For most businesses, AI chat isn’t top of mind. But a main goal is turning website visitors into leads.

Jay Rice, founder and CEO of Thinking Chat, says that’s a good starting point… but he’s refined that process using some very unique technology in order to engage visitors and increase conversions – while also screening out leads that aren’t a fit.

Thinking Chat provides its clients with a “chatbot” – but unlike any you’ve seen before.

We talk about this unique approach to using AI in lead generation and how it impacts marketing and shortens the sales cycle.

Tune in to find out…

  • How to keep the wrong prospects out of your funnel
  • Where marketing automation falls short – and how to get around it
  • Going beyond FAQs
  • Where live chat often misses the mark – and a where an AI chat-based chatbot does better
  • And more

Listen now…

Mentioned in This Episode:


Episode Transcript:


Steffen Horst: Welcome to Performance Delivered, insider secrets for digital marketing success podcast, where we talk with marketing and agency executives and learn about how they built successful businesses and their personal brand. I’m your host, Steffen Horst. Today, I’m happy to have as our guest, Jay Rice. Jay is the Chief Executive Officer at Thinking Chat, an AI powered software that helps companies capture leads more effectively by turning website visitors into quality leads. He has worked with organizations such as Intel, IBM, Walmart, Dell, as well as many main street small businesses. Jay has over 20 years of business development experience, and I’m excited to have him on the show to talk about sales automation. Jay, great to have you on the show.

Jay Rice: Steffen, great to be here. Thank you.

Steffen Horst: Jay, when I looked at your LinkedIn profile, I saw that almost every position you held in the past had a lot to do with business development. Tell the listeners how you started your career in business development.

Jay Rice: Sure, yeah. Well, I don’t want to take up too much time on that as far as my early challenges, but I guess you could say that I started out very basic sales the old fashioned way, which back then was just cold calling and just doing things the hard way. And I progressed into different business development roles having to do with technology. And the more I got involved with business development, the more I saw that there was a combination of business development and marketing and how you could combine the two, obviously to be more effective. That was something that I saw early on.

sales automation

And so I transitioned from business development to marketing and then used both business development and marketing automation to grow my career, but then I actually started my own business and started my own company. As you can imagine, when you start essentially from scratch. And so you have to drum up business. You have to have people find you online. And, you know, I was able to do that with search engine optimization and a lot of different marketing techniques. But found out that even though I had really good website traffic … I mean our site was in the top 100,000 most popular for our niche, which was pretty good … I had the issue of converting website visitors into leads.

Found out that every business is kind of in the same boat where statistically if you send a hundred visitors to the average website, fewer than three out of a hundred contact the business, right? Low conversion rate. So we had that issue and we also had the issue of I had my company selling products that were military controlled. These were high tech products and we had all kinds of laws we have to be careful of and a good 30% of the leads to our website were from outside the U.S. So we couldn’t even give them a data sheet without fear of the United States government coming down on us.

So we had all those issues, you know? And so what I did was create a software that was able to engage website visitors, increase the conversion rate of visitors to leads, screen out those leads that actually were not a fit right on the front end … So basically that made our whole sale cycle short. And then we’re able to qualify and give some key information, some pre-education to the quality leads. And so that was really a game changer for our business. I actually eventually sold that company, interesting enough, using an automated marketing funnel to sell the company.

Steffen Horst: Interesting.

Jay Rice: Yep. So that’s essentially how Thinking Chat was born. And it was from my business, having a problem, solving that problem with technology, and then spinning up that intellectual property, which became Thinking Chat.


Sales Automation: Segmenting the Audience Makes it Work


Steffen Horst: Sales automation is obviously a topic that is discussed a lot when it comes to making life for a business development person easier. As time is money, as the saying goes, automating parts of the day-to-day work can really help to increase the quality of engagement or the number of people, companies, or individuals can reach out to you. How did you come about to create an AI-powered sales software?

Jay Rice: This came about actually from necessity as well. In my story, what I mentioned, you know, I had my own company at that point. I was selling industrial engine equipment, so it’s very scientific and technical equipment. A lot of customers are military. I had the high traffic on my website, but I found out after I got the traffic that it was very difficult to convert those visitors into quality leads. And, you know, I found out that my site was converting less than 3% of its visitors, which is actually the average of statistically of most companies. If you send a hundred visitors to the average website, fewer than three out of a hundred contact the business, which is pretty dismal, right?

