Stoke-on-Trent City: ‘BinBot’

Streamlining resident enquiries with voice automation

Stoke-on-Trent City Council worked with Filament CX to assist them continue to deliver excellent service to their citizens while simultaneously reducing the volume of calls and processing time required by its contact centre staff. Despite providing people with an online form, Stoke-on-Trent City Council continued to receive a considerable number of calls about missed rubbish collections.

Filament CX collaborated with the council to build a digital assistant that citizens can contact and interact with over the phone to help address the majority of these inquiries. The automated digital assistant converses with the customer, assisting them in understanding why their bin collection was missed, raising a missed bin ticket in the council’s system, or, if necessary, transferring the user to a human agent.

The ability of the digital assistant to reliably extract the user’s precise address was critical to its success. We implemented a system that compared a user’s address to a database of all known address names in Stoke-on-Trent. The bot will provide an exact match or the top five matches for their road name based on a confidence score, allowing the user to pick the correct name using their keypad.

Once we have a legitimate address, the system searches the council’s internal records for that address and provides the appropriate bins. When a user picks the missing bin, the digital assistant checks to see whether there was a cause for the missed bin in their system, and if there is, the assistant informs the user.

If no cause is given, the assistant instructs the user to enter a missing bin ticket into the council’s system. It takes a few personal details from them, then creates a ticket and assigns a reference number to it.

The next phase of the role out is to allow users to interact with the assistant via text messaging, Facebook Messenger and a widget on the council’s website.