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Case Study

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How Australia’s fastest growing council used a first responder chatbot to scale customer service delivery

Industry:

Government

Integrations:

Genesys Cloud, Genesys WebChat

Use Case:

Customer service

Table of Contents

12%

instant reduction in agent volume 

53%

of chat enquiries handled by a chatbot

“We used to push people to call us, but with the chatbot we don’t have to. If you're speaking to a customer on a secure chatbot platform or talking to them on the phone – you can ask the same questions, it's the same experience.”

- Samantha Price, Customer Experience Program Lead, Wyndham City Council

How do you service the fastest-growing local council in Australia without increasing resources or compromising customer service? Wyndham City Council did it with inGenious AI.

Wyndham City Council

In the city, coast and country west of Melbourne, the Wyndham City Council (WCC) population is set to almost double by 2040. With a focus on personalisation and choice, WCC offers a Council Virtual Assistant chatbot as part of sustainably servicing growth.

Challenges

Customer service growing pains

Highlights

  • 200,000+ calls each year and growing digital enquiries

 

  • Existing webchat solutions not secure or accurate

 

  • Conversational customer experience at scale

Wyndham City Council is home to 290,000 residents and a contact centre receiving 200,000+ enquiries yearly… and the call volume was growing.

The council was facing the familiar business challenge of managing headcount and budget for effective growth – coupled with a unique breadth of services and community responsibility that guides local government customer service.

Even after adding a live webchat option, resources were stretched. It wasn’t sustainable to keep adding budget and headcount to manage the growing traffic – they needed the ability to combine a great conversational customer experience with the technology to make that experience work at scale.

“Our webchat was going off when the call centre wasn’t available, but the accuracy of the answers wasn’t always there,” says Samantha Price, Customer Experience Program Lead, Wyndham City Council.

“We were looking to improve service outside of business hours and to reduce wait times across channels.”

Wyndham City Council’s existing webchat channel staffed by service agents was not considered secure, so agents couldn’t ask customers for personal information to help resolve their enquiries. They knew that needed to change.

“Our systems weren’t up to delivering on our customer experience commitment,” says Samantha. 

“As a local council, we wanted it to be really easy to speak to a customer service agent. The chatbot shouldn’t be a barrier or a deterrent; it’s an additional channel that can improve your experience even if you don’t choose it.” 

“As a local council, we wanted it to be really easy to speak to a customer service agent. The chatbot is not a barrier to speaking to us, it’s an additional channel that can improve your experience even if you don’t choose it.”

Solution

A first responder chatbot that prioritises customer choice

Highlights

  • A conversational chatbot recommended by other councils

 

  • Content creation supported by existing knowledge base

 

  • Scaling experience with the right chatbot technology

After recommendations from other councils, Wyndham City Council’s next logical step to improve their customer service was a chatbot that integrated with their current systems.  

When they met with the inGenious AI team, they were impressed with their local government expertise. 

“Mark (Co-Founder) had a lot of time for us. It was clear they could deliver what we needed and that it was working for other councils,” says Samantha. 

“One of the big selling points was that we weren’t starting from scratch – InGenious AI shared a template of 200 council chatbot questions to get us going,” Samantha says. 

While the chatbot took only a few weeks to build and integrate, most of the development period was spent writing, testing and reviewing the chatbot content. Wyndham City Council added an additional 200 questions to the original template guided by tailored business rules including the chatbot acting as the first responder. 

“Customers always land on the chatbot first – and are offered an immediate and simple way to get to live chat,” Samantha says. 

“It’s a really flexible platform. Your imagination defines what you can do.” 

Now that the chatbot is up and running, reviewing content has become more manageable.

“Investing the time to review upfront is really important – we were pretty obsessed with it in the early days,” says Samantha. 

“We were spending a couple of days a week maintaining the chatbot content, and now we’re down to reviewing it a few days a month to keep on top of time-sensitive issues in our council area.” 

“It’s a really flexible platform. Your imagination defines what you can do.”

Results

90% accuracy without the wait

Highlights

  • 90% accuracy of chatbot answers

 

  • Less than 10% of chatbot users opt to speak to an agent

 

  • Integration with Genesys systems for customer callbacks and data protection

With the chatbot now in place for over a year, it has been instrumental in scaling Wyndham City Council’s customer service without budget and resourcing blowouts. 

Webchat conversations have grown, with more than 90% of customers getting the answer they need from the chatbot or choosing to move to a live webchat. That means a more manageable workload for call centre staff and less wait time for customers.

It also means more accurate information.  

“When we went live, our accuracy was around 60%. It’s now above 90% because of the reviews we did with inGenious AI. If we stalled, they helped us with chatbot training phrases to improve the customer experience,” Samantha says. 

“We’ve had compliments that our chatbot is amazing. I’ve encouraged people to try and trip the chatbot up. They’re often pleasantly surprised when they can’t!” 

When customers choose to speak to an agent, their history in the chatbot is visible in the system so the service agent can resolve enquiries faster. And if a customer wants to move to live webchat but it’s unavailable, they can leave a message. 

“Those messages come through as an email into our phone system platform and an agent is assigned to call or email back in business hours,” says Samantha.  

“That integration with our phone system was critical for us. And we knew it was going to work because inGenious AI had done it before.” 

“We’ve had compliments that our chatbot is amazing. I’ve encouraged people to try and trip the chatbot up. They’re often pleasantly surprised when they can’t!”

Impact

Essential information quickly when it counts

Highlights

  • Accurate information fast during critical events

 

  • Reduced cost to serve the community

 

  • Managing increasing digital interactions

An accurate and robust chatbot that answers questions around the clock has helped Wyndham City Council deliver on its commitment to customer service. Especially when traffic spikes.

“When there’s a storm everybody calls the council because of fallen tree branches or power lines. It causes a huge spike in phone calls,” recalls Samantha. 

“The chatbot provides another channel for people to get information. The team can add and amend content quickly to keep residents informed, direct people to the right answers, and refer them to other agencies.”

As the council’s digital interactions increase, the chatbot is helping maintain customer service levels.

“If we didn’t launch the chatbot project, we’d be spending much more to manage our webchat channel and our call centre,” says Samantha.

“inGenious AI has delivered a really effective chatbot on a user-friendly platform. They’re responsive, improving the platform constantly, and even as a smaller council we had a voice.”

“If we didn’t launch the chatbot project, we’d be spending much more to manage our webchat channel and our call centre.”

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