How Artificial Intelligence is Helping Local Governments meet Residents’ Demands

Residents are the customers of governments and local councils. Perhaps a radical idea for some, but it shouldn’t be. As citizens, we pay taxes in exchange for public services. Just like when we pay a local restaurant for our meal, our patronage deserves a well-designed service experience in return.

The private sector, more often than not, leads the way when it comes to the implementation of new and more efficient technologies to serve its customers. Customer-centric companies are ahead of the game when it comes to optimising customer service delivery. Through their work and experimentation, we've seen, for example, that rules-based robotic answers don’t work well in customer service. Great customer (and resident) service will always require the 'human touch' and this is why the combination of Human+AI works best in this scenario for the following reasons:

First of all, customer service rules-based chatbots fail frequently. They don’t recognise context or emotions. This leaves customers frustrated when chatbots are not able to help them. Great customer service requires a healthy blend of efficiency and human touch to deliver a wholesome experience. By removing the human element completely in favor of a chatbot, proves dangerous for the customer or resident journey.

Secondly, there are a few areas where machines do actually perform better than humans. AI is better at crunching repetitive tasks like ticket filing, routing or database searching. Delegating these tasks to an AI lets humans focus entirely on delivering empathetic customer service. Humans excel at injecting humour and creativity while understanding complex situations. Imagine contacting your local council about a difficult landlord. Would you want to be assisted by a bot? Or a caring human augmented by an efficient AI assistant?

This method of empowering human reps with AI is already working well in the private sector. For example, with DigitalGenius, customer service professionals experience a 20-40% increase in response efficiency and customers see faster and better replies. Plus, because humans no longer spend time on repetitive, mind numbing tasks, they are able to put their skills to more valuable tasks. They’re happier and more fulfilled in their role. Which is what we need -- happy and empowered people on both sides of the customer service equation.

The public sector has just as much to gain from adopting AI technology to help streamline service delivery to residents and constituents. Local councils are commonly stretched to do more with less as austerity measures and budget cuts come into play. These challenges shouldn’t translate to a poor experience for citizens. Implementing a Human+AI 'resident' service strategy can help local councils continue to improve access to government services for a large population with continuously growing set of expectations.

The bottom line is that the public sector can tend to play catch-up with private businesses when it comes to implementing new technology. But they shouldn’t drag their feet on AI adoption. At DigitalGenius, we help enterprise companies to fulfill their customer demands in a timely and consistent manner and we are also helping governments and local councils like the Aylesbury Vale District Council with our Human+AI solution to provide more efficient services to residents. 

Empowering contact centres with AI leads to faster, high-quality responses to citizens, happy public sector workers and reduced contact centre costs. AI innovation is a win-win-win for citizens, public and private sector in the UK.

To find out more, please download our best-selling book AI is my Friend: A Practical Guide for Contact Centers or contact to request a hard copy.

Join the discussion on #CounciloftheFuture To see more blogs like this, please visit the website here.

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