Tom virtual assistant: Telford & Wrekin citizen engagement AI assistant

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.

Introducing Tom, Telford & Wrekin's citizen engagement AI Assistant

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With Tom, we have put this council at the cutting edge for the use of artificial intelligence, using the latest chatbot technology to provide information that local people can access through our website at any time of the day or night.

Tom, is part of our wider campaign to encourage customers to engage with us through online 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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Telford's introduction to ICS.AI

With potential innovation and improved customer care at the forefront of what Telford and Wrekin were looking to do, we helped them drive their digital transformation journey and the creation of Tom, their citizen AI assistant.

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. Human parity performance is at the core of what we create with our conversational AI.

Telford and Wrekin council had multiple demos for an AI assistant, some from companies they work with extensively but came away from the ICS.AI demo in agreement that this was a company they wanted to go on this journey with. Describing the experience as personable and engaging as well as feeling listened to in regards to what they wanted and why they needed it.

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We’ve had feedback from peer groups and residents' groups saying people wanted to contact us outside out of our 9-5 contact centre hours. We also looked at our website hits and things people were looking for at certain times, that’s another reason we decided we need this in place.
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Like our other public facing AI assistants, Tom is custom built using our proprietary SMART:CHAT software. It's ready to work for councils 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.

Find out more about SMART:CHAT >

Key Statistics

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bot efficiency based on user feedback and questions answered successfully


reduction in live chat requests since the AI assistant went live


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


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 deliverying consistent customer service.


Watch our Telford & Wrekin Council Webinar


Find out more about our journey working with Telford in our on-demand webinar.


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

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

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

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