Steffen Horst: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jay Rice: So I found that one, number one. Number … The second thing I found out was that many of the leads that were coming to my website, about 30 to 40% were actually interested in our military product and then a high percentage of those were actually not located in the United States. So at that point, those military products I could not even give a data sheet to somebody who is not in the United States because of department or state regulations. And so if you can imagine, on the backend I had … I used marketing automation, InfusionSoft, and all these other things. Videos. But what happened is on the front end, I had a leaky bucket so to speak. You know, I had this website that was great. It was getting a lot of traffic, but I wasn’t capturing as much as I could of that traffic.

When I did capture the traffic, a big chunk of it was the wrong kind. And then those folks would get into my funnel and they would clog it up. They’d be in the funnel. They’d be downloading a datasheet or white paper or whatever, and I’d have to get them out manually or they would mess up our data, mess up our numbers. So that was a problem. And as you can imagine, the good leads that came to the site, having questions and we wanted to qualify them and find out where they were in their buyer journey, which is obviously very important, is where is your buyer in their journey? Are they just filling out? And are they just looking for market information? Are they getting ready to buy or are they narrowing down choices? Where are they?

And so, you know … In our industrial B2B market it could be, is this project funded? Is it an R&D project? And a good question is usually like an industrial project, is this is a current … So if you’re a key component, you want to know, are you … Is the customer actually looking to replace a key component on an existing system? Or is this a brand new effort? Because replacing the existing component, at least you have historic data to know that they have a run rate. You know what I mean?

Steffen Horst: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

marketing automation tools

Jay Rice: So, I’m usually … And if they have a product that’s broken down, you know, like a line down situation where something’s giving them some real pain, we know as sales folks and marketers that pain is a big driver of action. So all these kinds of things is what you do on the sales side. And what you can account for in marketing. But on the front end it can be very difficult.

And it was funny because it was like a struggle I was having with all this stuff. And I was sitting down with my mentor over lunch and I was telling him, “Hey, here’s the great thing that I’ve done with marketing automation when leads come in using InfusionSoft and autoresponders and automated emails and automated sequences that actually get people to buy. But it’s really difficult on the front end because of all these issues I just mentioned.

And so we started to sketch out, “Well, what if we used software? What if we used an AI to actually … To capture more website visitors? To prequalify the good ones? And the bad ones, to actually kick them out of the funnel?” And so that’s what we did. It was in 2013 we actually had an MVP, you know, a prototype. And in 2014 it went live on our website. It actually immediately doubled our website conversion. And the really interesting thing that was great was that we actually were able to make our whole sales cycle shorter because we were able to kick out those leads that we couldn’t even do anything with, we couldn’t even help. And then the ones that were left were the ones that were a fit, right? So it was a matter of like we were sifting and sorting at the front end and in our system.


Marketing Automation Tools: Simulating Great Customer Service


And so then what we did is the first customer that tried our software … The software became the business I own now, Thinking Chat. And the first customer that tried it, they had our … This is, it looks and works like a live chat agent, like a human. But it’s all automated. Right? And so it’s capturing the website visitors, so it’s creating more than the less than 3% that’s out there. And it’s actually qualifying visitors. And if you want it to, it can also actually kick those visitors out that aren’t a fit. For example, we would ask customers if they were interested in a military product, are you from the … Where are you based, or are you located at. So if they said no, the agent would actually have a pre-programmed response which is something like, “I’m sorry with military controlled product, we can only help U.S. based customers.” And so the things like that really helped us. And so when that first customer put our technology on their website, it resulted in a sale for over $74,000 to Apple Computer.

Steffen Horst: That’s a sizeable win.

Jay Rice: Yeah, so I knew at that point I had other businesses try it and I knew at that point it worked in all the industries that tried it. And so we knew that it was a winner and it worked so well for us. So they ended up selling my other business and taking this intellectual property and forming it into the company that I lead now called Thinking Chat. But another quick funny story Steffen, is that the way that I sold my other business, is that I used an automated funnel.


