Early adoption of artificial intelligence supports commitment to accuracy and customer service
From the Orange County Property Appraiser’s Office
Employing cutting-edge technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) to aid a profession that requires precise measurements and analysis, the Orange County Property Appraiser’s office is entering the new decade armed with AI-based tools. This busy office, located in Orange County, Florida, boasts some 140 skilled professionals who have an array of new citizen-centric applications to serve the public including a field customer service survey tool, and a website chatbot that utilizes conversational intelligence. OCPA has also implemented an AI-powered financial solution to elevate the execution of an administrative support function.
“When I first took office in 2013, I determined that I wanted to invest in talent, training, and technology and these recent additions to our assets hit all three of those goals,” said independently-elected Property Appraiser Rick Singh, CFA, now serving in his second term. “With a county as complex and unique as Orange County that is experiencing the historic growth we have seen since the end of the 2008 recession, it is critical that our team is equipped to meet the needs of determining values for residential, commercial and tangible personal property. I am proud that our office is an early adopter of breakthrough technology to aid in our work.”
As home to a premier vacation destination – the region welcomed 75 million visitors in 2019 – Orange County has many unique properties to value. For example, Singh’s team is responsible for the accurate assessment of seven major theme parks, four water parks, more than 16,000 timeshare units, and nearly 90,000 hotel rooms. In addition, since 2012 the total market value of the county has risen an astonishing 89% to $208.2 billion. The additional technology helps the specialized teams keep up with and effectively handle the record growth.
The recent additions to OCPA’s technology lineup include:
Customer Field Survey Tool
OCPA’s new cloud-based, AI-powered customer service survey offers our field appraisers a convenient way to gather customer feedback on the platform of their choice. The five-second survey can be accessed through several user-friendly channels, including QR code, text message questionnaire, SMS link, and email, and is offered in eight languages. Once the survey is complete, the program’s AI-based sentiment analysis capability reviews the constituent’s feedback and immediately flags management to address any negative remarks. This powerful tool allows the agency to measure customer service more efficiently and effectively and identifies training opportunities.
OCPA recently added a conversational chatbot to its award-winning website. The agency is the first Property Appraiser’s office in Florida to leverage such technology and has seen remarkable engagement in the first few weeks of implementation. The chatbot – featured as “Ask Rick” to customers – has engaged in nearly 2,000 conversations since its launch in mid-December. The chatbot can answer questions and direct customers to pages on OCPA’s website for more information. If the constituent has a more complex situation, the chatbot flags a trained staff member to take over the conversation in order to provide more specialized care. Since its beta launch last year, the chatbot is constantly evolving to better assist constituents.
OCPA’s finance management team has adopted an AI-based system to automate fiscal tasks. The program, which utilizes machine learning to efficiently code and sort funding requests, assists the agency’s financial team with invoices and approval processes. Thanks to this automated system, OCPA’s complex back-office financial functions can be completed in a timelier, more effective manner. Leveraging this state-of-the-art technology to clarify and expedite transactions facilitates the agency in its responsible stewardship of taxpayer funds.
These advancements join other innovative technologies employed by OCPA such as its drone program that allows field appraisers who are licensed drone pilots to capture data from the air that further assists in documenting structures in hard to reach or newly developed areas of Orange County.