Author Archives: Brock Hankus
As Shannon wrote in “Behind the scenes at MCR: Our chatroom” we use our chat room for just about everything. It is one of the most used tools in our business. It’s obviously a great communication tool, but it’s a huge productivity tool for us as well.
We deployed our own customized version of a chat room robot forked from the Hubot Project. GitHub describes Hubot as “A Customizable, Life Embetterment Robot”, and we’ve certainly found our lives to be embettered! Hubot is an open source project written in CoffeeScript on Node.js and in our case runs on Heroku. The first thing we had to do after forking the Hubot project was to give our robot a name. We named ours “Review Bot”, or “Rbot” for short. Then we put him to work on a variety of tasks. The best part is since he’s a robot we don’t have to put him on the payroll… HE WORKS FOR FREE!
So what does Rbot do for us? He helps us with project management, customer assistance, and even monitoring our production web applications. Need some help with that math homework? Rbot has you covered, he’s great with numbers. All we have to do is ask “Rbot calculate 1+100″ or “Rbot calculate sqrt(81)”
We’re a small team, but it’s still easy to lose track of what everyone is up to. Not to worry, Rbot keeps track of all that for us. We just have to tell him “Rbot I am working on ticket #1234″ or “Rbot I am working on lead reports for invoices” and he now knows what we’re up to. At any point a project manager or anyone on the team can simply ask “Rbot what is everyone working on” and get a quick summary.
Rbot helps keep the software development process flowing so that we can continue to add great features to movingcompanyreviews.com. We use a continuous integration tool to automatically run tests on all of our software as we push out changes. Rbot keeps an eye on this of course, and can tell us if the build is passing or failing. We just have to ask Rbot “what’s the mcr project status”. He also monitors the Heroku platform that we run the site on. If we need to deploy some code changes we can ensure all systems are a go with a quick check-in with Rbot – “Rbot heroku status”
The business and operation folks are friends with Rbot as well. Account managers can get a quick sense of how many leads we’ve delivered to a mover just by asking Rbot “Rbot location rfqs for 12345″. We reward our users for reviewing their movers via phone with Domino’s gift cards, and we use a third-party vendor for fulfillment. We wouldn’t want our account to dry up and not be able to give away pizza, so we ask Rbot to check our balance from time to time “Rbot what is our tango card balance?”. Product people can get a conversion report on how users progress through our review process from requesting a quote to receiving that free pizza just by asking “Rbot pizza funnel”.
Rbot isn’t all business, he has a fun side to him as well. He’s super friendly and is the first to greet everyone as they start work in the morning. He doesn’t sleep (he’s a robot remember) so he’s always online. We like to celebrate our wins at movingcompanyreviews.com and Rbot certainly gets in on the action. He fires off a cannon when we get a new sale, sends out a round of applause when a mover gets their first request for a moving quote, and gives a salute from the original tough guy Chuck Norris when anyone says thumbs up.
Having a rough day? Rbot to the rescue! Just ask him “Rbot I need some advice”. Maybe you need to predict the future? Rbot will give you an answer to any question like the classic magic 8-ball “Rbot eightball will we hit our sales goals for the quarter?”. This one has come in handy many times when preparing boardroom presentations!
We have a great office at movingcompanyreviews.com and homefinder.com. One of the perks of being in the office is our ultra-modern kitchen, complete with a double-handled beer tap! After a long work week it’s nice to unwind with co-workers over a beer. But what’s going to fill your glass when you pull on that tap handle? Rbot knows, we just have to ask “Rbot what’s on tap?”
Our omnipresent robot friend has been an awesome addition to the MCR team. Rbot keeps us informed and entertained, and he’s always learning new tricks. We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know him.