Delivering an AI-powered customer experience at Birmingham City Council

Published on: January 10, 2018
Author: Neil Cox

Local authorities across the UK are under constant pressure to increase efficiency and productivity, while delivering a high quality experience to the public. And with people increasingly wanting to interact with them through digital channels they also have to embrace new technology and new ways of communicating.

Birmingham City Council (BCC) is a prime example of an authority that is successfully transforming how it delivers customer experience. It is responsible for providing a comprehensive range of education, housing, social care, road and leisure services to over 1.1 million citizens in the UK’s second biggest city.

Part of its strategy involves Eptica’s Artificial Intelligence-powered customer experience platform, which helps the council respond consistently to the 2.19m-plus emails and phone calls from the public every year, across a wide range of subjects from schools and housing to repairing potholes.

Artificial Intelligence-powered knowledge
The council recognized that knowledge needed to be at the heart of its customer service operations, across every channel, if agents were to be able to respond to queries quickly and consistently. Expectations are always rising, so it knew that it also had to be able to analyze current performance to help drive further improvements.

To transform customer experience it now provides its contact center agents answering voice calls and emails with instant access to Sheldon, its Eptica-powered knowledge base. Agents handling telephone calls simply type in their query, and receive tailored information from the knowledge base, while emails are automatically analyzed using Eptica’s Natural Language Processing technology, which provides agents with relevant template-based answers that they then personalize.

Sheldon now covers 17 different subject areas, with over 1,300 articles within the knowledge base. By using Eptica, BCC has cut average handling times for email by nearly a third and is answering over 98% of emails within the Council’s SLA.  

As Georgina Foxwell, Head of Service Improvement for Customer Services, Birmingham City Council says, “Eptica provides an AI-based platform for our customer service that is built on a single source of knowledge. By centralizing information and making it available to agents on multiple channels we can improve response times, consistency and quality, all while increasing efficiency and productivity. It is a win-win for the council and its citizens."

To read more on the benefits of Eptica to BCC in terms of efficiency, consistency, reporting and future-proofed customer service, read our case study here.

Tags: Customer experience, CX, Customer Service, Birmingham, BCC, local authority, Public sector, Eptica, AI, Artificial intelligence, NLP
Categories: Best Practice, AI, Trends & Markets

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