apartment chatbot software

The Impact of Chatbots on the Customer Journey

Chances are, you’ve had at least one conversation with a chatbot in the past 12 months. Whether you were looking for a new place to call home, or simply doing a little holiday shopping online, many of us have found chatbots a helpful addition to the online shops and services we frequent. 

Once more, these helpful little bots have been transforming the way customers engage with the brands that use them. After the tumultuous year that’s been 2020, more brands than ever are beginning to take advantage of the benefits chatbots bring to the digital customer journey. And to think, only a few years ago were people still largely mistrustful of online chatbots. As the years have progressed and the pandemic accelerated companies’ digital transformation efforts, chatbots have become an increasingly popular solution. 

So what makes chatbots so effective in improving the customer journey? And what should you look for in a chatbot solution? We’ll explore all that and more below. First though, a quick run-down on what chatbots actually do. 

What is a chat bot, exactly?

Simply put, chatbots make it easy for brands to carry on a conversation with a customer without actually having to speak with them. They’re built on a range of communication software, and can have many different features, depending on what they’re being used for. 

While some allow users to chat via voice, most are text-based, making it easier for customers to quickly find the answers they need on their computer or smartphone. There are also different varieties of chatbots, with the most common being Rule-Based bots (also known as Guided Conversation). This type of chatbot provides users with a structured experience, guiding them down a decision-tree conversational flow. Through scanning the keywords in a person’s text, these softwares are able to guide people exactly where they need to go, can help them make purchases, send documents, and even sign leases

How chatbots improve the customer journey

A high-quality chatbot can have a measurable impact on your customer experience and success. In fact, they’re often so helpful, 35% of consumers want to see more of their favorite brands leverage online chatbots. 

Let’s break down how chatbots can enhance and streamline your customer’s journey. 

Chatbots are like a search bar

Even if they’ve visited your website several times, most people won’t know how to proficiently navigate your site. This is where chatbots can come in handy. Instead of having to spend precious time navigating around your site or reading tedious FAQ pages, chatbots can act as a search bar into which users can ask for things to be shown to them directly. 

Instead of interrupting your customer’s experience, a chatbot can bring potential customers exactly what they need – and ultimately help you increase your site’s conversion rate. Since chatbots are so helpful as a search function, it’s important to display them front-and-center on your site, or even have them follow users as they navigate through different pages. 

Customers can personalize their own experience

It’s not just about calling customers by their name. Depending on the level of your chatbot software, people can personalize their experience and gain a sense of continuity with your site. For example, if you run an eCommerce retail brand, a chatbot can keep track of customer preferences, their past purchases, questions and even keep track (and follow up on) potential complaints.

Additionally, a great chatbot reflects the brand it represents. If part of your mission is to be a calm, cool, and collected repository of knowledge in your industry, your chatbot’s conversational style should mirror that. Or, if you like to have fun with your customers and have a good sense of humor, that can be programmed into your chatbot as well. 

They create less friction

It’s a fact of life in the digital age – most people dread having to talk to customer support. A well-designed chatbot can help eliminate that common concern, helping eliminate friction within the customer journey. 

Friction arises from inefficiency, and inefficiency happens when people can’t find what they’re looking for. With chatbots, users can get their questions answered instantly, and any queries that aren’t able to be processed are automatically sent to the appropriate department for resolution. Instead of having to do the back and forth with customer service reps, people can get their answers on the spot. 

Chatbots can help collect better information for your brand

Most people aren’t inspired to voluntarily fill out a form or sign up for something on your website. However, chatbots make it easy for customers to input their information, and for brands to collect that valuable information. They’re a useful tool for eliminating the overwhelm users can feel when presented with a long response form. Like a good conversation, a good chatbot can adapt questions to user input, making for even more detailed data.

When it comes to collecting customer feedback, chatbots are great at prompting people to submit their experiences in a natural, non-intrusive way. For example, if someone recently made a purchase and you want to get their feedback, utilizing a chatbot can prompt a much more detailed response than a traditional feedback form.

They make the experience memorable and convenient

Unlike sales and customer service teams, chatbots are available 24/7/365 which is especially helpful for people needing help after typical hours.  And if you’ve programmed a ‘personality’ into your software, your customers are bound to have a memorable experience. 

These days, it’s not enough to offer a competitive price. Consumers expect a great experience as well, and expect to be able to find all the information they need quickly and seamlessly. A well-designed chatbot carries the advantages of being able to deliver exactly what your audience needs, whatever, whenever, and potentially however they want – and that could be enough to win your brand a new loyal customer. 

