LivePerson's Big Competitive Advantage


The following video excerpt was taken from an interview with Robert LoCascio, founder and CEO of LivePerson , as he talks about what was behind the company's incredible success story. In this segment, he explains how his line of products and services uses predictive technology to move beyond a basic chat company. A transcript follows the video.

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Brendan Byrnes: Let's talk about you products at LivePerson. I think some people look at it and say, "All these big companies are customers of yours -- [Hewlett-Packard], Microsoft, Verizon." They say, "Why don't they do it themselves?" But you've built some solid competitive advantages in the fact that what makes that product so good that these companies don't do it themselves, they go to LivePerson.

Robert LoCascio: It's really our intelligence and our predictive capabilities, so chat is a channel of communication, and we chat, we use SMS, we use video, voice. These are channels of communication, but when you pair it with intelligence and the ability to say, "Hey, there's a consumer on my website; let me practically offer to this specific consumer, because they need it, and then convert that consumer into a sale," that's what we do really well, and we pioneered the idea of using predictive technologies and behavioral targeting back in 2005, and that's where it's really helped us grow our business and make it more than just a chat company.

Byrnes: Let's expand on that a little bit. I'm shopping for something, I have something in my shopping bag, and I wait maybe a little bit too long. Is that when the chat pops up? What are some factors that go into that?

LoCascio: It's interesting. We have this predictive model, and it's a very fascinating thing. You set the target, so you say, like, shopping cart sale is our goal, and it looks all the way back on historical data and may find 50 different things that you did: stopped on a page for two minutes, came from this keyword, you've been here in the last 30 days. You put a specific item in your shopping cart or a specific price is in your shopping cart, and all that gets mixed together, and the model says this person has a high probability to buy, but they look like they're going off the path, and that's when we do the invitation to chat or we send some content out, so it's a very sophisticated model.

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Brendan Byrnes has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends LivePerson and owns shares of Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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