Home Bots & Business Local council in UK adds new services to call centre with AI

Local council in UK adds new services to call centre with AI

by Pieter Werner

Wrekin Council in the UK, deploying an AI Assistant, managed to cut extremely high waiting times by 50%, shifting many users to digital. A year into the AI assisted operations, new services are added to support residents and lessen strain on staff. The Council’s AI acceleration eliminated the need to employ additional headcount, which is important given the current struggle to recruit and retain staff in the sector.

Over the last 12 months, residents have been increasingly turning to the AI Assistant, called TOM. It  has recorded 39% increase in total chat volumes. With live chat, queries handed over to agents dropped by 67% across all services, meaning more users self-serve successfully without needing human intervention. Other metric improvements secured by provider Telford are:

  • 37% decrease in environmental phone calls
  • 10.5% reduction in highways phone calls
  • 9% decrease in public protection phone calls
  • 40% reduction in live chat to human advisory
  • 33% of contacts made outside of working hours

As the AI Assistant is proving increasingly popular among users, there is room to grow the council’s offering. TOM now provides self-service in three new areas:

  • Homelessness
  • Registration
  • Libraries

These new services are offered without adding pressure on staff or having to add extra headcount, meaning the channel shift objectives are working.

TOM is a Human Parity AI Assistant, meaning it can achieve the same level of first-time resolution (85%) as a human. In fact, over the last 12 months Tom has answered over 13,000 resident queries at an accuracy rate of 95%. The AI Assistant’s user experience is owed to the AI language model it’s built on – currently covering over 1,000 council topics, making it the largest local government AI language model in the UK. It is also constantly growing, with the help of ICS.AI’s patent-pending SMART Mesh that allows it to improve while learning from other assistants on the mesh.

TOM is specifically architected for the public sector, keeping in mind the essential role the local government plays in providing communities with information and care. TOM’s accessible to everyone and WCAG 2.1 AA compliant, and it has a dedicated ethical compliance sub-system which really makes it stand out for its inclusivity.

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