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F*ck AI: Why Gifting is the Best Way to Build Authentic Relationships

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Marketers have so many AI tools to choose from…but is AI really the best way to build authentic connections? Join Ryan Tu, CEO at COUP Champagne, Ashlee Starr, Private Client Manager at COUP Champagne, and Nick Mehta, CEO at Gainsight, as they discuss the importance of authenticity and how gifting can help you create real human connections.

“Words, no matter how nicely they’re written by AI, are still just words.” - Ryan Tu

Salespeople and marketers are leveraging AI to personalize their outreach and engage with their customers at scale. While these tools can save you a lot of time, they also risk muddying the water on whether you’re creating the authentic connections needed to win business.

Build real connections with gifting

“Corporate gifting is a simple way to stand out and encourage prospects to react. That’s just something that AI can’t replace.” - Ashlee Starr

COUP Champagne provides corporate gifts that are effective at helping vendors stand out and generate a reaction from the CEOs of their top customers. It all comes down to building connections, a central part of being human. Marketers can leverage gifting in their buyer journey by focusing on what’s truly important, authenticity. 

In fact, 97% of recipients report that receiving gifts makes them feel valued. That’s why 80% of top-tier companies have incorporated gifting into their marketing strategy. In an age of shallow digital interactions and chatbots, gifts help you sell a relationship, not just a product.

How Gainsight uses AI to be human-first

“It’s about blending this scary new thing called AI with being human-first. It can feel like cognitive dissonance.” - Nick Mehta

Gainsight aims to be living proof that you can win in business by being human-first. At the same time, they’re also adding AI features to their customer success toolbox. So how can AI influence a human-first business? 

Today, we spend a lot of time on work that’s not human-first. Manual data entry and creating support tickets don’t feel human at all. By incorporating AI into tools like Gainsight, employees can offload these tasks and spend more time connecting with their teams and customers. AI can be part of a humanizing experience. 

An example is to use AI to parse through sales call recordings and pull out notes about your customers. Do they like champagne? Are they into NFL football? Maybe they’re a Swiftie? Send a tailored gift based on these interests. In this scenario, AI serves as an enhancement to the human experience, rather than a replacement.

Where does authenticity come from? 

“First, you create an authentic connection. Then you close the deal.” - Ryan Tu

When it comes to running an authentic business, AI can’t solve every problem. At Gainsight, a Glassdoor Best Place to Work, true authenticity starts at the ground level with company culture. Be sure to prioritize self-awareness and emotional intelligence, especially in your executive team, as these qualities are necessary to elevate your culture and performance from good to great. At the end of the day, business is about winning deals, and winning is a huge part of a human-first culture.

Align your authenticity with customer connection

At Gainight, they rely on COUP Champagne to connect with everyone, whether it's prospects, customers, or even employees who have moved on to new opportunities. When you use AI to remove tedious work–that isn’t human-first–you give your employees the time to build authentic connections. 

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