Alvin Assistbot

Meet Alvin, The Automation Agency AssistBot

Carl Taylor | June 19, 2018

We’re constantly working away on various projects and enhancements here at Automation Agency.

Two of our core values are:

  1. Work Smarter, Not Harder
  2. Learn Constantly

And today’s announcement is a combination of almost eight months of hard work from various members on our engineering team who have very much lived these values every day.

Introducing Alvin the AssistBot

Alvin is what we have named our automated and partially artificially intelligent robot who works behind the scenes to help us better communicate with you in real-time.

Our Heroes don’t work 24/7 but Alvin does, and he can keep you informed about various things relating to your account.

Is Automation Agency the right fit for your business? Chat with Alvin on Facebook Messenger to find out!

What Can Alvin Do?

Alvin isn’t entirely new, we’ve been releasing him a few features at a time over the past few months.

We started with…

#1 – Introduce Features You Aren’t Yet Using

We realized there are features in our web portal that not everyone is aware of, or weren’t yet ready for.

Alvin now tries to detect, based on your usage, when is a good time to suggest a feature you haven’t yet used.

For example, if you haven’t realized you can copy & paste an image into the Task Reply screen. Alvin will let you know it’s possible!

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Or maybe you didn’t know you could drag & drop your queued tasks to re-order them. Alvin can detect when you haven’t used this feature and point this out for you, too.

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#2 – Determine If You’re A Fit for our Services

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A few months back, we released Alvin as our Right Fit Assistant on our Plans & Pricing page.

Since then many people have chatted to Alvin about our services to determine if we were a good match for them or not.

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Here’s Where Things Get Interesting…

Everything mentioned so far has been achieved through the use of off-the-shelf tools like Intercom and ManyChat, with just a bit of smart planning, design, and implementation.

And while these are vitally important parts of Alvin’s role at Automation Agency, they’ve been child’s play in set up required compared to the improvements we’ve launched today.

#3 – Notify You When a Queued Task Becomes Active

One of the feature clients often tell us they love is the ability to batch new tasks by loading up a queue of tasks all at once that we work on over time.

However, the problem was, unless you logged in to your web portal every day you didn’t always know when a task that was queued had become active.

Starting today, this is no longer an issue. Now, as soon as your Queued task becomes Active, Alvin will add a reply to your task to notify you.

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#4 – Failed Priority Pass Payments

It didn’t happen often, but there were occasions when a client would request a priority pass during the creation of their task and for whatever reason their payment failed.

Previously, unless you informed us about this issue, we didn’t know you had tried to purchase a priority pass. And if you didn’t check the web portal, you wouldn’t have known it didn’t go through.

Moving forward Alvin will alert you on the task conversation immediately after the task is created if your Priority Pass upgrade payment failed and give you some options to rectify the issue.

Then Came the Hardest Part…

#5 – Reading & Assigning Your Emailed In Tasks

Ever since we started our concierge service we’ve offered the ability for you to shoot off a quick email to your concierge team to log a task.

Many clients love this feature, and while more and more people are using our web portal for logging tasks, there are still some users who have never actually logged in to our web portal because they just prefer email.

The internal challenge we’ve had with emailed tasks is they had to sit and wait for our human dispatching team (AKA our customer success team) to read the email and work out if the task should go to our Design Team, our Automation Team, or our Web Team, and then manually assign it to the correct team.

Since our customer success team doesn’t cover the same hours as our heroes, this could mean delays to your task depending on when it was sent.

Also, as our client base has grown so has the volume of the email tasks, leading to further delays on these tasks being dispatched in a timely manner.

To tackle this problem we decided to research the very-trendy-right-now world of Artificial Intelligence. We discovered how we could give Alvin the ability to read the tasks you email in and automate this dispatching process.

I’m excited to inform you that starting today, when you email in a task, Alvin will read your email and determine if it’s a Web Task, Automation Task, or Design Task and send it on to the right team.

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He’ll also check if you’re already at your Active Task limit, automatically queue the new task for you, and notify you that it’s been queued.

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This means you no longer have to wait for our Customer Success team to see the email before it’s assigned to the Hero team to review and work on.

Keep in mind: He’s a young AI and still learning, but he may never be perfect!

However, with years worth of tasks from hundreds of clients we had a lot of data to use to train Alvin to ensure a good accuracy at launch.

No need to worry if Alvin dispatches your task wrong, though. One of our friendly human task reviewers (who cover more hours than our customer service team) will see your task and ensure it is redirected to where it needs to go.

Where to From Here?

Alvin is fun, exciting, and an example of our commitment to continuous improvement and investing in our platforms and team to create a better experience for our clients.

It was a fun project for myself and our Engineering team to tackle – especially the AI side of it – and we’ll continue to look at ways to leverage new technologies to improve our services for you.

We’re working on a number of new things right now, including:

Slack Integration

Our Concierge PRO clients have been asking for a way to communicate with us within their existing workflows for a while now, and Slack, in particular, has been a popular request. So, we’re working on it!

We want to get Alvin into Slack so he can give you status updates…

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And help you to keep the conversations moving…

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…As well as request new tasks without having to leave Slack.

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NOTE: These are screenshots from our early prototyping, the final implementation may differ slightly.

Apart from the upcoming Slack Integration, we have some other big projects on our roadmap and some very interesting discussions happening around how else we can better serve our clients. We’ll keep our lips sealed on those for now!

If you’ve got a burning desire for a new feature, reach out or comment below with your requests. We can’t guarantee we’ll be able to follow through on every idea, but your voice matters in determining our priorities.

How to See Alvin in Action…

If you’re already a member of our Concierge Service you’ll start to see Alvin popping up on your new tasks over the next few weeks. We’re rolling the new version of him out in stages to small groups of clients to ensure everything is working as expected.

If you aren’t yet a member, the easiest and best way to meet Alvin is to have a chat to him on Facebook Messenger to see if we’re the right fit for your business.

About the author 

Carl Taylor

Carl Taylor is the Founder & CEO of Automation Agency. For the past 10 years Carl has been building businesses and marketing them online through the use of Sales Funnels, Email Marketing Automation, Landing Pages, and Wordpress Websites. Carl is also a #1 author and highly sought after speaker and consultant whose work has impacted thousands of businesses across various industries worldwide.

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