’ve worked with over 1,400 customers and deployed over 2,000 AI assistants. We have a really good baseline of success. And the more data that flows through the system, the better and more accurate our AI technology becomes. 

Should marketers be worried this technology will impact their jobs?

There are certainly instances overall where there may be a reduction in job responsibilities because of the automation of repeatable tasks and routines. But we think that’s OK, because what AI does is automate routine, mundane tasks that your team members don’t enjoy doing. The AI Assistant frees them up to do what they do best—the higher value work they actually like to do.

We believe that AI assistants can help augment the workforce in such a way where people and these types of assistants can work harmoniously together to drive greater team productivity and team performance. And ultimately, in doing so, these two things will deliver a better experience at the end of the day for their clients and customers.

How can businesses get started with AI assistants?

Sit back and ask yourself: Where are the gaps in your process and organization? One that’s always top of mind is anything related to revenue generating activities. Take a look at how efficient and effective your marketing funnel is. 

Are leads falling through the cracks? Are leads going unnurtured? Is your sales team failing to follow-up with their leads?

If any of these are the case, you’ll want to start looking into AI assistants.

How do you see certain jobs evolving thanks to AI assistants?

We believe that every business professional will want to have their own AI assistant. It will help them do their job better and be more successful. 

AI assistants allow time for people to make better connections or partnerships with their key stakeholders, prospect customers, or other employees within their own organization. These are the things that I think we’re looking to try and optimize in the workforce: productivity, performance, and at the end of the day, worker satisfaction.

Don’t miss Conversica CMO Rashmi Vittal speak at our upcoming Marketing AI Conference (MAICON). Her session is titled The Future of Work is Now: Build Higher Performing Teams with AI Virtual Assistants.

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