Last September, we introduced Clara in a closed beta. Hundreds of companies have been depending on Clara while we built up the infrastructure to scale the service, which pairs our network of experienced executive assistants (called Clara Remote Assistants or CRAs) and a robust backend of machine learning and preferences management. As our wait list grew, so did our excitement to release Clara to the world.

 

Now the wait (list) is over and Clara is ready to work with all professionals. In Clara, we’ve built the first empathetic, reliable, and experienced scheduling assistant. Clara works 24/7 to make scheduling efficient and seamless in a way that’s never been done before. Our software gets to know you over time and integrates with your workflow. It understands social nuances, maintaining precision and context even on the longest email chains. For two years we’ve heard from recruiters, CEOs and sales people about how Clara has helped them manage their relationships, close more meetings, and get back time to focus on their most important work.

 

We’ve made a lot of changes since our beta release, fundamentally improving the speed, consistency, and accuracy of the Clara service. We’ve also introduced a customer dashboard, giving people a “home” for their relationships with Clara. Up until now, customers have spoken directly to Clara in emails, but haven’t had a way to track a meeting’s status or update their preferences directly. Natural language is still the primary communication channel for Clara, but we don’t want anyone to have lingering questions after they press send. To give more visibility into how Clara is helping out, the dashboard shows how you have used Clara to date, as well as all of the jobs-in-progress (is Josh ever going to tell Clara when he’s free on Tuesday?)

 

 

The dashboard keeps you informed on meetings in progress and reminds you of the 2,238 emails that you didn’t have to write.

 

Additionally, we’ve built a machine learning platform called Exo, which encodes best practices and processes around scheduling, integrates customer preferences into these processes, and predicts and automates the actions Clara takes. The integration of these ideas enables us to distribute work to our assistants in bite-sized tasks, driving high human accuracy (small tasks are easier than large ones) and efficient and affordable scheduling (never a dull moment for our assistants as they are not tied to a single customer). We’ve unlocked a ton of human efficiency by effectively liquefying scheduling work.

 

While Exo augments Clara Remote Assistants’ work, the platform simultaneously acts as a data annotation tool. The resulting annotations feed back to our machine learning algorithms, making them more accurate at predicting what to do next and increasing the automation coverage of the system.

 

This image shows a few selected parts of Exo’s scheduling interface in “quick review” mode. When our algorithms believe that they understand everything required to take an action, the assistant simply reviews the action and accepts or rejects the proposal. The confirmation of our proposed actions feeds back into our system as training data for our machine learning algorithms. This is just one of the many partially-automated modes built into Exo.

 

Clara doesn’t mind if your calendar is messy, if your schedule is a brick wall of meetings, or if your business partners are always rescheduling. Those problems are off your plate, and you can move on to bigger and better things.

 

 

Today’s Clara by the numbers:

 

  • CRAs, the contractors who make sure that your scheduling emails are human and accurate, have gotten 2.5x more efficient in the last six months.
  • Clara has interacted with hundreds of thousands of people, composed millions of emails, and never forgets to say “Have a great day.”
  • Almost all of Clara’s response time are under 1 hour — Clara is never away from the computer.
  • 15% of meetings need to be rescheduled at some point — Clara will find another time!
  • Between follow-ups, email coordination, and reschedules, 35% of meetings take more than 10 emails to schedule — Clara is never “over it.”Spend a lot of time scheduling? Sign up for a Clara trial today.