What makes users love to engage via a chatbot?

Insights and learnings on what makes users love to engage via a chatbot

The Rental Heroes use case sounds simple – for tenant maintenance requests, we streamline  triage, job-logging, workflow allocation and notifications of tenant maintenance requests.

However, it’s not. We’ve been iterating the logic and tuning our AI continuously now for 6 months. Every human interaction is slightly different – we know that our success depends on users loving to engage via Rental Heroes channels.

Tenant maintenance requests don’t come up every day. The average tenant engages with their Property Manager (residential) or Facility Manager (commercial) only 2-4 times per year, when things go wrong. Often a request is urgent and sometimes emotions are involved.

A tenant request represents a “moment of truth” opportunity for property and facility managers to deliver an exceptional experience that will last in the memory of a tenant or landlord.

Chatbots automate traditional and new channels such as SMS, Messenger, email and voice to support property managers in offering a consistently excellent experience, a conversation with context and a way to digitise subsequent workflows to ensure jobs get reliably completed.

Chatbots measure every step of the process to ensure nothing slips through the gaps, sentiment remains positive and that expectations are met through transparent communication.

Here are some of our learnings after 6 months of tuning our Smart Assistant:

  • Less is more – keep the number of conversational steps to a minimum. Users appreciate a humanistic tone, but not if it slows down the task at hand. Often users are juggling multiple tasks at the same time – they don’t want to see a wall of text.
  • For first time users, if possible, allow them to log the request first – a brief onboarding process can then follow.
  • Most users are more than happy to give it a go – regardless of demographic. They might just need an extra nudge the first-time round. If they like it, they’ll keep using it.
  • Make the experience between chatbot and human seamless – don’t pass users from a friendly chatbot to a grumpy property manager.
  • Set user expectations on what the chatbot can do clearly. Users don’t want to get the end of the chat to be told “no” or call a phone number.
  • Users engaging via chat channels are used to fast response times. Either respond quickly or clearly set response time expectations.
  • Most users are using their smart phone. It’s a small keyboard – typos are inevitable. Autocorrect them wherever possible and make it easy to “go back”.
  • It doesn’t take much to impress new users on a chatbot channel – don’t over complicate it, just get the job done.

Chatbots are being used across an increasing number of use cases and powering more channels than ever – Messenger, SMS, Amazon Lex, Google Home – to name a few. Forrester predict that the global chatbot market will continue to grow at a CAGR of 27% through to 2024.

The real power of chatbots is the subsequent tasks they can trigger (human, digital and blended) – and more importantly the confidence they can instil to the user that the task is getting done and it’s getting done right. The user experience is always consistent via a chatbot channel.

Want to experience a chatbot in action for yourself? Head over to rentalheroes.com.au/onboarding and click on the Messenger icon in the bottom-righthand corner to experience Rental Heroes!

Ben Burton
Ben Burton

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