AI in Lead Generation: How Jay Used it to Sell a Business


Steffen Horst: Interesting. So you applied that on the website for your business, basically?

Jay Rice: I did. I didn’t use the agent but what I did was, this is gets back to sales automation. And I think the thing about sales automation, to kind of give your audience a little more information. If you can identify where your buyer journey and the different steps that that buyer takes. And the common steps before they become your customer. You can then go about automating those step. But you first have to identify, right? What are those steps? So from awareness to actual action of a purchase, the way I do it, or the way you used to do it is, you have the top of the funnel. You have a sales and marketing funnel. And I like to combine them because some companies shift them. But I like to combine them and have sales and marketing actions at different parts in the funnel. But you can visualize this funnel, where the top of the funnel is leads and the middle is suspects. And the end or the bottom of the funnel are prospects.

And then your prospects … A certain percentage of your prospects turn into customers. That’s pretty much how I do it. Some people reverse the suspects and prospects. But anyway, that’s how I do it. That’s how I label it. So what I did was I found out that of the people that were interested to buy my business, prospective buyers of my company. I had been going out for over a year, the old manual way. Can you imagine? Here I was, I had a business that was using marketing animation and the skills I developed but I decided, I thought that no, this is too precious. This is too big. To sell my business, I have to go out and talk to every buyer. I have to go out and answer every email. I have to … And all the things that I stopped doing. Okay this is silly. Why don’t I just try this. This is just kind of like on a whim. And I broke down the step, the questions that all the people are asking.

Which is another good one too. When you’re creating a sales automation file, you’re always going to create your FAQs and what I call your SAQs, which are your Should Ask Questions, right? So when a buyer, a potential customer comes to you, they have their list of frequently asked questions. But they’re probably forgetting some and I call those your should ask questions. Hey, these are the questions you should ask. If you’re going to choose a marketing agency, do they do this, this and this. Do they specialize in these things. Do they understand these things. That kind of stuff.

So anyhow, I had mapped all that out and I also included videos and a link to my financials. And reminders. And all these kind of things. I just put this whole thing on autopilot. I just put the file on autopilot and started just putting people … If they were interested … I would advertise. I was advertising on a business for sale website. And if people were interested, I would actually just … I would screen them, get an NDA and I would put them through the funnel. And the first person that came through the funnel gave me an offer on my business.

Steffen Horst: So what you basically did, you kind of anticipate the questions that your customers, or potential customers are going to ask, in order to provide them with answers. And then you’re almost kind of almost educating them, is that correct?

Jay Rice: Yeah.


How a Chatbox Agent Qualifies Leads


Steffen Horst: With they should ask questions because have you thought about this. That usually kind of creates the thinking process in one’s head. “Oh yeah, I didn’t think about this”. “So what about that, tell me about it.” So I guess the result of using a chatbot obviously is, you have a higher engagement rate. But you have less leads. But you have more customers at the end of the day because due to the prequalification, you weed out a lot that you would waste a lot of time on talking to. But what comes out at the end of the chat, or the funnel, is basically people that are prequalified. Likelihood of a good fit is much, much higher. Hence, if you’re able to convince them that you have the right solution for them, they become a customer or a client.

Jay Rice: Yeah. I mean that’s essentially it. I mean the beauty of a chatbot is you can actually script what the chatbot says, which helps in many ways. If anyone has ever managed sales personnel, they know that people tend to freelance it and freestyle it. And that’s not always a good thing. If there’s a certain way that you want your value proposition stated. If there’s a certain way you want one of your benefits spoken. Things like that. And so with a good bot, you can actually pre-educate people on those things and you can have those things worded the way that you want.

So that’s like a pre-education process. But actually, you do get more top of funnel leads with a chatbot. At least with ours because what happens is, these days, people are going to websites and they actually expect to have some type of engagement on that site. It’s almost like … Well if you use the analogy, if you go to a new city. You’ve never been to the city before and you’re walking around at night and you’re looking for a place to go to dinner. What do you typically look for? You look for activity, right?

