While web chat is one of the most popular channels for customer service, it does not always meet the unique needs of homeowners living in HOAs. A more efficient and effective solution is needed.
This led us to develop STAN, a text chat that offers homeowners a streamlined experience of communicating with managers. In this case study, we will explore the mechanisms behind both web chat and STAN's text chat to understand their differences and evaluate their effectiveness.
Traditional HOA web chat operates without the support of artificial intelligence. Users are presented with automated articles based on selected categories. It is typically inconvenient as users need to navigate lengthy pieces to find answers. This is what we call a set rule chatbot.
Moreover, prepared FAQs do not always cover all customer inquiries, which leads to unresolved issues. Connecting with a live agent via web chat involves lengthy verification processes, extended wait times, and potential abandonment of the chat due to frustration. Not to mention that not every management company has the capacity to hire extra staff to do the responses.
STAN's text chat takes a different approach. By texting STAN using their cell phones, users are automatically verified and receive instant responses without the need to wait in line or keep the chat window open.
Unlike generative AI, STAN is trained by a proprietary data set to understand homeowners' needs and engage in conversations that resemble human interaction. STAN is onboarded using your community’s CC&R’s to help homeowners.
Additionally, STAN integrates with any HOA management software to pull real-time data, addressing a wide range of inquiries related to account balances, fees, service requests, ARC applications, amenity bookings, and community documents.
The best part is that STAN responds to homeowners instantly 24/7 while human agents only work during business hours.
To gauge the true effectiveness of HOA web chat versus STAN's text chat, we surveyed 510 properties with 210,000 units. The findings revealed that HOA web chat resolves only 42% of requests, while STAN's text bot successfully addresses 80% of inquiries.
Based on our earlier discussion on the functionalities of both web chat and STAN's text chat, we have identified the following reasons that could explain the disparity in performance.
Without integrating with the HOA management software, web chat can’t pull real-time information to answer residents’ questions. Live agents might direct residents to log in to their own accounts. This can be inconvenient as residents may not have their account details at hand.
On the contrary, STAN seamlessly integrates with any HOA management software to eliminate verification steps. STAN instantly compares the user’s cell phone number with the record in the system and pulls real-time data based on the user’s questions.
One of the most frustrating things about HOA web chat is that you have to keep the chat window open and carry on the conversation in time. Otherwise, the chat might be disconnected or the live agent leaves the chat, leaving your waiting time wasted.
With STAN, no laptop, chat window, or new app installation is required. Just text STAN like you would text a friend. Then, STAN replies to you with instant and accurate responses.
Based on STAN’s tech report in 2022, 93% of homeowners want to be able to text with their management team. That’s why STAN’s text chat is quite popular among users.
Web chat often leads to frustration because it only provides universal answers. It can’t offer community specific answers because it doesn't tell who the resident is.
On the contrary, STAN not only sends the community specific documents, but also summarizes relevant policies to answer the question. For example, if a homeowner asks about a pet policy from a specific community, STAN will directly answer the question instead of sending a 300-page of CC&R. However, if the user wants to read the complete document, STAN will send a link in the chat for the user to access the PDF easily.
It is common for customers to find that articles from HOA web chat are outdated because it takes time to update lengthy articles. However, STAN’s answers are updated in real-time.
For example, when STAN does not find an answer to a question, it will escalate the question to the HOA manager immediately. When the HOA manager provides the updated answer, STAN not only responds to the resident instantly, but also updates the knowledge base. Next time, another resident asks the same question, STAN will provide the latest information.
While some web chat permits users to input their own questions, they can only identify keywords and provide a list of navigation resources. Unfortunately, this approach fails to effectively solve any problems because the selected keywords might not represent the real intent of the user.
On the other hand, STAN is trained by millions of live homeowner/resident/tenant conversations to understand users’ needs and uses Natural Language Processing to engage in friendly conversations, making it feel like chatting with a real person.
Unlike other industries, homeowners in HOAs have specific needs, such as submitting service requests or booking amenities at specific locations or times. Web chat falls short in meeting these needs as it can only provide generic responses and lacks the capability to guide residents through the necessary steps to fulfill their tasks.
On the contrary, STAN’s text chat can actually perform these functions step-by-step. For example, STAN can gather the information from users to submit service requests, book amenities, check compliance, retrieve documents, etc.
If you have fallen in love with STAN’s Text Chat, you will be further surprised at how easy and convenient STAN’s onboarding process is. Simply send us your community documents and give us API access to your management software, STAN will automatically prepare the knowledge base for you!
In the meantime, we understand that some of you might want to keep the web chat option for your users, you can adopt STAN’s unique web chat which incorporates most of the advantages of STAN’s Text Chat. Schedule a quick demo with us today to embrace the future of community association management!