Why Natural Language Processing is a must for chatbots


Person holds a coffee cup while chatting with a chatbot on their cell phone

In this series, Respage CEO Ellen Thompson discusses the latest trends in the multifamily industry and how apartment communities can generate greater results.

I recently booked a flight and my TSA PreCheck number failed to work. After being directed to contact TSA, I called the number provided and was offered to press 1, 2, 3, or 4. I confess I was completely baffled by the choices. After guessing and pressing 2, I was put on hold for far too long—and still never got any answers.

This experience was frustrating. If their system had used natural language processing (NLP) instead of an interactive voice response (IVR), I would have been able to ask, “Why isn’t PreCheck showing up on my ticket?” and then been prompted to enter my TSA number. I would have quickly found out that my precheck had expired (which I eventually figured out on my own).

There is a reason that major chatbots like Intercom, Drift, and multifamily industry-specific ones like Respage Chatbot are using natural language processing. NLP provides a better user experience because it can answer any question the chatbot was trained for quickly and easily. Chatbots that don’t use NLP rely on clicking prompts, and there are only so many that can appear on one mobile screen. With typical bots trained to answer 100 or more questions, 95% of the questions can’t be answered from the first page, and like my TSA experience, you might never find the prompt that answers your particular question. That’s why NLP is a must for chatbots.

More than half of chatbot visitors start their chat by typing a custom question

Chatbot companies that have invested in NLP are in a much better position to create product extensions. We launched Respage Chatbot in 2017, and since then, leasing automation has evolved far beyond the website. We’ve built leasing bots that can answer phone calls, respond to text messages, and answer contact form submissions, all of which would be impossible to do well without natural language processing. 

Want to see NLP in action on a chatbot or answering leads? Contact us today.

From the desk of Ellen Thompson, Co-founder and CEO of Respage >> Since its founding, Respage has helped over 10,000 communities attract, engage, and retain residents. Its platform assists properties in generating leads, automating leasing, and managing reputation and social media. Thompson is also the Founder of Results Repeat, a digital marketing agency that has helped hundreds of companies create a digital presence and use SEO and paid marketing to generate more business online.


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