Today we began a new experiment — in using humanoid robots to improve efficiency in the selling of real estate. We are working with a top player in this field — Puravankara — that is trying to push the boundaries in the field of construction and real estate through technology.

Many companies conduct large events (the “melas”) to bring in a lot of target customers in one place, collect data from them, inform them about projects and then follow up with a phone call from their agents.

The issue is that the data collection process was slow, noisy and very expensive. The visitors are given forms to sign up, then they fill up them up, these are collected, processed in the office after the weekend, added to sales force, assigned the right brokers/agents and then followed up. The process took 100 hours from the time prospective customers have signed up to the point they received a call. Many would have forgotten and moved on.

Now, we have reduced that time from 100 hours to about 5 minutes. The robots go around these events, detect the presence of people, talk to them, get the details, clean & validate the data items and uploads them to Salesforce in a matter of minutes.

In this process we have not only improved the contact time, but have also done the following improvements:

  1. The robots use face recognition to make sure that it is not asking the same customer twice for their data [prospective customers typically visit multiple such melas and are often reached by the human agents multiple times — leading to waste of time & poorer user experience].
  2. By removing the need for pen/paper we are able to collect data quickly from the user [less than 30 seconds to get about 10 different data points] and just through voice. This has improved customer comfort and reduced time of data collection by nearly 90%.
  3. The data collected from the user through other means often lead to data loss [as no validation happens there in real time and some records are simply lost] and leads to lost opportunities. We have cut down the data loss.
  4. Finally, it takes about 10 people to collect data from 1000 prospect customers. We have reduced that number to about 3 — those people who manage the robots and help customers when they are lost. That is a reduction of 70%. These people have now been redeployed in customer service & experience — leading to better customer satisfaction.

This is just a starting point. What we are adding now is increasing customisation and personalisation in the physical world to improve sales process in events of various kinds. These could give the prospect customers more contextual content [through voice and videos on screen] and help them make an informed choice.

Welcome to the world of robots!

You can read more about in this news here.