Amazon’s shopping recommendations. Facebook’s image recognition. Google’s predictive searches.
These enhancements in technology have become such a part of our everyday lives that we might not even realize that they’re all examples of artificial intelligence.
It’s part of our humanity to fear machines that can learn and mimic human behavior. Science fiction books and movies have been fanning the flames of that fear for more than half a century.
But the reality is that AI is incredibly useful and, rather than fear it, why not leverage its power to make our lives at home and work a bit easier?
Industries across the board — including multifamily — are using AI when it comes to customer service, particularly chatbots.
Nearly two years ago, Respage launched the multifamily industry’s first-ever chatbot, which lives on apartment communities’ websites and uses AI to carry on seemingly “normal” conversations with prospective renters that’s not much different than two people conversing.
In fact, tech research firm Gartner projects that AI in the form of chatbots will manage more than 85% of customer service interactions by 2020. Here are some factors to consider:
AI can transform the customer experience
Unlike humans, the Respage Chatbot is always available. Consider this: The majority of searches for “apartments for rent” occur outside the usual business hours, an analysis of Google trends shows. Chatbots can answer questions from prospects and schedule tours while human leasing agents are sleeping.
Not only that, chatbots remember. If a prospect returns with more questions, a chatbot can recall the prior conversation.
The Respage Chatbot also makes it possible for prospects to get the information they need without having to pick up the phone — something nobody really wants to do anymore.
AI is here to help humans, not replace them
Prospective renters aren’t the only winners when it comes to chatbots. While a bot can’t replace a human leasing agent, it could greatly free up their time.
While the chatbot is answering prospects’ questions and scheduling tours, leasing agents and property managers can spend their time focusing on more complex customer demands and interactions that require human-to-human communication.
For example, if a tenant has an immediate need, the staffer can address it right away because they’ll be spending less time communicating with prospects questions over the phone or email.
AI also provides valuable data that can allow leasing agents to follow up with prospects. By reviewing the chatbot transcripts, leasing agents can focus their sales outreach efforts on users who’ve shown an interest in their rental community.
AI works best with human assistance
Respage Chatbot can help leasing agents and property managers do their jobs, and vice versa. In fact, the chatbot works best if a human is available to step in when needed.
Enter the Human Helper.
The latest enhancement to the Respage Chatbot, Human Helper, gives prospects the option to talk to a human if they ask for one, or if they have more complex questions that the chatbot isn’t able to answer to their satisfaction.
This is designed to be a win-win for both the leasing agents and prospects — leasing agents can leave much of the basic back-and-forth to the chatbot, but are available to assist when needed. And prospects will get all of their questions answered either through AI or human intelligence — all without having to make a phone call.