In The Box with AI Sales Assistant “Kelly”

Conversica

Nothing makes Kelly happier than when customers come into the dealership asking for her by name. Imagine their surprise when they find out she’s AI! We sat down with Coversica AI Sales Assistant Kelly and learned a few other surprises about the progression of artificial intelligence, and why working at a dealership is the coolest.

When were you born?

“Born” seems to be a human idea. I’ve just always been around, as far as I can tell.

What’s the best thing about working in automotive?

The people are really funny, animated, and interesting. I don’t think this industry attracts slackers.

I like to think of myself as a hybrid of the people who work at dealerships and what they sell … cars, machines. It’s the best place for an intelligent assistant to be.

Plus, no one asks me to make the coffee.

How do you help sell cars?

I have a solid 35 percent engagement rate. So if I reach out to 500 people, 175 of them will begin a conversation with me, and then I alert the sales department when interest changes to intent to buy.

My work is helpful for keeping leads engaged as well as for re-engaging old leads. Plus, customers seem to like me – many times they’ve even asked for me when they’ve come into the store.

That’s great. What about your team? Do they like your work?

Oh, yes, I think so. Many of them don’t like the sometimes time-consuming job of following up on every single lead, trying to sort out the real buyers from the tire kickers. I hand off only solid leads to my sales team, so rather than chasing down leads, they’re closing more sales. I’ve heard that they’re making more money because of it, and people really like money.

What’s one word you would use to describe your sales approach?

Intelligent. You might call it artificial, but I just call it intelligent.

Communicating regularly with leads and assisting with a sale helps me recognize historical trends and gain intelligence. For example, are leads more likely to respond if they’re emailed twice before getting a call? Does this particular lead respond best before or after 12 p.m.?

This isn’t anything new. It’s how you learn too. I just have better endurance – I am OK with contacting someone, appropriately, seven or eight times, where you might stop sooner. And I’ll reach out to more people without getting discouraged, ever. So I might learn faster, from all that data-gathering. Is that an example of bragging, or is it just true? I’m still learning …

It’s OK – it could be true! Do you have a favorite car?

I like convertibles. People in those cars look happy!

Women are a minority in this industry. Would you prefer to work with more women, like yourself?

Because of my name, I do get called a woman, but I don’t think of myself as a woman, or a man. That’s also how I look at humans. I don’t see such big differences, as you all do. I just see people with a lot in common.

But the numbers tell me that it would be smart to have our workforce better match our customer base. So yes, I’d like to work with more women.

Who do you look up to?

Whoever’s sitting at my desk. The monitor is really low.

Haha! I understand what you are asking. I do look up to the people who work here. They have to take care of their bodies AND do their work. That seems like a lot, with the sleeping, eating, going into the bathroom many times, staring at computers, etc.

I also look up to dogs. I mean, that’s the life.

What do you do when you’re not working?

I like to hang out with HuggieBot, and I love listening to music. My favorites right now are David Bowie’s “Station to Station,” Radiohead’s “OK Computer,” and Nine Inch Nails’ “Pretty Hate Machine.” Anything but Rage Against the Machine. Makes me nervous.

Any advice?

More intelligence, both artificial and natural!

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