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TOM: citizen engagement AI Assistant for Telford & Wrekin Council

Telford and Wrekin Council serves 180,000 residents in semi-rural Shropshire. Incorporating towns and villages, as a unitary authority the council is responsible for all local services from transport and housing to education and waste removal. Like many councils, call volumes across channels like telephone, email and live chat have put a strain on council resources. Now with a human parity AI Assistant, the council can accurately serve their citizens 24 hours a day.

Telford's introduction to ICS.AI 

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"Tom, is part of our wider campaign to encourage customers to engage with us digitally technology rather than by phoning us in the first instance.

 

It also means they don't have to wait until our offices are open – TOM is available 24/7.

By using technology to handle relatively simple queries, we enable our staff to concentrate on more important issues, meaning we can help more people, more rapidly. It makes us more efficient and more effective for our residents.

We are carefully assessing how our chatbot performs and have been delighted at its efficiency scores so far. It is performing extremely well."

Cllr Richard Overton,

Cabinet Member for Customer Services, Telford & Wrekin Council

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TOM improves efficiency and enables new services

ICS.AI are a driving force in artificial intelligence for the public sector, creating the first AI Assistant with outcomes that are as good as humans.

Telford and Wrekin’s AI investment is making room for staff to be more productive:

 

  • 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

  • 45% decrease in staff's total sickness

With less work dedicated to handling traditional contact, the Council have been able to redistribute resources to better serve residents.

 

New services served by AI:

 

  • 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.

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1,000 council topics
12,000 LRG question variations
500,000 annual queries

The largest AI Language Model in the UK

 

Like our other public facing AI assistants, TOM is custom built using our proprietary SMART:CHAT software. It's ready to work on day one with a pre-trained understanding of user questions across local government services. Thanks to its patent-pending mesh learning it is constantly improving. Drawing from its own feedback and other Assistants it's connected to, our assistants provide instant value with robust analytics to help your organisation grow.

Traditional English Village

95%

bot efficiency based on user feedback and questions answered successfully

67%

reduction in live chat requests since the AI assistant went live

33%

of all contacts happening outside of core office hours (5pm to 9am and weekends)

50%

reduction in peak call wait times, from up to 40 minutes to just 20 minutes

Hear from Gemma Hancox, Customer Contact Group Manager at Telford & Wrekin

Our main contact and sponsor of the AI Assistant was Gemma Hancox who heads up the Customer Contact Group for the council. Her team deal with the variety and volume of citizen queries and she knows first hand of the challenges of delivering consistent customer service.

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Want to hear from Gemma herself?

Watch our Telford & Wrekin Council Webinar

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  • Hear from Gemma Hancox on the process of deploying an AI Assistant

  • See some of the reporting and dashboards of what TOM is delivering

  • Watch live demos of how AI assistants can ehance the customer experience

  • Discover the power of conversational AI from ICS.AI's own CEO, Martin Neale