Employees are being asked to test the Council's new chatbot before it officially goes live.
Chatbots are increasingly used by large organisations to help customers access services and information more quickly and free up staff time.
Over the coming weeks, employees can try out the bot and provide feedback to help our IT experts finetune the new technology before it's rolled out across our website.
Keeping it friendly
A chatbot is a software application added to a website that simulates a conversation with the customer. As a customer types in a question, the chatbot uses natural language processing and artificial intelligence to narrow down what is being asked and can direct the customer to what they are requesting.
Pictured above: what our chatbot looks like.
Our system has built-in sophistication that allows for different 'tones' to be used e.g. friendly or professional depending on what service is being requested.
Frequently asked questions are preloaded into the chatbot database based on the most popular requests received, and words and phrases used locally can also be added in.
Our chatbot will start out using existing FAQs for:
- Bins, rubbish and recycling
- Homes and property
- Roads and parking
- Generic FAQ content
Making the customer journey easier
The creation of the chatbot is part of our Automation project, one of 31 Council of the Future projects that aim to modernise and improve services and help deliver on Council priorities - Communities, Enterprise, and Innovation.
Tommy Evans, Automation Project Lead said:
"Chatbots make the customer’s journey easier and more accessible, so they get to what they are after more quickly. Our website is already an important business tool for Falkirk Council and the addition of a new chatbot will enhance what it can offer.
“The chatbot can be trained and is quick to learn and understand what the majority of our customers need and can even cope with additional non-council FAQs easily. We’re looking for other services to come on board and work with us to see how we can improve services for customers."