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Virtual assistant frees mobile field workers from constant contact with central administration.

Proof of concept to demonstrate the ease of chatbot implementation and the immediate value that can be delivered through access to key documents, policies and procedures in context, when operating in the field.

The City Council to provide services and facilities to a broad range of City stakeholders including residents, commercial and retail business, workers and local, national and international visitors. From waste management to parking services, there is a significant mobile, in-field workforce responsible for taking the City’s service delivery to the streets.

The ranger team is out on the road looking after a variety of tasks and program implementations, and their activities are subject to numerous policies, procedures and interactions with the general public as well as central city administration teams. Many of the documents and information that they required access to on a regular basis were contained on internal systems, which often meant that in order to get the information they needed in the field when dealing with a member of the general public, they needed to call back to base and have the information sent to them. This process was inefficient and time consuming.

Velrada were engaged to work closely with the field service team and central administration to create a new way of working, reduce manual tasks and free up both teams to focus on servicing citizens and improving their work outputs.

Rangers working around the city had numerous interactions with the centrally-based customer service team to get access to the information they needed to do their job while out in the field. Policies, procedures, client information, location specific restrictions and other typical information requests. Meanwhile customer service teams were busy taking enquiries from the general public, so dealing with more inbound calls from their internal organisation created and extra load on already stretched resources. Given that many of the inbound requests were similar or required similar information and access to documents, there was an opportunity to reduce these repetitive, transaction tasks in the call centre, as well as enable the ranger team to get access to the information they needed straight away without bothering the rest of the organisation, waiting on hold or dealing with human error in relation to the information provided.

Initially a deep discovery exercise was undertaken which involved teams from both parts of the organisation – customer service and the mobile ranger team. This achieved early engagement and buy-in as well as uncovering the real, meaningful interactions that the teams have and how the use of a digital assistant could streamline these exchanges. The key objectives were documented which focused the implementation on these quick wins and delivering time to value. The objectives were: improve first call resolution for ranger queries by 250%; reduce the handling time (mainly searching for the information) and dependency on other business units; provide a quality knowledge base with analytics capability over the top to assist with future efficiency improvement; provide a convenient platform for users and overall enhance the quality of the end customer experience (citizens) to mitigate complaints.

Critical to the success of implementing a new technology that is perceived as innovative and a departure from existing approaches, is demonstration of quick time to value and rapid adoption. In this case, as tow busy teams were being impacted it was important to get buy-in early across the teams and demystify the implementation of the virtual assistants. We also wanted to create some excitement about the potential of this technology to be extended to assisting in other more complex routine tasks, and give the the teams ongoing opportunities to contribute to the iteration of the solution, as well as move quickly to get it live and delivering value in the field.

Velrada used the V:Bot framework to both engage the teams and demonstrate what was possible quickly, as well as to deliver the solution in under 6 weeks.

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