Author: David Brock, president, Partners in Excellence
We are in an era where automation has run amok. Bots and artificial intelligence (with the emphasis on artificial) are increasingly running our outreach campaigns. Whether through email, phone or social platforms, in our efforts to drive volume and velocity, we have surrendered everything to our automation tools.
Often, I get an outreach, I respond—which is fantastic for the sender. I ask, “What is it that you want to talk about, why do you think it is relevant to me?” or “What do you know about our business that causes you to think we should talk?”
Most of the time, I get no response. I think, “That’s unusual. Presumably, they are tracking opens and responses. Maybe they are just interested in the data; not actually talking.”
I suspect bots don’t like questions; they seem to be programmed to act in send mode, and struggle with receive mode.
Every once in a while, I do engage with what I think may be a human being. I ask the same questions. Most of the time, they struggle with responding, as well. Usually, it’s “This is what I sell.” My response is always, “What is it about my company that makes you think we want to buy?”
I have that very conversation currently happening with one of the major video conferencing vendors. Somehow, they decided they want to sell me their “Telehealth” package to use with my clients. Some of my clients aren’t very healthy, fiscally or business-wise, but I don’t think a Telehealth subscription would help. I even wrote the CRO a note about this miscommunication. Their bot continues to send me messages; wanting to talk to me about Telehealth.
In all but the last example, I’m expressing a possible desire to engage, but somehow that never happens. They seldom respond; we never talk.
Do You Speak Bot?
I wonder if maybe the problem is on my side. Maybe I don’t know how to communicate in “bot.” I went to Duolingo to try to enroll in a class to learn to speak “bot,” but, unfortunately, I couldn’t find such a class.
Perhaps we ought to start adding “Listening/Responding to Bots” to our automation. By the way, if anyone has a bot that can help me with my responses, call me. Perhaps, then, I can get my bot to talk to other people’s bots. It may be that bots just don’t want to engage with people.