Home News Ryan Johnson, Chief Product Officer at CallRail – Interview Series

Ryan Johnson, Chief Product Officer at CallRail – Interview Series

Ryan Johnson, Chief Product Officer at CallRail – Interview Series

Ryan has over 15 years of diverse technology and product development leadership experience from early-stage startups to Fortune 100 organizations. Because the Chief Product Officer at CallRail he leverages his passion for developing best in school technology solutions to unravel real-world problems. Prior to joining CallRail, he was a key member of the leadership team at Banjo (now MiiM). There he helped grow the product development organization by over 300%, created world class AI/Machine learning technology products, and helped raise a $100 million C Round of VC funding.

CallRail is an AI-powered lead intelligence platform that makes it easy for businesses of all sizes to market with confidence. Serving greater than 200,000 corporations worldwide, CallRail’s solutions help businesses track and attribute each result in their marketing journey, capture and manage every call, text, chat, and form, and use insights surfaced by AI to optimize their marketing.

Your early profession focused on accounting and finance, how did you initially transition to AI?

While my profession began with a give attention to accounting and finance, I’ve all the time had an analytical mindset. While I used to be studying at Albion College, I just happened to enroll in a pc science class as one among my electives – and the remaining is history! This later afforded me the chance to start within the technology industry long before AI was even on the horizon.

As my profession continued to progress, I noticed two things: I had a deep passion for working with data (more specifically data from a product perspective) and navigating how that data may very well be transformed into something that was genuinely precious for patrons. There’s no straight path for those trying to get into this emerging space, but these two interests naturally led me toward a profession involving AI.

When you would have asked me 20 years ago after I first began my profession about AI, I might have likely referenced the terminator like everyone else on the time. As technology has evolved though – and particularly with the recent advancements – it’s clear that my journey had to begin with a powerful interest in and foundation of understanding data.

For those trying to pursue a profession path in AI, coming from a novel background with original perspectives is ultimately crucial. There are such a lot of unknowns with AI in the longer term and you’ll be able to go in so many various directions – the way it’s applied, where it’s applied, regulatory, compliance – it’s almost an infinite list. Due to this fact, I believe for those who can are available in with an open mind and a willingness to learn, almost anyone can get into this emerging space no matter their initial background.

Prior to your current role you lead development of Banjos AI/ML products, what were these products and what were a few of your key takeaways from this experience?

At the very best level we were using AI and machine learning to detect events as they occur around the globe.  We focused our internal tech on computer vision to detect things in images and video (fires, accidents, logos, objects, etc.) and NLP to find out what people were talking about.  We utilize many data sources equivalent to social media, e911, traffic cameras, etc. to triangulate and validate when an “event” happens.  We utilized this technology to assist break news (local and national) before anyone else and to assist enterprise corporations protect their employees, assets, and brand.

CallRail uses a technology called Conversation Intelligence that facilitates uncovering insights from conversations, what is that this specifically?

Conversation Intelligence® is the flexibility to robotically aggregate actionable call insights from phone conversations to enhance marketing performance. The goal is to enable marketers, agencies, and business owners to make the proper business decisions with speed and precision.

  • Lead Conversion: CallRail’s AI mines phone call conversations and provides insights and precious information that may be used for lead conversion. By identifying one of the best leads out of your top marketing sources, AI permits you to prioritize your efforts and give attention to the most popular leads. This ensures that your resources are effectively utilized while concurrently saving you time. Through CallRail’s Conversation Intelligence®, you’ll be able to automate workflows for smoother lead follow-up. Finally, the AI-powered insights give you wealthy context for every lead, supplying you with a deeper understanding of their needs and preferences. Using this, you’ll be able to develop personalized strategies and customised solutions, maximizing your probabilities of converting them into satisfied customers.


  • Customer experience: Phone call insights provide a possibility to reinforce your customer’s experience. Through the evaluation of conversations, AI can provide precious information to make it easier to comprehensively understand your customers and their journey. This includes capturing details of every interaction, equivalent to the topics discussed, tone of voice, sentiment, and any specific pain points or challenges mentioned. With this full picture of a lead’s journey and interactions, businesses can deliver a more personalized and tailored customer experience. With AI-powered insights, corporations can higher understand customers’ preferences, needs, and expectations, allowing them to supply relevant suggestions, recommendations, and solutions.


