Are you ready to trust AI with your customers?

December 19, 2023

How AI-powered digital assistants are reimagining customer assistance within property and facilities management

The process of directing your customers to technology solutions in the age of automated messaging systems and bolt-on chatbots was daunting. The often inadequate technology seemed only to serve as a dreaded component of interacting with organisations.

Building a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with customers is absolutely fundamental to long-term success. This means that interacting with out-of-date technology can put these crucial connections at risk.

Facilities Management (FM) is no different. FM takes an active role in closing the gap between customer expectations and service delivery realities.[1] It’s about making an environment where customers, whether they are residents or businesses, feel safe, comfortable and looked after.

So why is there hesitation to AI? Historically, technology integration to front-end services has been hit-or-miss. We all dread calling up a helpline, only to get an automated message on the other end, or heading to a website and getting pre-written messages trained off a rudimentary FAQ sheet.

Although Artificial intelligence (AI) has been integrated across customer service, some businesses still struggle to deliver customer satisfaction, especially in situations where technology is not able to meet demand. But, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. AI has greatly improved in recent years, meaning higher quality responses, more oversight, and a higher capacity to improve customer experience from raise to resolution.

At askporter, we use AI in our digital assistant, relying on automation to respond to customer queries. The askporter digital assistant handles customer conversations autonomously, the end-to-end communications and task management platform sits behind to capture, sort and handle complex issues and processes, helping create true operational efficiency.

The askporter web assistant is an example of how property and facilities managers can integrate AI they trust. No longer wondering if AI-integration to front-end services compromises their ability to retain customers. It’s time to trust AI with your tenants.

Generative AI: Not just any old chatbot

Traditional digital solutions in FM can be disappointing for users, as apps often require complex logins and feature clunky reporting systems that hinder efficient communication. Bolt-on chatbots and virtual assistants, while promising, have drawbacks. Pretrained as general customer service tools, they lack integration with assets and company data, leading to frustrating user experiences, incomplete information collection, and manual configurations that give them very little adaptability.

Hard-coded, bolt-on chatbots miss nuanced tenant interactions and may create tickets with incorrect information when escalating helpdesk calls. In contrast, Conversational AI, utilising advanced AI, surpasses the performance of basic chatbots. AI-powered digital assistants, powered by natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML), understand user queries and provide human-like responses. The advent of AI solutions like Large Language Models (LLMs), such as ChatGPT, enables a more natural conversational style, adaptability over time, emotional intelligence, and human-like interactions.

Keeping the human in the loop

Property and Facilities Managers often harbour apprehension regarding the potential risks associated with AI integration. After all, trusting your tenants with technology appears to be a risky decision. At askporter, we have designed our platform to assuage these common concerns.

Conversations within askporter strictly adhere to your business rules and property management regulations, guaranteeing alignment with your specific requirements. The platform replicates your asset register, perpetually enhancing data quality. It implements Service-level agreements (SLA), priorities, business rules, and processes to facilitate the automated creation and handling of work orders, all customised to suit your company's unique needs.

In the contemporary landscape, privacy and data security take precedence. To address these concerns, the concept of "keeping a human in the loop" is pivotal, ensuring that AI functions as a valuable assistant rather than a substitute for human decision-making. askporter underscores that the autonomy granted to the AI model remains entirely under the control of the business, preserving authority over decision-making processes and instilling a sense of security and control.

So, is it time to trust AI with your customers?

The AI-powered solutions available today are vastly different to the front-end technologies seen previously. The initial hesitation towards entrusting customers to technology is understandable, given the history of hit-or-miss technology integration in customer service. However, the advancements in AI, exemplified by solutions like askporter, represent a significant shift in the capabilities of technology.

At askporter, we've harnessed AI to create digital assistants that respond autonomously, ensuring operational efficiency and enhanced customer experiences. The askporter web assistant stands as a testament to the seamless integration of AI that property and facilities managers can trust, dispelling concerns about compromising customer retention.

The integration of Generative AI, such as ChatGPT, exemplifies the capability of AI to replicate natural conversational styles and adapt over time. It's a pivotal moment to welcome AI as an ally, helping foster lasting customer relationships and advance property and facilities management practices.

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