Housing & Development Board (HDB) Singapore launched a chatbot to help answer customer queries on their homepage. The chatbot can answer questions regarding selling and buying flats, upgrading costs, housing loans, and season parking.
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons
The developers added contextual memory to the chatbot so that it can store earlier conversations and dispense relevant information. Also, the chatbot comes with natural language processing (NLP), allowing it to understand customer queries even if they don’t use keywords. Are all these features enough to help out Singaporeans? Let’s test them out to see how it performs!
First up, you will have to go to the Singapore’s Housing & Development Board (HDB) official website to converse with the chatbot. On the bottom left of the screen, you will find a small box, indicating the location of the chatbot. Once you click on the box, a larger interface greets you, describing the features of the chatbot. It also tells you that if you want information about topics that the chatbot isn’t trained to answer, you can go to the FAQs.
To activate the chatbot, click on “Start” at the bottom of the box. As the chatbot has natural language processing (NLP), you can start asking questions right away. Even if you make mistakes or if you are not clear about what you are looking for, the chatbot will help you out. For example, when you just type “flat,” the chatbot will tell you that you might be asking about “Buying and Selling a Flat.”
Let’s say that you want to know more about “Buying and Selling a Flat.” The chatbot will ask you to pick from the following topics:
- 2 Room Flexi
- Build-To-Order (BTO)
- Buy HDB Flat
- Buy Resale Flat
- CPF Housing Grant
- CPF Housing Top-Up Grant
- Extension of Stay
- Family Nucleus
- Finance Scheme
- First Appointment
- Flat Selection
- Housing Loan
- Intent to Buy/Sell
- Key Collection
- Minimum Occupation Period
- Multi-Generation Priority Scheme
- Option to Purchase
- Parenthood Priority Scheme
- Re-Buying Resale Flat
- Resale Checklist
- Resale Completion
- Resale Flat
- Resale Inspection
- Resale Portal
- Sale of Balance Flats
- Sales Agreement
- Scheme info
- Selling a Resale Flat
- Senior Priority Scheme
- Valuation Report Verdict
When you select “2 Room Flexi,” the chatbot will ask you what you want to know about this option. The chatbot provides three common questions that most people ask regarding “2 Room Flexi.” They are as follows:
- Who can I include as co-applicant(s)/co-owner(s) in my flat application?
- How long is the lease for a short lease 2-room Flexi flat?
- Can I take a housing loan to pay for my flat purchase?
Depending on what you select, the chatbot will provide appropriate answers. Let’s say you want to find more about the lease for a “2 Room Flexi.” The chatbot will inform you that you can take leases for up to 45 years, with five-year increments. As the developers of the chatbot want to improve its services, you get the option of providing feedback for all its answers. At the bottom of every answer, the chatbot will ask you if you got the necessary information.
Similarly, the chatbot provides valuable details regarding “Upgrading Costs and Housing Loans.” When you type “Upgrading Costs,” the chatbot will suggest a myriad of questions. Let’s assume that you want to find out whether you can pay a fraction of the upgrading costs. Upon asking the chatbot this question, it will tell you that you can make a single payment and pay the remainder in monthly installments.
An interesting feature of this chatbot is that it suggests a variety of questions based on certain keywords. For example, if you just type “costs” with no context, the chatbot will list out all the topics with this keyword. Also, it is important to note that the chatbot comes with a timer. If you don’t use the chatbot for some time, it will ask you if you want to continue the conversation. Also, if you take too long to use the chatbot, it will automatically close the conversation. As a result of this, you will have to start a new one.
The chatbot also provides answers about “season parking.” Any query you have on this topic will be answered by the chatbot. It can answer a range of questions, varying from simple to complex. Let’s say that you don’t know what season parking is and the chatbot will assist you with the right answer. You can also ask questions regarding the rules of season parking when you are driving another person’s car.
Singapore’s Housing & Development Board (HDB) have come with a useful chatbot for its customers. It can answer a myriad of questions with ease, which saves a lot of time. As it has contextual memory and natural language processing, the chatbot keeps track of the conversation at all times.
If you wish to use this chatbot, check out this link!
Brought to you by SingaporeChatbots.