Virtual receptionist services have long been a staple in the law firm market. But while many stick to their core offering—helping law firms outsource and manage client communication—these services have also been expanding to meet lawyers’ growing desire to leverage more data analytics for business development.
Smith.ai is is the latest virtual receptionist service to expand into data analytics with the release Tuesday of its new business intelligence tool.
What It Is: Smith.ai’s new business intelligence tool is composed of a detailed call analytics dashboard where a user can access and filter specific call data and visualize information via graphics, pie charts and tables. The tool is offered free of charge for current Smith.ai users.
Such call data includes whether an appointment was scheduled, whether a payment was taken and if a call included a transfer, as well as broader information such as call volume and blocked calls, among other data points.
Aaron Lee, Smith.aI’s co-founder and CEO, told Legaltech News that the new tool is an update and expansion to how the company provided such analytics data in the past.
“In the past what we did was give them a .CSV download, and looking at some of the metrics [was] very manual and convoluted. … So we wanted to make it easy for anyone to log into the dashboard and get the data and get the insight within just a few seconds.”
Why Is It Needed? Lee noted that there was a number of reasons why Smith.ai developed its new call analytics tool. “Number one: our clients actually demanded it,” he said.
But it wasn’t just law firm clients that need such information. “We work with a lot of marketing, agencies especially in the legal space, and they say when we run a campaign we want to know how active a campaign is … what is the cost per appointment, the cost per paying customers,” he added.
What’s more, Lee noted that Smith.ai’s new call analytics offering also allows the company to be more transparent about what their virtual receptionists are doing on the phone and how they handle calls.
Behind the Scenes: While Smith.ai’s virtual receptionist service is staffed by human receptionists, its analytics are powered primarily by AI automation.
Lee explained that during a call, an AI system tells the receptionist “what to ask, how to qualify the caller and what actions to [take]. As the [receptionist] is going through that prompt, the system automatically stores those events that happen, which could be: where did we transfer the call, where did we book the appointment, whether we handled the intake, whether we collected payment, etc.”
He added, “At the end of the call the AI is actually writing the call summary without the human typing … and then we [place that] structured data of the events onto the dashboard.”
Though the AI is extracting and creating a lot of the analytics data, its work is still reviewed by human receptionists to ensure accuracy.
The Competition: There are a host of companies offering virtual receptionist services to the legal market, as well as a number of companies that offer dedicated call analytics software, such as Invoca, CallRail and others.
Lee, however, argued that while other services collect broad “aggregative data” such as call duration and volume, Smith.ai is looking to differentiate itself by collecting more specific metrics. “I have never seen any company that can dive into the call level, down to fine grain details, and we are the first one that can provide that,” he said.
He also opined that Smith.ai also stands out because of its free availability to current users and its ease of use. “You don’t have to learn or do anything, you don’t have to [leverage any] software. We analyze the data, we create the event, and we build the dashboard for you.”