Steffen Horst: Um-hmm (affirmative)

Jay Rice: If you see a bunch of local people enjoying a meal. Hey, this place is happening. There’s activity. It draws you in. The chatbot is similar to that. And whether it’s a bot or a real person, some businesses frankly, are better off using real people. Particularly e-commerce businesses. Particularly businesses where they’re using an agent for support. Now we call our bots, we call them agents. Automated agents. But if you have an e-commerce business or there’s a business where someone needs to do something like look up an account number, or things like that. Those are better for a real person because even the best chatbots these days have a very finite amount of questions that they can answer effectively. They’re still in the early days. But on the front end, you will get more leads, because you’re actually converting more of your traffic into leads for your business.

And it’s up to the business if they want to screen and qualify on the front end through the bot or if they want to do that on the phone, or they want to do that in an email. It really depends on how that funnel is structured. So every business is a little bit different. We kind of do a hybrid approach at our own business. But certainly with a chatbot, one of the beautiful things that you can … You can identify at the front end, you can let people know the best way that you fit for their business. So in other words, if you’re a … let’s say you’re a roofer. And you’re just a really high quality roofer and you’re working on mansions. It might be good to let people know that those kind of clients are the ones that you are typically servicing.

Everybody I think has a little bit of that kind of business. Or maybe you’re a business who does only the small ones. When you let people know that on the front end, you might actually reduce the number of leads that come through. But you will actually have better ones. It’s the same thing with advertising. If I was to put out an ad for my business. If I said something like, “If you have at least a thousand visitors per month to your website, we guarantee to double your leads.” Now I can make that statement with confidence. We can guarantee to double leads, if the site has more than a thousand visitors per month. So if you notice the subtlety there, the businesses that have less than a thousand per month are probably unlikely to click on that ad. So I won’t have to pay Google for the click. Which is good because ideally I’ll get the people who have more than a thousand per month who come through.

Steffen Horst: Sure. So you’re again prequalify … And even from an advertising perspective, you don’t pay for the ad because as you said, people that don’t have a thousand visitors a month will say, “Well I’m not there yet.” So it saves you the click price, at the end of the day.

Jay Rice: Exactly.


AI Chat: How Artificial Intelligence Generates Qualified Leads

Steffen Horst: So, Jay, talk about, how does the Thinking Chat software differs to that of other software in the market. Where does your software excel.

Jay Rice: Sure. So ours is actually, you know again, looking at our versus others that are out there. So there are a lot of just chat type of softwares out there. Most of the chat out there … Fifty-two million websites use chat, according to LEAD Ledger and most of those are humans. And chat has been proven effective to convert leads. Providing a greater than 30% increase in conversion. And that’s not our numbers. There’re statistics out there from Forrester and others who are studying this. But not every business has the manpower to actually man the chat window because the way … I’m just kind of backing up a second. Because the way that most businesses will do chat is they will do … If they do human chat they either do in-house, which means that entrepreneur or someone on their staff actually mans a chat window, or they hire a third party of humans that’s usually overseas.

If their business is doing it in-house, the problem with that is, it’s very distracting for the business, unless they have dedicated resources, it’ just a nuisance all day. And they will miss nights, weekends and holidays. Where 25% or more of their leads will come in. If they outsource the chat, it can be very expensive and it’s very inconsistent as well, going back to the consistency. And it takes a lot of time to manage it because you get on-board those people and you also spend a lot of time … I know a lot of businesses spend time, because they have to actually look at every chat and this one’s qualified and this one’s not. And it’s just a big hassle.

And then you’ve got the bots. And so, ours is of course in the bot category but ours is a little bit different. And the way ours is different was first of all, like other bots, it is 100% … I just need to make this clear, I don’t know the sophistication level of your audience but sometimes I say chat and people think, “Oh, there’s a human, I have to do the chatting.” No you don’t have to do the chatting. With a bot, you do not have to do the chatting. At least not with ours. Ours is what they call fully autonomous. Okay? The advantage of ours versus others is manyfold and one is that it’s just really, really simple for a non-technical small business person to set up. So if you’re dentist, if you’re a chiropractor, if you’re a lawyer, we’ve already figured everything out.

