Shopping Center Giant Phillips Edison & Company Launch Alexa Skill to Streamline Information Sharing Among Tenants
Today Phillips Edison & Company, known as PECO, announced the launch of a customized Amazon Alexa skill designed to assist tenants with leasing information and improve processes. PECO, headquartered in Cincinnati, OH, owns and operates nearly 350 neighborhood shopping centers. National and regional grocery store chains, like Kroger or Sprouts, anchor the portfolio which was last reported at $400M in 2015.
Proven Success Using Alexa for Business Private Skill Feature
PECO first worked with Alexa using the Alexa for Business private skill feature which enables businesses to create skills for internal use as they are not published in the Alexa Skills Store. PECO’s skill enabled quicker decision making by providing immediate responses to frequently asked questions and freed up employee time to focus on other strategic business matters. After seeing the success of their private Alexa skill, PECO’s IT team developed one for the Alexa Skills Store.
The public PECO Alexa skill updates on a daily basis to make data more accessible and improve efficiency for tenants. Tenants can search things like available properties and leasing agents. “We’ve made significant inroads adopting artificial intelligence to streamline processes and procedures, resulting in greater productivity. Capitalizing on the power of Alexa to make our data more easily accessible reflects a natural evolution of those efforts, and we look forward to continuing to find creative ways to make our colleagues’ and partners’ jobs easier,” said Shaun Smith, PECO’s Chief Information Officer.
In order to prevent any misinformation, the PECO team developed the answers to key questions spoken a myriad of ways. It was also critical to the development of the skill to establish consistent data sources across the board, leaving little room for misinterpretation. PECO plans to add additional capabilities and continues to explore opportunities with Alexa.
Customer Service an Added Benefit of Alexa
The growth of Alexa skills, with over 80,000 skills worldwide and counting, has provided both consumers and businesses the advantage of virtual customer service solutions. Third-party developers can utilize custom skills to further extend their customer service efforts and provide answers to routine questions in a timely manner and on an as-needed basis. The Voicebot Smart Speaker Adoption Report found that 31.4% of smart speaker owners were interested in using their smart speaker to contact a company’s customer service. PECO shows that this interest does not only apply to businesses targeting consumers, but also in the business to business space as well.