According to Gartner, by 2021, more than 50% of enterprises will spend more each year on bots and chatbot creation than traditional mobile app development.
“Sophie, how to renew my driver’s license?”
The artificial intelligence-based personal assistants responding to citizen requests has generated excitement from some government IT professionals who see Chatbots as a technology that can help them become more efficient while improving citizen services.
Chatbots use AI and machine learning to mimic human conversation to respond to a request or help users complete a task. With a few exceptions, their use is mostly limited to textual communication, but as AI advances, chatbots will be able to interact with humans via sophisticated voice-based interfaces.
Chatbots are becoming the default citizen support solution for government services. They can process requests in huge numbers, function round the clock, and help government departments and civic bodies fulfil their duties at significantly lower costs. In a nutshell, they help governments sculpt a better image in the eyes of their citizens.
Chatbots are still in their infancy, but the government organizations have recognized their potential and are already putting them on use in three different ways.
Answering Citizen Queries
Citizens view the presence of a live chat window on a government website as an indicator of accessibility and efficiency. At their most basic level, chatbots can answer common questions that normally be handled by government employee, such as how to pay a parking ticket, checking on the status of a tax refund. Unlike a visit to a Government department to get some basic information, where the average waiting time is 15-20 minutes and up to one hour in some countries. Now, the citizens can get answers from chatbots promptly freeing up government employees to focus on more complex issues. With Chatbots acting as the first point of contact for the people, the government body’s human staff is free to focus on processing requests, implementing regulations, and improving infrastructure. This further reinforces the government’s image as a competent, proactive, and efficient organization.
Up-to-date and readily available information
Government websites usually carry all the information that citizens might need, but accessing this information tends to be an uphill task. By building chatbots for their websites, government bodies can change this assumption. Information on laws, regulations and public services can be parsed into a simple Q&A format, and dispensed to citizen’s right through the chat window. Information that citizens seek on a regular basis can also be built into a quick-access menu in the chat window. This is a particularly convenient approach for information that tends to get updated on a regular basis – a city’s calendar of activities, events and public holidays, for instance.
Resolving Issues using bots
Complaint resolution is a key consideration in government chatbot development. The best chatbots for government services are not only able to answer quick questions that users might have about filing their taxes or renewing their licenses, but they can also enable users to pull out relevant records, and file detailed complaints or support requests through the chat window. A ticket ID can be generated against each of these complaints or requests, and the user can get back to the website any time to check on the status of the ticket.
Simpler requests, such as password resets and collecting feedback from citizens can be completely automated and processed by the chatbot. The latter also helps government bodies stay up-to-date with the issues and concerns of their citizens, and take requisite measures to improve their experience.
The promise of these emerging technologies is exciting, giving governments the ability to reach the modern citizen and connect on all matters of public and personal importance. Citizens want more from their government agencies as well and seek increased accessibility to information in real-time, as well as transparency and accountability. Chatbots and other technology using AI can give citizens just that — an effective means of communication and increased engagement with governmental agencies in an ever-connected world.
Are you looking for specific information on building chatbots for government services, or on chatbot development in general? Our team will be happy to answer all your questions; get in touch with us right here.