Core tenants of the BetterBot product philosophy
With all the growth we’ve experienced over the last few years, we now find ourselves as one of the companies leading the AI automation charge in multifamily. While our company has changed in many ways, our primary product philosophy has remained unchanged, and we still use it as a guiding principle to decide what types of products we build. Furthermore, this guiding philosophy is a true differentiator between our competitors and us. To know BetterBot, you must first understand our core philosophy.
Chatbots are here to stay
Approximately every decade, a new user interface revolutionizes how people interact with technology. This was the case with graphical user interfaces (GUIs), touch UI (iPhone), and voice (Alexa, Siri, etc.) Conversational AI chatbots held that promise when we first started, and now they are everywhere. Bank apps, airlines, insurance companies, and most other businesses we deal with now use chatbots as a primary tool for support. Why are chatbots so popular?
- Human habits have changed, and people now demand meaningful answers immediately. Old-school solutions like call centers and live chat simply cannot deliver this level of service.
- Interactions have moved to mobile devices, and websites on mobile devices need help to deliver a good experience.
- People prefer impersonal communication and don’t want to talk to people to get answers to transactional questions.
We build tools that serve their intended purpose
We are never satisfied with a product that works 85% of the time. We always strive to build a tool that works reliably on any given device 100% of the time. This has come at a cost because we have had products that wowed during scripted demos, and our customers would havebeen happy to try us. But we never compromised because deep down, we don’t want to build anything that has a degree of failure built in. This was the main reason why we moved to guided conversation technology. Even though we first had a full NLP bot with speech-to-text capabilities, we decided to scrap it and start from scratch. We were not satisfied knowing that some users would have a poor experience.
B2B vs. B2B2C
We are 100% a B2B2C company. Even though we directly sell to property management companies, the actual users of our product are the renters that use BetterBot to find their next home. That is why we are so obsessive about the experience that our end users will have when using our product. We always want to delight our end users, so we design everything pixel-perfect, use beautiful graphics and media and only let partners integrate with us if there are no compromises with the interface. We have iterated more times than I can count to minimize friction for our users to a point where they can use our product without typing on a mobile phone. Compared to other technology like websites and live chat, we were able to cut the time needed to get information by 50-75%.
Many other companies see themselves as B2B and mostly build features for the PMCs while completely ignoring the end users of the technology. The numbers don’t lie, which is why we significantly outperform head-to-head comparisons. Of course, we still take care of the PMCs, but we don’t compromise when it comes to the end users.
Automation is our core value proposition
Whatever we do has to have a measurable impact on the time saved for our PMC clients. We have seen firsthand that forcing leasing agents to spend time on menial, repetitive, mind-numbing tasks does not work well. Humans are waking up and demanding stimulating jobs that allow them to utilize skills that technology can’t replicate.
Saving time is the core of our value proposition, and everything we build must, in some way, savetime and, therefore, money. We will always look at activities to automate that allow the PMCs to operate 24/7. That is why we don’t primarily optimize for marketing KPIs like the number of leads and appointments with low show rates. We want to ensure we automate the work important to any given property. In a lease-up, we want to schedule as many appointments that show up, and in a fully leased property, we want to gracefully say there is no availability and put people on a waiting list. Many other solutions focus on increasing leads, phone calls, and the volume of work increases for leasing operations with little results.
The role of AI
We don’t believe in using AI to mimic human conversation. Even though the technology we use lends itself to doing this, there are practical, ethical, and even legal considerations that we care about. We always want to be honest and let people know they are talking to a bot that is there to serve them. On the other hand, we believe that AI can perform a function as long as it’s not in contrast with our philosophy. We are very proud that we developed a unique approach to making AI invisible to the user while simultaneously improving our product’s performance.
When a chatbot mimics a human, it sets the wrong expectations for the user. The user thinks there is a human on the other end, which sets the conversation’s tone. People tend to share responses in multiple paragraphs long filled with personal information. This, in turn, overwhelms even the best AI and sets up the interaction for failure. Recent advances in AI notwithstanding, we are still talking about mathematical algorithms that use language models to provide answers based on the quality of training data. If anything, all we have learned is how complex human conversation is. Conversation between humans relies heavily on nonverbal communication and, most importantly, empathy. Machines cannot replicate this. People don’t like to be duped unless they go to a magic show. How do you think someone feelswhen they find out they talked to a bot after sharing their most intimate details about their finances, health, and family? We see the notes that people leave and can say with 100% certainty people would not be sharing certain things if they knew there was nothing more than amathematical algorithm on the other side. Specific conversations have to remain between humans.
What does this say about us?
Knowing our core philosophy shows what’s most important to us — people. We want leasing teams to be able to do their jobs efficiently, which is why we’ve created a product that helps save time. We want to serve prospects and residents in a way that’s convenient for them. Our purpose is to serve the multifamily industry in an invaluable way, and we will continue to enhance our product to do just that.