AI service ramps up efforts to tackle lead gen malpractice

AI service ramps up efforts to tackle lead gen malpractice
Luke Ashworth, founder of Adviser AI

Adviser AI, a startup which has been growing its list of broker clientele, is beginning to reveal the results of its technology.

Launched three years ago by Luke Ashworth, a former protection consultant and now three-time founder, Adviser AI automates the lead generation process for at least 12 firms, including Cavendish Online - recently bought by Lloyds - as well as Vita, Assured Futures and Enduralife.

The firm is currently in deal talks with a number of other intermediaries and providers, as well as with a reinsurer.

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As well as addressing the lead generation stage, the service also automates processes such as the initial fact find and ongoing reviews, to help advisers keep in touch with more of their clients on a regular basis and reduce clawback.

Ongoing communication is something IFAs still feel the industry is falling short on, despite fears of an uptick in cancellations as the living cost crisis worsens.

Ashworth told FTAdviser that having implemented these automations for a handful of firms now, he has tracked what he reckons are some "pretty impressive results".

Adviser AI has increased the supply of converted leads to its broker customers by, on average, four times. This is the difference between someone following through or not.

It also boasts an 80 per cent penetration rate - that is the number of customers taking out a mortgage and/or protection after filling in a lead form. 

And typically, a customer will take out on average 2.5 products each if they go through a lead generated using Adviser AI’s software - meaning it is far more likely protection will be taken out alongside a mortgage.

“It’s transformational,” said Ashworth, who has previously also founded a protection intermediary, Protected, and a protection lead generator, Nebastic.

When a prospective customer clicks on a lead powered by Adviser AI, an ‘interactive agent’ - ie, a bot - will do a fact find depending on the product of interest, be that income protection, life insurance or critical illness.

If it was income protection for example, the algorithm-powered agent would find out details such as how long the prospect has until they run out of money. 

“This reduces the need for lengthy phone calls,” said Ashworth. “But we don’t replace the adviser.”

The idea of Adviser AI is to replicate some adviser-client conversations using algorithms, in order to make the in-person conversations more informed.

“This is what I’d send my mum to,” said Ashworth. “It drives higher conversion rates, reduces clawback and encourages better quality leads.”

In many cases, a human agent employed by an insurer will call a prospect after they enter their details via a free quote tool.

Mystery shopping reports carried out within the industry have, however, found that this approach can lead to prospects being “inundated” with follow-up calls and voicemails from salespeople trying to keep a lead alive, as well as pressured to take out policies which are not right for them or have been poorly explained to secure a more expensive policy.