BetterBot Raises Capital to Expand Product Offering and Reach

Atlanta, Ga, January 27, 2021 – A consortium of Multifamily executives closed on a Series Seed funding round led by San Diego-based venture capital firm UnitLeader. “We evaluated several companies in the bot space given the need for this technology in the multifamily industry,” said Dana Zeff, Chief Disrupter at UnitLeader. “BetterBot has a great deal of enthusiastic clients which got us excited about their product. We talked to fee-managers and owner-operators of different sizes and locations, and they all shared the same sentiment about the significant ROI they’ve gained from using the BetterBot platform.”

BetterBot co-founder Zlatko Bogoevski built and ran a successful Atlanta-based custom software development firm when his team designed a proprietary bot platform specific to the Multifamily and Builder Industries. He was introduced to BetterBot co-founder Robert Turnbull, who had helped build several successful Multifamily businesses such as ApartmentGuide.com, Rentals.com, RealEstate.com, RentWiki/RentAdvisor, and most recently for the largest conversational commerce company in the world, LivePerson. 

“Robert and I immediately knew we were two sides of the same coin given our backgrounds and where we were heading professionally,” said Bogoevski. “I had a solid and fundamental grasp of A.I., bot, and automation technology, while Robert had decades of experience bringing technology solutions to the Real Estate and Multifamily marketplace. Once we merged my team of professional product and engineering developers with his network of high-level clients and seasoned executives, BetterBot just took off.”

Today BetterBot is the most adopted conversational leasing solution in the Multifamily Industry serving thousands of apartment communities and their respective management companies. In 2020, BetterBot had nearly 4 million unique renter conversations, generating half-a-million renter leads resulting in a quarter-million scheduled appointments and tours.

While conducting due diligence, UnitLeader talked to a number of BetterBot clients including Seth Kaplan, Southeast Regional for Pinnacle Property Management, who stated, “Bottom line, BetterBot is the best ROI we get from marketing that we pay for.” They also spoke to Daryl Smith, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer for Kettler, who said, “…the bot plays a crucial part of our omni-channel strategy.” And Kim Boland, Director of Marketing for Morgan Properties who sees, “…BetterBot as a means of managing the overwhelming volume of prospective renter leads our properties get on a daily basis.”

UnitLeader’s investment comes at a critical time in BetterBot’s growth and scaling efforts. The capital will support the company’s product enhancements for current and future clients. Additionally, BetterBot intends to expand their sales and marketing teams and continue delivering key industry integrations.

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About UnitLeader

UnitLeader is revolutionizing the traditional investment model to unlock the potential of brands and ideas. UnitLeader’s mission is to identify and collaborate with partners who have the power to disrupt their industry. We not only invest capital and resources but our time and experience in building long-term success. We are committed to partnering with forward-thinking and responsible businesses.

About BetterBot

Today’s renter wants control over the leasing process and access to information wherever, whenever, but today’s leasing team can’t keep up. BetterBot is Multifamily’s most adopted digital leasing solution providing renters the information they want 24/7/365 anywhere on the Internet. Using the most technologically advanced software to answer the renters’ questions about the community, BetterBot showcases floor plans, virtual tours, specials, and amenities while driving them to schedule in-person, self-guided, live-video, and phone appointments. BetterBot is the round-the-clock leasing assistant of choice, freeing up leasing teams from low-value, menial and repetitive tasks so they can do what they do best, being human. 

Related Links

www.unitleader.com

www.betterbot.com

For Media Inquiries

Trevor Park
BetterBot, Head of Marketing

trevor@betterbot.com

BetterPractices: Understanding NLP

To NLP or not to NLP… wait, what’s the question?

What’s the question, indeed. Take a look at the simple question below with four simple words.  Notice that depending on what emphasis you place on which word, the question has a totally different meaning:

Did you buy that? Translated meaning: Or did you borrow it?

Did you buy that? Translated meaning: Did someone else buy that?

Did you buy that? Translated meaning: Did you steal that?

Did you buy that? Translated meaning: Wow, that’s ugly.

Welcome to the English language, or any language for that matter. It’s filled with nuances, syntax, homonyms, synonyms, and even slang. It’s no wonder that when a computer can respond correctly to a typed or spoken sentence it’s super cool! This is Natural Language Processing (NLP) at its best.

In 2017 and 2018 BetterBot built the largest proprietary NLP engine in all of Multifamily filled with the terms we use every day in our Industry.  Then walked away from it altogether.  Why?  

