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Apr 19, 2023
4 minutes read

The ChatGPT effect: How conversational AI is transforming housing associations

Artificial Intelligence is the phrase on everyone's lips. AI creates headlines, both positive and negative, at a frantic pace. Fear of the unknown is undoubtedly fuelling some of the negative press, and there are those genuinely concerned about AI’s potential. According to the International Data Corporation’s Worldwide Artificial Intelligence Spending Guide, global spending on AI will more than double between 2022 and 2026, from $118bn to $300bn. It’s fair to say that modern iterations of generative AI, such as ChatGPT, are transforming perceptions and expectations of what AI can achieve. Generative AI can generate its own training data rather than adding data to ‘manually’ train the AI model. Generative AI can synthesise new responses and aid conversation designers in the creative process.

Emily Jane Brown
Emily Jane Brown,
Senior Marketing Manager

AI for customer service

Naturally, consumers are happier when AI operates behind the scenes, crunching data and making informed decisions on their behalf. They can be less keen when they come face-to-face with it in their day-to-day lives. For example, when brands use AI to deliver customer service. Customer service accounts for 12.2% of AI use cases, the largest share of any specific industry.

In housing association terms, one of the primary uses of generative AI has been to improve the speed and accuracy of maintenance and repair requests. Using AI to intelligently map the course of a specific issue through the repairs process can help generate efficiencies and reduce the number of touchpoints tenants must go through to address their problem.

Natural language

Using natural language processing (or NLP), generative AI quickly and accurately analyses tenant maintenance requests, identifies the issue, and generates an order for maintenance staff to address the problem. In this scenario, AI can significantly reduce response times, increase tenant satisfaction, and improve housing associations' overall quality of service.

But that’s not all; AI can also significantly improve tenant communication. Instant, AI-generated answers to frequently asked questions, such as payment schedules or lease terms, can easily be acquired by AI from the web or a central data storage location to quickly and effectively formulate a response.

The future: beyond customer service

Allowing tenants to interact on their own terms with brands inevitably means that many contacts will be out-of-hours. Rather than hire a separate team to field these requests, AI can do much of the heavy lifting via live chat, chatbots and voice technology. Interestingly, while ChatGPT has its shortcomings, it’s opened the general public’s eyes to AI’s potential. Future applications might be to offer recommendations to customers at the viewing stage of the process. AI could identify properties in any number of locations based on a set of criteria, feeding back when it found a match. That’s not groundbreaking, but with an omnichannel approach, knowing where to put content at any particular time to maximise interaction very much is.

Using the data it gathers, AI can better understand tenants’ needs and preferences by analysing behavioural and preference data and using that to create personalised experiences for tenants, from custom product recommendations or specific, targeted marketing campaigns.

AI continues to power our products, and both our Conversational AI Cloud and Mobile Service Cloud now benefits from additional AI features. One of the most powerful is ‘conversation summaries’. Agents no longer have to read through entire conversations to understand each customer’s situation. Instead, they can read a summary of the bot/human conversation to get up-to-speed more quickly.

There’s no doubt generative AI has the power to revolutionise customer service. It can offer sophisticated repair and maintenance reporting and triage for housing associations, allowing your team to focus on more valuable P2P conversations with your customers. Equally, AI can identify FAQs and pull answers from the internet, or it can find answers to more complex questions and begin to ‘learn’ how to respond to consumers. The tone's consistency is faultless, so consumers feel comfortable and reassured. Ultimately, AI is here to stay, and customer service is one of the industries with the most to gain. We’re excited to be able to offer generative AI in Conversational AI Cloud and Mobile Service Cloud for the first time.

If you’d like to learn more about our solutions and how your customers can benefit, contact one of our experts, and we’ll talk you through your options.

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Emily Jane Brown
Emily Jane Brown,
Senior Marketing Manager
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Is the Marketing Manager for the UK and Ireland at and mainly writes about the music and sports industry with a focus on attendee experience.

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