  • Agent performance: By reviewing conversation content, CallRail’s Conversation Intelligence® offers useful coaching recommendations on call handling, giving your agents the guidance needed to supply higher customer support. The AI also aggregates insights across multiple calls or by individual agents, allowing you to achieve a comprehensive understanding of your team’s performance. With this technology, you’ll be able to uncover positive or negative patterns or trends in sentiments expressed in the course of the calls. This implies you’ll be able to discover common issues or recurring problems which may be affecting customer satisfaction. By addressing these areas of improvement, you’ll be able to enhance the general quality of your customer interactions.


  • Marketing optimization: Considered one of the key benefits of AI-powered call insights is the convenience of integrating it with different systems, including CRM platforms like HubSpot and various marketing automation tools. Using AI-powered insights, businesses arm themselves with a whole picture of the lead journey, from initial contact to final outcomes, across each digital and offline channels. These insights also enable marketers to measure the effectiveness of their marketing strategies when it comes to return on investment (ROI). By tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) equivalent to lead conversion rates, customer acquisition costs, and revenue generated, businesses can optimize their marketing efforts to realize higher ROI. Furthermore, along with integrating the tech stack, marketing is optimized in Conversation Intelligence since it gives businesses the flexibility to discover keywords and automate keyword bidding strategies based on insights from the decision, providing precious input for search engine marketing, and marketing messages. As an illustration, if leads consistently ask about services not offered, businesses can adjust their website messaging to make sure calls are higher aligned or consider adapting their offerings to fulfill lead demand.

CallRail’s Conversation Intelligence® is purpose-built to know and analyze human speech. Meaning it will possibly extract each precious little nugget of data from phone calls while saving agents and managers over 94% of their time. The data from phone calls is first-hand knowledge directly out of your customer’s mouth. The result’s priceless data from a tried-and-tested marketing tool with a Twenty first-century twist.

What are the differing types of AI & machine learning which can be utilized in this technology?

We’ve got an exquisite AI partnership with AssemblyAI, an organization that utilizes quite a lot of our AI powered features. Without stepping into the deep details we use:

  • ASR (Automatic Speech Recognition) – Powered by Conformer-2 the most important commercially available ASR model trained on over 1.1M hours of english audio data
  • LeMUR – LLM utilized to investigate spoken data. Is the inspiration of summaries, agent coaching, auto qualification, to call a number of.  CallRail advantageous tunes in quite a lot of ways on top of the models to get essentially the most value to our customer.

In July 2023, CallRail Labs was unveiled as the primary of its kind in the decision analytics space. Considered one of its core features is the introduction of “motion plans.” Could you share some insights into what that is?

That’s right! Once we introduced CallRail Labs, we also released motion plans to support agents with AI-generated recommendations for next steps after a call. This feature removes the guesswork from following up with potential customers by summarizing key takeaways, consolidating them right into a shareable format to email or text to frontline teams, and documenting follow-ups inside CallRail’s Premium Conversation Intelligence™ dashboard.

Nonetheless, since we unveiled CallRail Labs in July, six recent capabilities have even be introduced:

  • AI-powered call coaching identifies where agents performed well, where they might improve, and, most significantly, delivers specific actionable recommendations to do higher. This lifts the training burden off of business owners and ensures unbiased, timely feedback is given to agents to enhance performance.
  • AI identification of successful appointments scheduled empowers business owners to immediately pinpoint the calls which can be almost definitely to generate revenue and understand what activities attract one of the best leads.
  • AI identification of recent or existing customers which allows businesses to know which marketing campaigns are generating truly recent business and which drive repeat business, without the necessity to hearken to the decision or read a transcript. Knowing which campaigns are driving recent customers to what you are promoting versus that are growing loyalty and revenue from existing customers allows businesses to enhance audience segmentation and, ultimately, campaign performance.
  • Mechanically discover questions continuously asked on calls to discover commonly asked customer questions, offering precious insights into customer needs, while also aiding search engine marketing optimization and keyword strategy refinement.
  • Capture personal details and preferences of callers robotically, which may be used to support future relationship constructing and form deeper connections between brands and customers. Small details equivalent to remembering a customer’s birthday or an upcoming life event can construct unwavering trust and brand loyalty.
  • Leverage AI to generate thoughtful, concise text and email messages after a call has ended to affirm customer concerns have been heard, strengthening relationships and saving agents countless hours of labor.

Read more about these recent capabilities here and here. While we’re excited by this initial traction – we’re just scratching the surface!

