By Kevin Hawkins with Korey Hawkins | Vol. 1 Post 9

Real AI is a 100% human-created weekly roundup of all things AI in real estate and emerging AI innovations in other sectors likely to impact real estate, posting a new edition every Friday.

I fought the bot, and the bot won

When AI works, it’s incredible, surprising, and often has me in awe of what it can do.

When AI doesn’t work, it is an absolute nightmare experience.

Yesterday, I called FedEx for help on a missing package – first, a little context.

For decades, FedEx was my go-to overnight service. Their old TV ads nailed my sentiment: “When it absolutely, positively had to be there overnight,” I used FedEx.

Robot fighting a human

I had DHL, Airborne, and UPS accounts, and most were cheaper alternatives. But I used FedEx because of one key differentiator: they had the best customer service. You could get someone on the phone at any time almost immediately.

I learned yesterday that those days are gone: Probably forever. And now I hate FedEx and will avoid paying them anything, for life, if I can. Yes, it was that bad.

I won’t go into every detail that caused me to go from fan to hater, but we are doing some home remodeling as we enter our empty nester stage, redoing our boys’ old bedrooms. One is becoming a den, the other a workroom-office space.

We ordered a sleeper couch on Amazon because it perfectly fits the den. Our youngest son had ordered his last couch on Amazon. It came in several boxes, but you would never know it by sitting on it or looking at it.

We are having new carpet put in those rooms in two weeks. We were delighted when the FedEx shipping link Amazon provided said the couch would arrive in three boxes, as that would make storage a breeze.

Yesterday, the couch was delivered, or so our notifications from Amazon said. The largest and heaviest box was missing: we only received 2 of 3 boxes.

So, I did what I did years ago: I called the FedEx customer service number. In the past, these folks pulled off amazing feats for me, having deliveries re-routed while the driver was going to the wrong address. That’s why I became a huge fan and loyal customer.

When I called FedEx, I got a bot: A very rigid – almost nasty bot. It would not let me talk to a human, no matter how many times I tried or what option I pushed.

The FedEx bot even hung up on me – twice. The first time, it said it had given me all the information it could so no one could help me, adding “Goodbye,” and hung up. I tried FedEx several more times, trying to find any way to get a human on the line, but I failed. The final time, I pretended I didn’t have the tracking number. The bot told me to go find the tracking number and call back. Then it hung up on me – again.

Irate but not defeated, I reached out to Amazon. I’ve always been able to get a human, at least via chat (and I always ask if I am chatting with a human). This time, Amazon routed me to the vendor’s chatbot because the order was from a third party.

OMG, the vendor bot was as bad as the FedEx bot. It asked me the problem; I kept requesting to be connected to a human. It kept asking for the problem. When I gave in and provided the details, it offered an auto-response saying the vendor had been sent my issue and I would be contacted within 1-2 business days.

I returned to the Amazon standard chat, which again directed me to the vendor bot. The vendor bot said there was nothing more it could do as I had a pending request with the manufacturer!

Later, I decided to go into FedEx to sign up for notifications for a delivery I already received. Or so I thought. The sign-up revealed details I could not get directly from the FedEx tracking site. It showed me that the third box was still in transit and would be delivered the next day.

It turns out the bot was right; I was wrong. I fought the bot, and the bot won. But I still hate FedEx because the customer service experience was horrible.

If I can’t get a human on the line who could have told me in two seconds not to worry but instead had to waste half an hour with a stupid bot, they’ve lost me for life.

AI Five Fast Facts

AI Five Fast Facts

  1. AI is not very appealing to the older generation. Around 68% of non-AI users are either Gen X or Baby Boomers.
  2. Research shows that more than two-thirds (68%) of desk workers say generative AI will help them better serve their customers.
  3. Marketers predict AI will save them five hours of work per week, equalling over a month per year.
  4. The three most common tasks that salespeople are most likely to use AI to help them are basic content creation (82%), analyzing market data (74%), and automating personalized sales communications (71%).
  5. Service professionals are the least likely to adopt AI, as only 15% said they plan to use AI in the future.

Source: Salesforce

AI Headlines Take 5

AI Headlines Take 5

12 Clever Ways to Use ChatGPT for Real Estate in 2023 (+ 17 Prompts) The Close 10/16/23
Dive into a dozen unique methods and the various prompts for utilizing ChatGPT in your Real Estate Business

AI is changing home buying process, but maybe not everything Effingham Daily News 10/13/23
How AI is enhancing home searching for both buyers and agents alike. 

AI for Real Estate Agents: 5 Tools to Keep Up with the Evolving Market | Cynoteck 10/16/23
Shoutout to being included

How Marketing Executives Are Thinking About Integrating AI Into Their Strategies | TIME 10/18/23
Marketing Executives from Mastercard and EY meet to discuss the available opportunities for using AI in their work.

Data centers are sprouting up as a result of the AI boom, minting fortunes, sucking up energy, and changing rural America Business Insider 10/13/23
Rural America has become a hot spot for AI investing at the expense of its physical land.

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Marc Andreessen murder quote

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