We’ve got customers across 36 different industries in three different countries. And so we’ve figured out … We’ve got all the stuff templated. We have the right responses. Or we can actually help you do a complete custom one, from scratch. But you don’t really have to do any of this. It’s very, very easy. And most businesses don’t have time and they’re non-technical. It’s also good for, if you’re a … Let’s say you’re a marketing agency and you wanted to actually have clients. And you wanted to help on-board those clients. And you didn’t want to do any coding or whatever. You can just use our stuff, our best practices. Okay, so what ours is not for right now currently, it’s not a Facebook Messenger bot.

There’s a lot of Facebook Messenger bots. For various reasons, that’s not ours. Ours is sitting on a website, so the sites need to have traffic. And it’s really for a business that actually has, we say a thousand or more but it’s really … The barometer’s usually at least 500 visitors a month. And they’re in an industry which has a fairly high average customer value. So $250 and up is a good level. And so in other words, their customer … Like a chiropractor obviously could be 10 times that. Dentist the same thing. And these are the businesses that are getting leads online and following up offline. Alright? So that’s usually what our software matches up well with.

Steffen Horst: What companies would be a great fit for this software? Is there … Are there specific industries or doesn’t matter what kind of business you have? You really will benefit as long as you have at least a thousand people that come through your site.

Jay Rice: Yeah, so right now we’ve got … it might be helpful I just read off some of these industries. So right now there’s 36 different industries we’re in. Where we’re operating. Three dozen. And so these businesses. Again, they’re typically, they have high traffic sites, so we’re in just to name a few, home services, like doors and windows. Roofers, locksmiths, pavers. We’re in holistic medicine. We’re actually pretty happy in B2Bs. So things like … I even like modular homes. Spot services. Even could be software. Marketing services. We’re in restaurants and hotels, bed and breakfast. Some of the smaller like more B&B type hotels. Legal and medical services. Medical devices. Industrial equipment. Those kind of things. So these are usually high value and usually those customers that actually have a majority of visitors to their site are first-time visitors, so our technology is not support technology.

There are other bots out there that are all about support. They might just … It might be for an e-commerce and they need … It’s almost like a version of a knowledge base. That’s not what ours is for. So just to kind of give you an idea. But I guess the other thing is, a lot of our business comes through partners. And especially large partners. So we were chosen about a year ago, actually by a three billion dollar media firm. A global media firm and they chose our solution as their lead capture solution of choice. So what we do … Also uniqueness about our platform, the way our platform works is that we actually have a platform that’s very easily scalable for these large partners. So we create versions for them and they can actually roll them out really, really fast in a turnkey way.

There’s more detail that I can get into right now but just to kind of give you an overview of that. And we’re looking at just reaching out to other partners. Marketing agencies that are serving these different niches that I mentioned that would like … even just referral business and we can work with them and get their customers up and running is to refer them to us.

Steffen Horst: That makes a lot of sense. We already briefly touched what you think about when designing the questions for the chatbot. How should that be structured? If someone says, “You know what? This sounds great. I need to get myself this Thinking Chat software.” How would they start structuring the conversation. Because depending on answers to questions might go one way or another in the conversation. So what is your recommendation for people that haven’t used this before, to get started and not get frustrated. Because I think quite often we use a new software but we like a little bit the knowledge in regards to how to properly use it. How to properly set it up. And the questions come most like, “Is it really worth my time, sitting here now for two or three hours, to later on find out, what I did was not ideal?” And they have to re-do it. So, does that make sense?

Jay Rice: Yeah, absolutely. So we get that a lot. So here’s how we’ve discovered … So we’ve gone through all these different iterations and whatnot, to on-board people and help them out through this stuff. So what we have is … The way that we do it is we have different levels. And we call our levels agents. So we have everything from a basic small business agent. Up to what we call an automated smart agent. We have some levels in between. So it’s from less than a hundred dollars per month, to up to a thousand per month. And with our starving level, our small business agent, it’s not even currently on our website, even though we have hundreds of customers using it. Because we usually offer it as a special, or through partners. But our small business agent, a business person does not need to do any setup.

