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Scaling Virtual Support in the Pandemic Era

Scaling Virtual Support in the Pandemic Era: The AI Connection

Since the early days of the pandemic, we’ve partnered with government organizations and academic institutions to serve communities at scale with Contact Center Artificial Intelligence (CCAI). I sat down with Bill MacKenzie, IT liaison for the Upper Grand School District in Ontario, and Marco Palermo, director of digital government and modernization, to discuss how they embraced CCAI to introduce scalable service delivery to residents and students alike. I’m sharing more on their stories below, and for the full overview, check out our Google Cloud Public Sector Summit session, Scaling Virtual Support in the Pandemic Era: The AI Connection.

Upper Grand School District: Answering questions with speed and accuracy

Bill MacKenzie described the Upper Grand School District’s struggles at the beginning of the pandemic, particularly helping parents with IT issues. The staff-oriented help desk was not equipped to assist parents trying to securely login for students as young as kindergarten. Without sufficient support for parents, the District was struggling to handle thousands of phone calls a day.

To alleviate the manual strain, they turned to Quantiphi, a Google Cloud partner, to implement Google Cloud Dialogflow. They were fully functional within a few weeks. The new website provided real-time responses as well as clear documentation to help parents get up and running quickly.

“In the first 10 days, we had over 5,000 hits, and the accuracy rate was 92%,” MacKenzie said. 

The district doesn’t know what the future holds, but now that they have been through the process, they are confident they now understand how to create their own bots to meet critical needs.

City of Toronto: Getting critical information to the community

Marco Palermo explained how the city of Toronto was facing a very rapid and fluid situation at the beginning of the pandemic. Getting information to constituents was extremely important, and they needed alternative channels to deliver that information.

Toronto has been committed to workforce equity and inclusivity in order to best represent the diversity of its residents. As a result, solutions had to be accessible to all. The bot handled 25,330 unique users and addressed 20,174 total questions with an 80% accurate response rate in the first four months. It’s been a huge success for the city, with plans to expand its capabilities.

Personalized response to the pandemic challenge

I noted that even before the pandemic, government leaders were asking for a way to provide more flexible personal experiences and better support outside of normal business hours. Around 60% of constituents want more self-service options and 75% would happily interact with digital resources if they could get the answers they needed.

Google Cloud CCAI  addresses these needs with a single core of intelligence that provides a consistently high-quality conversational experience—human or virtual—across all channels and platforms. It can be deployed on legacy infrastructure without upgrades in an average of two weeks.

CCAI operates with a conversational core that centralizes the ability to talk, understand, and interact, orchestrating high-quality conversations at scale. It provides services in three different ways:

Virtual Agent AI allows natural conversation with customers to identify and address their issues effectively

Agent Assist AI helps human agents by providing real-time turn-by-turn guidance so they can better serve constituents

Insight AI determines metrics and trends in real-time to enable faster and more accurate insights

CCAI provides consistency across every application. It can go off-script when answering complex questions, adjusting human conversation with the capacity to handle unexpected stops and starts, odd word choices, or implied meanings. It can also handle multiple use cases for the customer, such as taking payments, updating information, providing information, and more. By allowing agencies to automate routine tasks and reduce the amount of time employees need to dedicate to answering calls, the solution created cost savings for the agency.

Explore more on this session by visitingthe Public Sector Summit on-demand video.

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