Habitat Case Study — Student Accommodation

Duncan Anderson
January 13, 2021


A description of a real Humanise.AI PlatformOne Habitat implementation.

🤲 Our Client

This student accommodation provider is one of the UK’s largest operators and owners of purpose-built student accommodation — operating in the order of 28,000 rooms across 66 halls of residence around the UK.

😟 The Challenge

The client wanted to look at their student communications and find opportunities to improve the engagement and better appeal to the student demographic. They are a big user Net Promoter Score (NPS) and had a focus on finding ways to improve their, already good, NPS scores.

We jointly undertook an end-to-end customer journey mapping exercise with our client, in order to clarify the student journey and identify elements of friction and opportunities for improvement.

Out of the mapping exercise we were able to identify the following opportunities for improvement:

  1. Providing more responsiveness in the initial website booking phase, such that questions can be quickly resolved and students find a room.
  2. Welcoming new students and getting them prepared for life at the hall of residence, so that their arrival and move-in is as painless as possible.
  3. Increasing the proportion of students who rebook their room for a further year. Rebookings are a good indicator of happy customers and an important contributor to achieving high occupancy rates.

🤩 The Solution

We built a Virtual Assistant to addresses the challenges discovered during the customer journey mapping exercise.

The Virtual Assistant is based on our PlatformOne infrastructure and so inherited our hybrid intelligence that blends AI with assistance from real humans when needed.

For the initial Booking, the Virtual Assistant answers frequent questions and integrates with the accommodation core systems to find available rooms that match customer requirements. It replaced their existing use of the Zendesk for live chat, significantly upgrading the user experience on the accommodation web site.

For the Welcome phase, the Virtual Assistant emails customers, inviting them to an automated and personalised Welcome conversation specific to the building they had booked.

For the Rebooking phase, the Virtual Assistant emails existing customers with a personalised invite to a new Rebooking conversation. The Rebooking customer experience was redesigned to enable customers to rebook their room with just three button clicks — resulting in over £2m of rebooking transactions.

📈 Results

The Virtual Assistant resulted in the following business improvements:

  • Greater than 70% automation rate on conversations — meaning that less than 30% of customer enquiries needed human attention.
  • Over £2m in rebooking fees from room reservations taken through the solution — see our blog post about how this was achieved.
  • Our client's Customer Services team was restructured — instead of people in each building spread around the country providing part-time chat support, the team was restructured around a small full-time central team that were better able to respond quickly to enquiries and meet customer expectations of responsiveness.
  • 29% click-through rate from our email marketing campaign for room rebooking.
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