It literally takes ten minutes. All they have to do, and this is again one of our strengths. Our customer for these is not the same customer who would want to spend several hours because they’re a nerd. Ours are like anti-nerd. Ours is like technical-phobic type of people. So, right? So there are a lot of people who come to us and say, “Hey I want a program and I want to do that … ” And it’s like okay, slow down. If you want to create all these kinds of things and plug into the APIs and stuff, you know there’s other open source stuff. Go nuts. Ours is not really that. So the small business level that we have, all you have to do … Picture this, you’re a dentist. You go to the site, you sign up and you enter in things specific to your business. Hours of operation. Your contact information. Your address. Whether you take insurance.

Ten minutes, it’s a web screen. If you can go to a website, you can do it. And then and we have our defaults to responses. So if you think about it like this. You just put your hours of operation, right? And then that creates the agents response when someone says, “When are you open? When do you close? Are you open on Saturday?” It’s all there. We’ve already figured out all the inputs. All the phrases and all the stuff.. All you’re going to do is just put your hours of operation unique to your business and the agent is built. And so that’s our small business level. And so what we always recommend, if somebody’s new and they just want to see how it works and they have the traffic, is to just start with our small business agent because it’s up and running really fast.

All you do is you put that on your site, you see how it works. Now, on the flip side, some of the customers who have used that, who want more customization, they will quickly want to actually upgrade to another level which allows more Q&A type. And something more specific for that given business. And for that, we have training videos online. We’re still a small company. We’ll jump on the phone. We’ll do a screen share. Our goal is to help businesses. I mean we’re all about helping entrepreneurs. We’re talking small convenient businesses. Under 15 million, usually under 10 or under 5 million in sales type of businesses. Our sweet spot is between 500k and five million. We just want to help those businesses. We think they’re the backbone of the economy. They are the backbone of the economy and we just want to help them use the power of marketing animation.

And so this is what we do. Anyhow so, that’s how we figured it out. If you’re starting out, if you use another platform, which is fine. I mean for me it’s not a zero sum game if you use somebody else. There’s good solutions out there other than ours. It might be a better fit. And what we say is, if you do want to start and do those questions and you really want to play around with stuff. Make it concise. That’s one of the biggest things when you’re setting up a chatbot, is a lot of businesses have a tendency to copy verbatim what’s on their website. And people get reader fatigue. Because it’s just too character rich. And you’ve got to make it benefit short, concise and all driven by benefits. And letting people know that you’re a business that can help them. Prompting them to next action. That’s the biggest thing.


Setting Up Chatbot Marketing Automation for Your Business

Steffen Horst: How often would you recommend that someone looks over the scripts and everything else, to optimize the setup?

Jay Rice: Good, yeah. I wish more customers asked that question. That’s one of my “should ask” questions. And so here’s the thing. The most critical period when you’re setting up a chatbot … We found this with ours, is the first month. Particularly the first two weeks and you as a business that’s setting up. You need to actually be cognizant of what the agent says. And you did make sure that you’re comfortable with that. And the reason is that … And like with ours, I can’t speak to everybody else’s tack or whatever. But I know with ours, you can easily go into your dashboard and just update the scripts, just like you do a word doc and save it. And so what we find is that … And again, remember we have different levels, so regardless of the level, it’s really important to monitor in the early phases. What we do is, every time you get a chat, we send you an email with that transcript of the chat, which you can also see in your dashboard. But we just remind you, we alert you right away. It goes out immediately.

And you can go right in there and you can edit that transcript and you can put in … If it’s the basic agent, the basic agent we have is really not for answering questions. It sounds kind of weird but it’s really to get questions from the visitor. And the way that we do it is proven and it’s basically a way that lets people feel comfortable just leaving their information and their contact details. But for the more advanced agents, you can actually create and add questions right there. And you want to do that, particularly in the first month. And we find that that is the key, period. And it’s also really important, if anybody sets up a bot and we say this to all of our customers too. You have to think of it as if you’re bringing on a new member of the team. You really have to think about like if you hired a new person. Particularly like we always say, it’s sort of like an intern. You’re hiring this intern, or assistant and maybe they’re fresh out of college. And they’re bright but they’re not … they don’t know everything yet and they’re going to make mistakes.

