Chatbot-Driven Maintenance Services: Case Study

Chatbot For Maintenance Services [NLP]

Schematic Diagram of solution

The Problem:

The client owns and manages a number of rental properties, which from time to time require maintenance/repairs. This involved a great deal of management and coordination between the tenant, the office and several maintenance staff which led to delays, oversights and unhappy tenants, as well as taking up hours of office staff time. It was also a factor in the company holding back from further property acquisitions due to the extra work involved. The company had established ‘WhatsApp’ as the means of managing communications, and they were keen not to lose this with any new system

The Solution:

We developed an AI Chatbot (versaChat) which could use WhatsApp as the means of the three partners in the management of maintenance (tenants, office staff and maintenance staff) requesting, managing and carrying out the maintenance and repairs at the properties. We also provided a User Interface for office staff to manage and monitor the system.

The process is now:-
  • If a tenant has a problem with their property, they use their existing WhatsApp account to connect directly with versaChat, which verifies their identity and offers a range of options relating to their tenancy, including reporting problems with their property requiring maintenance of repair.
  • versaChat takes them through a series of questions to determine the nature and severity of the problem, before asking for a convenient day and time for the visit by the maintenance engineer.
  • The tenant is told that their request has been logged and to await details of the appointment.
  • Initially, the company wanted to continue the allocation of a suitable maintenance engineer and a convenient appointment time, so currently a person uses the User Interface to make the arrangements and message the tenant and the engineer with details of the planned visit.
  • In the case of emergency maintenance requests, the details are automatically sent by the Chatbot to all maintenance staff and one of them picks the request, processes it and updates the status. HOWEVER, the system is written in such a way that this function could be performed totally by versaChat if required in the future, with the UI providing a means of oversight and intervention if required.

Business Value:

The principal values of the system currently are: -

  • The tenant can request maintenance at any time of the day or night, and receive an immediate confirmation
  • The office staff can be confident that ALL maintenance requests come in to one central place on WhatsApp to be processed
  • The system automatically links maintenance requests to the tenant’s record in the company database, providing an accurate history of requests.
  • Savings on staff costs.
  • Increased transparency for and speed of processing for the tenants.
  • The possibility of further automation if required in the future.
  • The ability to easily and cheaply upscale the system for additional properties.

Technology Used:
  • BotPress Cloud version.
  • MERN
  • Whatsapp Integration