Can you furthermore may describe how CallRail Labs enables customers to influence the corporate’s use of voice AI?

This recent innovation program – as you mentioned, a primary of its kind in the decision analytics space – was designed to assist foster continued AI innovation in partnership with SMBs by inviting our customers to influence how we’re using voice AI through early access to recent product capabilities.

The goal is to supply direct feedback to product and engineering leads while, at the identical time, allowing us to maneuver purposefully to unravel real business challenges amid the market explosion of AI-driven capabilities. We’re fortunate to have a big, willing set of shoppers to check the sensible application of those recent AI-enabled products and supply invaluable feedback.

The importance of this project lies within the undeniable fact that it simplifies complex tasks and consistently delivers data-driven strategies, enhancing overall efficiency. It demonstrates the facility of AI and the way it will possibly drive meaningful innovation within the realm of Conversation Intelligence®.

What are among the more popular use cases of this software?

We’re lucky to have a broad range of examples that illustrate how our customers are using AI to show their calls right into a competitive advantage. Just a few of our favourite examples across industries include:

Home Service: Adria Marble & Granite is a family-owned stone fabricator that installs kitchen and toilet countertops, fireplaces, and more. When the business first began, promoting was done via the phone book, faxes, and word of mouth. In an industry where it’s common for contractors to drop the ball with follow-up to prospective customers, having CallRail has also helped Adria Marble stand out by ensuring all calls are followed on, and no leads are lost.

In consequence, the corporate has been capable of lower the general cost per lead and do a greater job of accurately targeting the proper leads that may drive a better dollar amount from the deals they close. CallRail has saved Adria Marble 10-20 hours every week by automating the lead and call tracking Irfan would otherwise must do manually, either via a spreadsheet or sometimes just shouting across the office to make sure customers get a callback. With only three people handling all of the sales and administrative office duties, getting these hours back for other tasks is impactful.

Legal: Competition between digital marketing agencies is fierce – especially within the legal space, where clients are typically more loyal and profitable than those in other industries. That’s why Above the Bar Marketing turned to CallRail to assist prove which ads, campaigns, and keywords make their clients’ phones ring. The result: call tracking has helped not less than 75% of their clients reallocate money in the proper way – eliminating $1,000 every month in wasted ad spend.

Healthcare: Cornerstone Foot Care’s digital marketing operations were lacking adequate tracking of inbound leads and incoming phone calls. The practice turned to CallRail for visibility into which keywords and campaigns calls were coming from, in addition to the standard of each call. With the addition of Google Ads and CallRail tracking, Cornerstone has grown its revenue by 40% through increased call quality, increased variety of calls from inbound leads, and a decreased variety of missed calls.

You’re also known to your comparisons between AI and your automobile racing. What are among the commonalities between the 2?

AI and auto racing (especially Formula 1) have had an in depth relationship for a few years now. Racing teams have the flexibility to place their cars through simulations that AI can interpret and help the team with performance.  AI could detect changes that must be made to an engine to extend performance or improve reliability, to changes within the aerodynamics to assist with downforce.  It’s no wonder modern Formula 1 cars seem like spaceships as AI helps to literally design the aero.

Personally, I believe AI works best with a human feedback element which is not any different in racing. For instance, even when an AI model predicts one of the best arrange for shall we say rainy or hot conditions, the motive force still has to offer feedback to the team.  AI can’t predict all the pieces concerning the drivers performance and preferences, so you wish human interaction for feedback.  I actually heard a team principal speak about this after I was doing a pit tour at Petit LeMans in October.  He said “AI is really amazing and has given us big gains, however it still hasn’t replaced driver feedback and a team that understands the nuances of the motive force.”

Could you share your vision for the longer term of voice AI and call analytics?

It’s easy to feel just like the world of selling moves faster than the speed of sunshine today. There’s all the time a brand new term to learn, technique to enact, or best practice to deploy. We frequently forget that a few of one of the best tried-and-true marketing strategies are on this constant change and novelty. Considered one of these neglected strategies is, undoubtedly, phone calls.

Phone calls remain one of the best tool for marketers to make use of, providing a wealth of data about what your customers want and want. Nonetheless, a good portion of this potential stays untapped across a broad range of industries. While we’re actually on a mission to proceed accelerating the advancement of voice AI and call analytics to assist customers achieve higher ROI, I’m just as equally enthusiastic about small businesses fully realizing how impactful AI may be for turning calls into insights that they’ll act on.


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