We are trialling a new service to help with residents’ enquiries.
On Monday 28 November we are adding a chatbot, known as ‘Max’, to our website for an 8-week trial.
This is the next step to improving the efficiency of dealing with customers’ queries to the contact centre and giving residents another quick and easy way to contact us at their convenience.
How it works
A box will automatically appear when the Epping Forest District Council (EFDC) website is opened.
Users can choose from 5 waste and recycling topics. These have been selected as they are the prime queries dealt with by the contact centre; by using them in this trial, we hope to ease waiting times for callers.
The customer contact centre has been experiencing a rise in calls recently as a result of the issues the Council has been facing with waste collection.
The options are:
- how to report a missed collection
- how to report fly tipping
- understanding what goes in each bin
- where your nearest recycling centre is
- your next collection date
It is designed to minimise the number of clicks needed to find the answers by giving users direct links to the webpage or form they need.
Enhance the customer experience
Cllr Alan Lion, Cabinet Member for Customer said:
The introduction of this new service will enhance the customer experience; improve call-waiting times and help us to manage specialist enquiries.
We are testing this with the waste service at present and if successful, we are looking to extend the facility to other services in the future.
The EFDC website is a great tool, giving residents access to many services 24/7. We are constantly making little changes and improvements to the site as trends and the way people use technology change too.
What is a chatbot?
Chatbots are designed to simulate conversations with people over the internet, mainly through company websites as an extra customer service tool.
This new service responds by using a combination of preprogramed scripted responses and machine learning algorithms.
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