We have implemented a programme of Channel Shift that has resulted in ca 40% of customer contact through Digital Channels.
Of the remaining telephone contact, over 38 % of calls relate to Waste Services (missed bin collections, recycling and new bins). It is not cost-effective and customers find it difficult to log queries during office hours with emails and web forms not providing an instant response.
The funding will be used to conduct the Discovery phase to test an Artificial Intelligence approach by means of Voice and Web Chat bots, to test the following solutions:
- Provision of immediate, intuitive and interactive response to most enquiries 24×7 including payments
- Reduction of customer contact, resulting in expected saving of 25-30%* on the calls relating to Waste Services. With a current cost of £500,000 in a typical London Council, this could result in a cost saving of ca £150,000 per year just for Waste. If this is extrapolated to across all London Authorities, the cost savings will be £4.5m to £5m.
- Gain an in-depth understanding of the reason for the contact with meaningful analytics
The end-result will be to develop a product designed for Local Authorities in partnership with a leading Bot-provider.
*Reference: Juniper Research, CNBC.com
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