Today we announced our partnership with Lumin.ai to integrate conversational artificial intelligence (AI) into the FranConnect platform. Whether this makes perfect sense to you, or you're not even sure what AI means, let's take a few minutes to talk about what it is, why we are doing this, show you a preview of how it works, and explain why it's different than other AI solutions in the franchising world.
The term AI gets used frequently today, but many people don’t really understand how often they are encountering it. Everything from Google Maps telling you about bad traffic ahead to the autopilot on an airplane to your email’s ability to identify spam are all functions of AI.
Why do franchises need AI?
At FranConnect, we realize that AI could be a huge asset to the growth of franchises. Research, including our own Franchise Sales Index Report, makes it clear that speed-to-lead is more important than ever before for franchise development. In fact, high-interest leads have a dramatically higher rate of conversion if they are contacted within the first 30 minutes of their expression of interest. In franchising, where prospective franchisees often contact many potential franchise businesses simultaneously, the business that connects first has the highest likelihood of converting the lead.
Franchise businesses can use FranConnect’s conversational AI solution (based on integrated Lumin.ai Smart Scheduler product) to convert more leads into opportunities and foster a better buyer experience in the process.
How would AI work for my franchise business?
Here's a 60-second overview of what this looks like:
FranConnect uses Lumin.ai's Smart Scheduler to engage leads immediately and provide a frictionless user experience. Leads are contacted via SMS to set up an introductory sales conversation. The bot facilitates the entire process, including populating sales team calendars and sending email confirmations to the leads. Information about the lead and the appointment details Appointment details are seamlessly updated in FranConnect and in Sales team member calendars with no need for human intervention or administration. .
So why does this matter so much now? Your website is more important than ever, with a higher percentage of prospective franchisees visiting your site -- and your competition's. Whether your traffic comes organically or via a heavy mix of paid channels, you have a big investment in your website, so it’s crucial that you convert as many of those qualified leads as possible.
Innovation + Proof
So if you're still reading it means you buy into the importance of improving your sales process and you see artificial intelligence as a way to help. But you might be asking why FranConnect vs trying to do this on your own or with a standalone third-party chat bot. There are two very clear and compelling reasons. First, the Lumin.ai Smart Scheduler integrates seamlessly with the FranConnect platform, as you can see in the demo above. No manual integrations or imports of leads, and no calendar conflicts with scheduling appointments. The user experience is frictionless for the leads and your sales team.
On top of that, Lumin.ai's technology is innovative but proven and recognized in the market. In fact, the joint FranConnect + Lumin.ai solution was named the Innovation Award winner for 2020 by Franchise Update Media for our implementation at Floor Coverings International. Here's a case study of that project, which drove amazing improvements in deal conversion rates for Floor Coverings International.
If you'd like to learn more, register for our upcoming webinar about Artificial Intelligence in the World of Franchising. Or if you'd like to see this live directly, please request a demo today!