You have to realize they’re going to say things wrong. And you have to actually coach them so that they get it right. And that’s the same thing with what we have. Because I mean let’s face it, this is the early days of bots and they’re not perfect. But humans aren’t perfect either. But we have had some customers who … It’s a small percentage but a certain percentage of customers are like, “Oh my God. The agent can’t say that! They can’t say that.” Then I remember this one customer, that’s what he was saying. And we had taken all the responses from the agent from his website. He just never bothered to read his website. So you know, it’s just one of those things where you have to have an active involvement in it. And if you don’t like what the agent is saying, you have to change it. If there’s something on your site that you want the agent to be able to communicate, you have to let … You have to either add it, or you know in the case of a service, let that service or let us know.

Because the agent’s not automatically … Because that’s the other thing too, people kind of get. People have the wrong idea sometimes. They think of this as a good point of differences that in our AI, there is artificial general intelligence and artificial narrow intelligence. General intelligence is like a Siri or Alexa. That’s like, “Hey, what’s the weather on Mars? Hey Alexa, what time is it? What’s the weather in L.A.” And you expect an answer. That’s not what we’re talking about here. That’s not what a chatbot is for if it’s going to capture leads on a website. And a lot of folks, when they come to our site for the first time ever, who don’t know the difference. They’ll start trying to talk to our agent like it’s Alexa and it’s not. And then, they might actually say, “Now you know, I don’t think that’s going to work. Because I’m a chiropractor and I just asked for a turkey sandwich and it gave me an answer and I have to send my message to a colleague.”

Well excuse me doctor but are people asking you for turkey sandwiches when they come to your chiropractor … “Well no.” Okay then. And then you’ve for to kind of educate them, right? So that’s what we see and it’s still very narrow. And the way that a lot of the bots pick up … and area of artificial intelligence. And the way that the bots pick up these phrases and sometimes call them intents. Intents of the visitor. It’s still at a level where it’s still relatively early phases in terms of commercialization. I mean the NLPs been around for 20 years or whatever, to take news feeds and weather patterns and spam blockers and all that stuff. Using NLP for years. But to actually have it on a site, like an agent, is still relatively new.

So you have to bear with it and not be … Our best customers are not so freaked out if the agent isn’t perfect. They’re just like, “Wow, I have a lead, I’m psyched. I’m going to contact that lead. And now I have more leads than I did before.”

Steffen Horst: Makes a lot of sense. It’s an evolving technology at the end of the day.

Jay Rice: Exactly. Exactly right.

Steffen Horst: Jay, it’s been great talking about this. I’ve just realized that I kind of wanted to talk about in general automation software. Or sales automation, we kind of spent the entire time on chatbots, which is great. Because I think there’s a lot in here. But it also feels like might have to schedule another culture talk about marketing automation tools.

Jay Rice: Sure. Absolutely.

Steffen Horst: But listen, if people say, “Hey, you know what? What Jay talked about in regards to Thinking Chat sounds interesting. I want to check out their software.” Where can they find out more about Thinking Chat?

Jay Rice: Yeah so, I encourage you to go to and you can see everything there. You can see our agent how it works there. We have our pricing there as well but we also have a special that we’ve been running with our agent, which is our starting agent. Which is . And that’s basically an annual plan discount for our small business agent. So that’s a really pretty aggressive and just gets people started. And we offer what I call a no BS. A no BS guarantee. So, essentially, we give people 30 days and they either love it or we’re not going to charge them of it. And people also reach out to meet them. Like I said, I’m out there helping other businesses. I’m the first to tell people, “If it’s not a fit, hey we can’t help you.” But if it is I encourage them to check us out. You can contact me, just . You and I will connect of course after the call as well because I like what you guys are doing.

Steffen Horst: Great. Well listen, we’ll put the contact information in the description and yeah. And hopefully people reach out and want to find out more about Thinking Chat. Thanks everyone for listening. If you like the Performance Delivered podcast, please subscribe to us and leave us a review on iTunes. Or your favorite podcast application. If you want to find out more about Symphonic Digital, you can visit us at . Or follow us on Twitter @symphonichq . Thanks again and see you next time.