Riga Municipality SIA Rīgas namu pārvaldnieks (RNP) is the biggest apartment building administration company in Northern Europe. It serves around 160,000 customers and manages about 4,000 apartment buildings.
The large number of customers served by RNP creates an extensive and intensive communication network with high customer support structure costs – people call, write e-mail messages and messages on the website, as well as use social networks extensively. Every day, the customer service centre receives a large amount of repeated questions; the company wished to optimise this to simplify the daily lives of employees.
“As RNP continues to digitise its processes and move towards modern building management, the introduction of the virtual assistant was a logical and necessary step to ensure more convenient and interactive communication with our customers. The Virtual Assistant project is just one of the many digitisation activities we are currently working on to ensure that our customers receive comprehensive information on the latest developments in the management of their properties in the way that is most convenient for them,” comments Raimonds Reinicāns, Head of Digital Transformation.
Virtual assistant Juris is open to chat on the RNP website, customer self-service vortal and the RNP Facebook page 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Interestingly, Juris’ busiest “work days” are Saturday and Sunday, when up to 1,000 conversations take place per day.
In just 5 months, Juris has already successfully completed 47,000 conversations, during which he has advised customers on community decision-making, payments and changing ownership rights, registered emergency notifications or arranged further communication with the customer service centre.
Virtual assistant Juris is by the client’s side 24/7, and also by our side in moments when the intensity of communication is high – after storm damage, technological breakdowns, etc. Juris is a good example of technology entering our everyday life and customer service, but at the same time we maintain the possibility to meet in person, communicate by phone, through our customer portal e-parvaldnieks.lv or mobile application, because we respect the possibilities and wishes of all citizens. We invite our customers to get to know and use the communication channels that are most convenient for them!
RNP Board Member
Work on the development and training of the virtual assistant takes place for about four months, but the development doesn’t stop there. The latest skill mastered by the chatbot is customer recognition/authorisation. Virtual assistant Juris is one of the first in the Baltics to provide personalised support to apartment building residents. When the customer has logged in to the self-service vortal, the chatbot helps customers with matters related to the specific property or the customer’s invoice data.
Now the chatbot can understand customers in Latvian and English. An image attachment functionality was also developed for the requirements of RNP, not only in the self-service vortal but also on the website. Thus customers can inform RNP quickly and conveniently about emergency situations or clarify their reports. With the help of Juris, over a five-month period, customers have taken the opportunity to report an emergency situation almost 2,000 times.
No less important is the creation of the virtual assistant’s personality. In a survey of customers on the choice of name, among the leaders was Juris as a name that first comes to mind when requiring support in apartment building management matters. In communication, Juris uses a practical, but at the same time simple and understandable communication style, even finding room to be witty and make jokes.
Enhancements to the functionality of the RNP chatbot testify to an innovative approach to using communication artificial intelligence solutions, which in a way is unique not only on a Latvian but also Baltic and European scale. Moreover, as a municipal company, RNP has a successful example in the form of the Riga memorandum signed in 2022 regarding its undertaking to build a metacity, fostering technology-based communication with residents. Tilde is genuinely delighted to have the opportunity to develop such innovative solutions in collaboration with RNP, providing its customers with a new user experience with the help of artificial intelligence communication.
We believe that opportunities to use artificial intelligence language technology have not been exhausted and that through collaboration we will create new opportunities and expand the virtual assistant’s knowledge base and range of services provided.
The information was prepared by Tilde and published on 05.09.2023. “Rīgas namu pārvaldnieks’ Juris – the first chatbot in the property management field“.