top of page
  • Writer's pictureICS.AI

Is Live Chat Working For You?

Enhancing live chat with MS Teams and AI can transform customer metrics

Live chat was supposed to be the great catalyst of channel shift. But is it really reducing volume of inbound queries and cost per contact? Local authority contact centres use live chat because they are under pressure to engage with residents digitally. And live chat is a great alternative for those who avoid phone contact and seek immediate problem resolution. But what about the numbers?

There are now hundreds of live chat providers that can be placed on your website and connect users directly with your contact centre agents. Some of the biggest players in CRM like HubSpot, Zoho and Intercom offer live chat as a core component of the customer experience. But live chat requires a person behind the screen to do all the work involved in one-on-one interaction.

The challenges of traditional live chat

​​1. Technology evolves but so do customer expectations As technology evolves, your users increasingly expect instant help. Most still gravitate towards the phone support, with self-service and live chat right behind. They hate being passed from agent to agent, explaining their problem once and again. The patience simply isn't there anymore.​

2. No savings without faster resolution Improving first time resolution rates remains a core KPI linked to happy users and cost savings. Even a 1% increase in first time success can translate into nearly £200,000 of annual savings. And 34% of agents surveyed claim they don't have easy access to customer data that would help them solve issues right away.​

3. One-on-one assistance is not scalable Council stakeholders are weary of the use of traditional live chat, because it doesn't scale up. It still requires resources they cannot afford to spend on one-on-one personal assistance and overwhelms agents during query spikes. Also, already 83% of organisations acknowledge that AI is an instrumental part of bettering customer experience and business outcomes.

Why AI is not just useful, but necessary

Live chat, like any other channel is simply a medium connecting one human - a contact centre representative - with another human, an end user. But humans have a finite number of conversations they can handle concurrently... The small-talk, enquiry, knowledge-sourcing, content drafting, process management. It's a lot. And one-on-one interactions are not scalable. With large volumes of repetitive queries, traditional live chat solutions swamp contact agents and frustrate users with long waiting times and repetition.

To see SMART Live Chat real-life results - Watch this webinar!

Today’s citizens expect live chat. That’s not going away. But Conversational AI, if achieves human parity performance, is advanced enough to be an intermediary between the end user and the contact centre agent. It can avoid nearly all of the pitfalls of live chat and deliver consistently good performance. And if Conversational AI is built on a robust language model it can answer masses of questions instantly.

Our customers are already benefiting from the AI-augmented live chat: With the AI answering repetitive queries first, Telford and Wrekin Council have seen a 67% drop in overall live chat requests.

AI language model enables channel shift

At ICS.AI, we have developed world's first live chat via MS Teams enhanced by an always-on human parity AI. SMART Live Chat’s AI comes pre-trained on the UK’s largest LRG language model. Understanding meaning and intent, AI answers with over 90% accuracy rates. With Conversational AI answering first, only the most complex queries are routed to agents, taking over traditional contact like no software before.

Why Microsoft Teams?

Deploying SMART Live Chat, you make better use of your existing licenses. The public sector works predominantly in the Microsoft environment. Thanks to our MS integration, ICS.AI's deployment time is counted in weeks with cloud infrastructure. Using software your agents are familiar with you optimise its use and get results faster. Also, with Teams integration, you get reduced delivery risk, seamless transfer to subject experts and live translation for agent and user with 90+ languages supported.

AI-driven live chat means agents can do more productive work: Lewes and Eastbourne Council were able to move 5 full time agents from live chat to pro-active outbound contact.

Summary - why use live chat augmented by AI?

If we look back at the roll out of standard customer services in the past 40 years we see more and more channels being introduced. Once digitally delivered services were established, we saw channels fragment even further; website, email, contact forms, live chat and multiple social channels.

But instead of making live chat just another channel, using Conversational AI enables significant deflection of live chat interactions. So, investing in an AI-driven live chat is perfect of you are after:

  • Providing users with live chat that actually drives channel shift

  • Extending your existing AI assistant across other digital channels

  • Improving results of your existing live chat solution

With AI supporting customer-agent interactions, SMART Live Chat provides a digital service at scale, without the high-cost human resource demand.

To see SMART Live Chat real-life results - Watch this webinar!


ICS.AI are the UK's market leader in conversational AI solutions across the public sector. Based in Hampshire, we have customers across central and local governments, higher education and healthcare. As a Microsoft Gold Partner we have delivered channel shift and digital transformation with our proprietary SMART range of AI products.

34 views0 comments


bottom of page