Because NLP breaks 3 out of 10 times.* It turns out the biggest and best NLP solutions in the world such as IBM Watson, Google Dialogflow, Amazon’s Alexa or Comprehend, etc., all have the same breakage problems.* And these are the best on the planet!

Imagine asking a leasing agent the same question ten times and three of those times, you didn’t get the answer you were looking for, or worse, you didn’t even get a response back. That can profoundly affect your user experience. With this type of error rate, NLP requires a level of human supervision to course-correct when it incorrectly interprets an interaction. This doesn’t make leasing jobs easier, it actually creates more work for leasing teams now having to either monitor, assist or completely take over when NLP fails.

Taking a look at some of the biggest conversational bot solutions such as Drift and Intercom, they have all moved to Guided Conversation or Rules-Based Chat. The reason being? You can’t break it. If you look at some of the other bots in the Multifamily space, they recently began incorporating some sort of Guided Conversation because they know that without it, the system can’t stand alone.

Guided conversation can also lead renters through different levels of a single inquiry, providing deeper understanding into the topic and thus making them a more qualified prospect when they ultimately convert to a tour. Natural Language Processing assumes the renter wants to continue the conversation after their question has been answered, rather than presenting additional routes to follow.

BetterBot learned a great deal during their early development period about what prospective renters and residents are looking for in their digital interactions. Approximately 40% of consumers don’t care whether a chatbot or a real human helps them, as long as they’re getting the help they need (Invesp). So, let a chatbot be a chatbot and own it. 

And finally, IBM found that Chatbots can help reduce customer service costs by 30%, services such as answering Frequently Asked Questions, scheduling tours, and providing renter resources. Not to mention, always being available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We even throw in an extra day every four years, just for good measure. So let’s be clear, Chatbots are NEVER going to replace a leasing agent, but it can help offload these menial tasks so that leasing agents can go back to doing what they do best… being human!

*BetterBot 2017 & 2018, LivePerson 2016

Automation Meets Autonomy as BetterBot Integrates with Rently

Announcing BetterBot’s newest partnership and integration with Rently.

Today’s prospective renter wants accurate information 24/7/365 which is where BetterBot’s automated technology comes into play. But it doesn’t stop there as renter prospects want a hands-on experience at all hours of the day, and that’s where Rently enters the picture.

“We are incredibly excited to have integrated with BetterBot for Rently’s self-guided tours,” said Andre Jordan Sanchez, COO of Rently. “BetterBot and Rently working together will further automate the leasing workflow, creating a seamless experience for the prospective renter. Operators leveraging the BetterBot-Rently integration will reduce time on market, decrease operating costs and increase NOI.”

Rently’s integration with BetterBot gives prospective tenants a more seamless experience by providing them an option to tour a community on their own. Prospects can easily click on a link that redirects them to a webpage where they can select units and schedule their self-guided tour. Coming soon is an additional integration that would allow prospects to pre-book a Rently Self-Guided Tour within BetterBot. When complete this integration will allow prospects to secure their tour inside the bot experience regardless of what channel they started the conversation such as the property website, Facebook, Google My Business, Yelp, Instagram, Twitter or any other place BetterBot can be deployed.

“Rently has done an excellent job bringing the concept and technology of self-guided tours to the Multifamily Industry,” said Robert Turnbull, President, COO & Founder of BetterBot. “Given both our companies’ services such as a large number of properties in our Industry it was no surprise we had a great deal of overlap, so an integration became an absolute necessity.”

About Rently

Rently provides self-guided touring and enterprise smart-home platforms for both single-family and multi-family operators. From lockboxes and keyless locks, to full smart-home integrations, the platforms offer convenient and cost-effective solutions to optimize and scale your business. Rently works with more than 3000 operators, facilitating over 13 million self-tours and holds 8 patents on self-touring and access control by the USPTO.

About BetterBot

Today’s renter wants control over the leasing process and access to information wherever, whenever, but today’s leasing team simply can’t keep up. BetterBot is Multifamily’s most adopted digital leasing solution providing renters the information they want 24/7/365 anywhere on the Internet. Using the most technologically advanced software to answer the renters’ questions about the community, BetterBot showcases floor plans, virtual tours, specials and amenities while driving them to schedule in-person, self-guided, live-video and phone appointments. BetterBot is the round-the-clock leasing assistant of choice, freeing up leasing teams from low-value, menial and repetitive tasks so they can do what they do best, being human. 

Related Links

www.betterbot.ai
www.use.rently.com