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Telford and Wrekin Council: Using AI to reduce phone contacts by over 30% and increase online usage

Updated: Jul 29, 2022

Telford and Wrekin Council logo

Long term customer Telford and Wrekin Council have recently shared the long term strategic outcomes of working with us. The Council embraced AI and the long term benefits are being realised with real and measurable channel shift.

Conversational AI from ICS.AI continues to be an integral part of their strategy to increase self-service among residents.

The impact on phone volumes

When shown the year-on-year call volume changes we were impressed at how much call volumes has been reduced by across core service areas. Not only that, but the increase in online reporting means more residents are self-serving how and when they choose to. See some of the statistics below:

Service Area

Call Volumes

Online Reporting


37% reduction

25% increase


36% reduction


Environmental Health

17% reduction



10.5% reduction

56% increase

Council Tax

9% reduction

38% increase

These impressive changes in contact volumes completely change the landscape of how residents get value out of their councils. The holy grail of council channel shift is moving users towards an online self service model. Conversational AI in the form of a web based virtual assistant is a cornerstone of the Council's strategy.

Gemma Hancox from Telford and Wrekin Council
It's helping those customers that are calling us for the basic things; I want to setup a direct debit, my bin has been missed. Tom is answering those questions for us leaving us time to answer the more in-depth things.

Gemma Hancox

Customer Contact Group Manager

Telford and Wrekin Council

The thinking behind using AI

There are a number of deciding factors that led to Telford and Wrekin choosing to work with ICS.AI on driving channel shift. "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" said Gemma from Telford. She continued "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."

Not only is the AI assistant part of a call reduction strategy but it's also resulting in shorter call durations even at peak times. "We're seeing a reduction in call wait times, particularly within revenues and council tax. So when we have those high call volume parts of the month, there can be a 30-40 minute wait time. What we've seen, consistently, is our longest wait time has been around 19-20 minutes so we've had a huge reduction in longest wait times" said Gemma in a conversation with ICS.AI CEO Martin Neale.

All of this is earning Gemma's team back more time so they can continue to deliver excellent customer service for their residents. From reducing wait times, even at peak times, to continually achieving service level agreements.

Telford's AI Assistant: TOM

Tom web based AI Assistant for Telford and Wrekin Council

And here's a reminder of how TOM, Telford and Wrekin's AI Assistant, has performed to date.

Live Date: April 2021

Usage: Nearly 9000 conversations

Bot Efficiency: 95.78%

Out of Hours usage: 34.26%

Unanswered questions: 377

The team here at ICS.AI are so proud and happy at the contribution we have made to the channel shift initiatives. Our range of SMART products are built specifically for the public sector and come with pre-built language models for faster deployments and no training time. Our AI assistants for local government are available with over 900 separate topics configured.


Join Gemma Hancox from Telford and Wrekin Council in an ICS.AI webinar on Tuesday April 26th at 2pm

In this live event we will cover:

  • How and why conversational AI is transforming the user experience

  • Channel shift initiatives that power digital transformation

  • Live demos of AI augmenting websites, phone calls, email and live chat

  • How AI can automate and integrate into your existing systems

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