Kudos to companies trying to help leasing agents manage the never-ending deluge of prospect emails hitting their CRMs. They saw a need, and they’re trying to help solve it.
That being said, some ways are better than others as to how we solve this problem. It’s like the story of a transport truck just barely getting stuck under a bridge. Many engineers spent days trying to figure out how to raise the bridge or remove sections of it altogether. Then one day a kid came along and said, “Why don’t you just take the air out of the tires?”
Email bots may appear to be solving a problem, but in reality, quite a few of them are simply over-engineered and create as many issues as they solve. This is one of those times that things appear a certain way at first glance, but upon deeper review, they are quite different. Here is how a typical Email bot works vs. BetterBot’s NurtureSkill:
Email is slower than chat
- Email bots rely upon email back and forth to answer questions and pose Calls to Action (CTAs). This is problematic as people inherently do not want to continuously engage in email back-and-forth. They want immediate answers both for what they are asking at the moment and what they are likely to ask in the follow-up. Email bots can often have 2-4 email back-and-forths. Emails depend on typing longer messages which are not ideal on mobile interfaces. Also, because some questions are likely to be unanswered via email, there is a tendency for email bots to push prospects to schedule appointments to get answers. This, in turn, results in more agent time wasted and low appointment show rates.
- BetterBot, however, quickly moves people out of email with just a few words and into a conversational format—the chatbot. This allows the prospect to get nearly all their answers in 90 seconds or less without continuous emails back and forth. This is why BetterBot has 3x the appointment scheduling than a typical Email bot because prospects are getting the information they want in one email/conversation and in less than 90 seconds. All with little to no typing.
AI used to mimic a human agent
- Email bots often imitate a human. This is not only illegal in California and will be in more states to come, it also sets poor consumer expectations. The prospect now thinks they are engaging a human, begin to write very long and detailed emails in reply, and expects a detailed human response. Instead, they get back an email that clearly shows the imitation human cannot answer these layered, complex questions and fails. The prospect becomes frustrated. Because Email bots rely upon natural language processing (NLP), their Email bot gets confused. A great deal of testing has been conducted on all bots in the Multifamily Industry, and typical Email bots relying on NLP fail at a very high rate. That equals a poor customer satisfaction (CSAT) score.
- BetterBot, instead, immediately identifies itself as a bot setting a lower expectation. But because the prospect moves out of email and into a conversation, the chatbot doesn’t get confused (guided conversation vs. NLP), and the prospect receives most of their answers in less than 90 seconds. The initial expectation is lower, and actual experience is better which means a much higher CSAT score.
Email makes navigating content difficult
- Email bots don’t provide embedded visual content such as virtual tours and videos, community maps, real-time unit-level availability with floor plans and descriptors, real-time single-click appointment scheduling for in-person, self-guided, live-video and phone appointments, neighborhood visuals, ratings and reviews, etc., etc. Email bots may provide these upon request (which requires another email), and the prospect is often taken to exterior pages, which is confusing and non-sequential.
- BetterBot does provide all of the above in real-time, embedded in the conversation, available in seconds and clicks, and houses all of this within the conversational experience.
- If an Email bot cannot answer a question, the email is redirected to a leasing agent. Because leasing agents have to work (read that as compete) within the CRM with most Email bots, the handoff often breaks. This is where we need to examine not just the professional appearance of one email but the professionalism of the entire experience.
- BetterBot has a 60% engagement rate (converts an email to a conversation) and converts 1 in 4 email inquiries into an appointment with a 90% show rate. If a handoff or escalation is required, BetterBot then pushes the conversation into the CRM for a leasing agent to handle. No confusion, no breakage, no changing of workflows.
When it comes to solving automation challenges such as the high volume of web leads, BetterBot consistently chooses to let the air out of the tires by engineering smarter solutions. And that is why BetterBot is a better solution.