Automation in Property Management: AI still needs a touch of humanity
In an ever-technologically-growing society, more and more of the average Westerner’s time is spent behind a screen, and face-to-face interaction is inevitably less common. For many of us, a typical day better equips for quick texts and email communication than for conversations over coffee. We expect the fast pace that technology delivers in all aspects of our lives, and might sometimes wonder how to go about interacting with those both working within our organization, and our consumers outside of it.
It is crucial for any company to optimize internal and external communications, and find the most automated methods for completing and managing tasks. Today’s society is accustomed to instant responses and solutions to problems through search results and other automation tools, so it only makes sense that more companies are implementing automated processes and artificial intelligence into their lead generation and conversion processes each year. While such tools are needed in order to speed up tasks and communications in our world today, companies should not be disposing of personal connections in the process. A touch of humanity in the AI-mix is needed to nurture relationships and build trust with customers. The most successful companies use automation as an assistant, not a replacement.
Social interaction should be present within any organization in order to cultivate better team cohesiveness and customer satisfaction-- and the way in which communication is handled internally reflects the way in which you serve and support your clients. LeadManaging has previously acknowledged the fact that companies are focusing on EQ initiatives rather than IQ*, and promoting team-building functions for employees to interact socially. And, at LeadManaging, it is as vital to us that we have real, raw relationships with our fellow team members as it is to have real, raw relationships with our clients.
In fact, we have internal communications and methods of fostering the best relationships possible that involve both automated and not so automated processes. So, we want to share the ways in which your internal processes influence your external relationships, and areas in which human interaction may still need a presence amidst intelligent automation.
Your clients should always have your focus.
Automation tools can assist with capturing high quality leads and converting them, as well as streamlining administrative tasks, but it is still important to create manual touch points with your clients to ensure they feel they are an important addition to your organization, rather than merely a part of an automated pipeline. Pay attention to your clients’ needs, and implement manual communications to ensure their experience with you is nothing but smooth. If a client faces any type of roadblock, or needs a custom solution, try to find a workaround. Any pleasing resolution for your client that positively impacts the company should be the only foreseeable path.
Constantly grow and innovate, but never lose sight of teamwork and internal support.
The same care and consideration you show your customers should be demonstrated to your co-workers. Part of supporting one another is being flexible enough to wear multiple “hats” when necessary to ensure the utmost success of your team. You can rely on automation tools to remind you to follow up with someone or even to complete the follow up for you, but you can’t leave it to AI to solve every problem. Every team member should have the ability to jump in to support clients regardless of whether their job title is in product development, marketing, sales, or billing. Team members will of course have their own individual focus, which ensures excellence across the board, but it is important to hire people to join your team who have skills that overlap, or are willing to broaden their skills. Consider the restaurant industry, for example. A new hire must start as a host before becoming a server in order to learn to accommodate customers with excellence from the very first impression, and to serve and support all fellow team members in the midst of a rush. Likewise, it is important that your clients can be taken care of by multiple team members, and that automation tools serve as an augmentation to each team member.
Team culture impacts customer support.
Many companies now rely on automation tools to organize and prioritize daily tasks, as well as streamline communications, but technology should not be a sole means of communication in a team environment. Say, for example, you let a child indulge in a cellphone for 30 days straight without human interaction. When you take the phone away and ask them to have a face-to-face conversation with another child, what might that conversation look like? Studies have been conducted to prove what happens, but the point is that, as humans, we require face-to-face interaction with other humans to be able to work well together. If we rely solely on automation tools, we lose the ability to collaborate socially to find the best solutions, or miss out on a spontaneous but brilliant idea based on the candid feedback of your peers. Without the ability to work closely as a unified team, creative culture gets thrown out the door. And a poorly cultivated culture can easily be reflected in the service provided by a team. It is important to sustain an uplifting environment that can flourish through in-person meetings and activities, while always promoting personable external client support.
Only use automation where it will benefit your company and prospects.
At LeadManaging, we provide a personal and customized experience for each individual client, and don’t just take a completely automated sales approach when onboarding. While structure and organization are important parts of the onboarding process, and automation is an essential support, we completely cater the onboarding process to the client. It is important that your company genuinely cares to provide a catered rollout plan that meets the needs of the client, rather than solely focusing on getting the “sale” or “win”. Be mindful of where you are using automation and implement it where it will be an improvement to your current processes.
The best automation tools are those that support your skilled staff, not replace them.
Let’s be honest, some tasks require actual decisions and human intuition. If you are going to invest in a tool to help automate business processes, ensure that it is worthwhile by assessing its potential to streamline internal efficiency and provide a better experience for your prospective customers.
If you are looking for an example of an automation tool that checks all the boxes for efficiency across the board, check in with us over the next couple of months. LeadManaging cannot wait to share some new projects launching soon that have the ability to aid in the success of the residential leasing cycle.
Our reliance on teamwork has proven to us the importance of maintaining and prioritizing social, face-to-face interaction while utilizing automation as an essential assistant to the overall success of the company. The truth remains that the workforce is being transformed by automation, with every job category expected to change by at least 25% by the end of this year. While this startling statistic may lead us to believe we’re becoming a society void of verbal communication, this is simply not the case when our perspective is that automation tools take care of many jobs that, once automated, allow humans to do what they do best. And part of that “best” is social interaction, something only ever more valuable, because authentic human-to-human experiences are impossible to automate.
Committing to excellence for each one of your clients; vowing to strive for the utmost success each and every day; sharing a unique mindset with a group of co-workers to uplift and encourage them. These are all gifts among many that robots cannot muster within themselves the way the humans on your team can. So go ahead and celebrate the endless possibilities for technology to transform your clients’ experiences while making your life much easier-- but remember that robots and machines simply cannot replicate humanity.
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