Collaborating Authors

How a Montreal chatbot provider is using CRM to drive revenue


Heyday co-founders Steve Desjarlais, left, and Étienne Mérineau stand in the company's Montreal office on Sept. 30, 2020. When COVID-19 hit, forcing people to stay home, Heyday AI knew its chatbot technology would be vital for retailers that could no longer converse with their customers in person. But the Montreal-based company also knew landing new clients would be a challenge given the cancellation of big tech events where it often drums up business face-to-face. "A lot of [those] sales ... bank on relationships, and therefore you need to meet in person," says Étienne Mérineau, who co-founded Heyday in 2017 with Steve Desjarlais, David Bordeleau and Hugues Rousseau. Heyday uses artificial intelligence to help retailers communicate with customers on websites and across various apps and programs such as Facebook Messenger and Google Maps.

Chatbot startup Heyday raises $5.1M – TechCrunch


Montreal-based Heyday announced today that it has raised $6.5 million Canadian ($5.1 million in US dollars) in additional seed funding. Co-founder and CEO Steve Desjarlais told me that the startup's goal is to allow retailers to support more automation and more personalization in their online customer interactions, while co-founder and CMO Etienne Merineau described it as an "all-in-one unified customer messaging platform." So whether a customer is sending a message from Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Google's Business Messages or just via email, Heyday brings all that communication together in one dashboard. It then uses artificial intelligence to determine whether it's a customer service or sales-related interaction, and it automates basic responses when possible. Heyday chatbots can provide order updates or even recommend products (it integrates with Salesforce, Shopify, Magento, Lightspeed and PrestaShop), then route the conversation to a human team member when necessary.

Conversational AI: Interview with Steve Desjarlais, CEO & Co-Founder of Heyday AI


Steve Desjarlais is the CEO and Co-Founder of Heyday AI, a company that focuses on developing an AI capable of engaging and understanding customers in every stage of their journey: from pre-purchase to product browsing and answering FAQs. In this interview, Mr. Desjarlais shares insights on how enterprises can leverage conversational AI to empower their marketing, support and sales teams with the ultimate goal of improving customer experience. This interview has been featured in the Conversational AI Initiative 2019. I'm former Head of Product of Ubisoft, the video game powerhouse behind blockbuster titled such as Assassin's Creed, Watch Dogs, FarCry and Splinter Cell. Heyday was launched by former Ubisoft (video game), Lightspeed (retail), Genband (cloud, telco) and Dentsu Aegis (advertising) executives who saw a pivotal moment in the history of computing and user interaction.

DavidsTea developing an AI-powered chat tool


DavidsTea has brewed up a partnership with Heyday to create its own AI-powered chat platform, part of a larger digital transformation at the Montreal tea retailer. Heyday is a company that provides AI-powered conversational commerce platforms for retailers in a range of categories, including auto brand Ford, food brand Danone and luxury-goods brand LVMH. The two companies started working together earlier this year and the new platform is still being developed, with the goal of launching it in the lead-up to the crucial Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping days that kick off the holiday shopping season. Partnering with Heyday is part of a larger digital transformation the company is undergoing, says DavidsTea's new vice president of ecommerce, Damon Sloane. He joined DavidsTea in April, having worked in a series of digital and marketing roles over the past decade.

Conversational AI: What It Is, Why You Should Care and How to Do It Right


Conversational AI can be a major asset to your social media presence. These days, 64% of people say they'd rather message a business than call it. If you're active on social media and talk to customers on your social channels, that statistic applies to you too. Every month over 1 billion messages are exchanged between people and businesses on Facebook Messenger alone. With all those inquiries and only so many people to tend to them, a chatbot or virtual assistant can be a lifesaver.