How AI helps Coventry City Council answer more calls instantly while spending less money

Natalie Smithson
AI enthusiast | Tea addict | Focused on using AI assistants to win the working week
AI assistant supporting local council customers for Coventry City Council

Coventry City Council | Local government

Key challenges

When Coventry City Council launched an AI assistant, they were dealing with an overwhelming number of calls every day and constant repetition of the same queries.

  • Many of the phone calls were avoidable if only customers could go straight to the right information online
  • Customer queries needed to be dealt with from start to finish, first time
  • It was vital the council stay up to date with strict regulations for things like GDPR and accessibility

Key results

Andy booked a call with us to find out how launching an AI assistant could help and it was soon dealing with a deluge of calls about missed bins and a flurry of questions about council tax.

  • The Council can now respond to multiple customers at once instead of just one
  • Customers get the right answers every time and they’re always up to date
  • It’s become obvious what’s most important to members of the Coventry community, so the council knows which services to improve first

Image of the Coventry City Council AI assistant avatar (White
Calls volumes down 22% Email enquiries down 20% Community support 24/7

Notable breakthroughs along the way

  • 24-hour AI support means the council is answering residents even when their offices are closed
  • The customer service team benefits just as much as residents do from the use of AI
  • Live chat is the bridge between AI automation and the contact team that further increases efficiency

It takes just 10 minutes to launch an AI assistant

A few years ago, launching an AI assistant would have taken Coventry City Council months to plan, a hefty budget and a dedicated tech team ― luxuries local government doesn’t have.

Our unique platform takes that demand away:

  • Any member of your team can manage your AI assistant (you don’t need any technical skill)
  • Your security and compliance responsibilities are all taken care of ― even if they’re extensive
  • You can easily add new features to scale AI-driven support over time
  • There’s a human in the loop to help continuously improve your AI assistant’s performance

All anyone needs to get started is a website url ― it’s that simple!

Screen on EBI.AI AI Studio platform where you are asked to enter the URL for your website to automatically create an AI assistant using its content

Taking control of council administration

Before launching their AI assistant, Coventry City Council looked back through online chat and call logs to know an AI assistant would be most useful to their web visitors at first, rather than on mobile, social media channels, smart speakers or messaging platforms.

They ran a fun competition for employees to choose a name for their AI assistant and, in honour of Sir Basil Spence who designed Coventry’s famous cathedral, called it Basil. The team update and change Basil as often as they want to using our easy, animated dashboard.

Everything the council needs to check Basil’s progress is there too:

(Data shown is for illustrative purposes only)

Basil is branded to reinforce trust in the council

To help build familiarity, AI assistant Basil looks exactly like everything else you see from the council online and offline, so customers know it’s them and an exciting new part of their customer service.

Branding their AI assistant with their logo, colours and imagery was easy on our platform. The Coventry team is in complete control of the look and feel of the AI assistant, and all of the content it sends out to their community.

Illustration shows a chat window for the Coventry City Council AI assistant. A human administrator is changing the colour of the chat window banner to purple. which matches their website branding.

Using live chat further reduces call volumes

Like most councils, Coventry were already using live chat software and cloud services when they launched Basil and it was easy to integrate this with our advanced AI platform. (Live chat is included for free, but you don’t have to change your legacy system if you don’t want to.)

Now, whenever a customer needs help from a human, Basil can seamlessly pass them over to a member of the council’s support team, and the more conversations Basil has, the clearer it is to see which queries the AI assistant needs training on to be able to answer more questions.

With Basil’s performance always improving, it makes things easier for customers and the team:

  • Customers get more and more instant answers from the AI assistant as Basil learns
  • The more Basil learns, the less live chats are handed over to the team

Conversation review is essential to B&D's success

Our team of conversation analysts are continually reviewing conversations between Coventry residents and their AI assistant, looking for patterns to see where improvements can be made. This helps guide decisions the council makes, showing where services can improve and what takes priority. All they have to do is accept (or reject) our suggestions on the platform.

An AI assistant is in

Making sure customers always have the most accurate information, instantly, means more people can trust and rely on Coventry City Council for help when they need it.

Basil gives the Coventry community the right information, quickly, at the exact time they need it

The City Council wants to improve services and this has to be focused on the services that matter most to the people who use them every day. Thanks to the speed and accuracy of their AI assistant, the team at Coventry can now speak more frequently to more of their customers, and hearing more often and directly from the people they serve gives them a better understanding of what people need.

Using AI immediately relieves contact centre workers from a high volume of repetitive calls giving them more time to work on more complex, unusual or sensitive tasks. This saves the council money because they can invest resources in areas that are improved with AI, rather than waste it on legacy systems and procedures that are already broken beyond repair or simply aren’t effective.

Go digital now

Like many local councils up and down the country, Coventry City Council are focused on digital transformation. Handling waste collection, parking and Council Tax queries is a challenge without AI, with emails from customers getting lost or passed between departments, and lots of form-filling creating unnecessary admin.

Now, Coventry City Council can easily use advanced AI to make services more efficient, and with our unique platform, know they don’t have to worry about compliance and legislation on top of the responsibility of introducing new technology.

Coventry cathedral with the Coventry City Council logo in front

AI assistant Basil has become a valuable member of the Coventry City Council workforce, making life easier for everyone in their community.

Improve your business operations today

It’s easy to use our AI Studio to create and manage your own AI assistant, or you can choose our managed service and ask us to do it all for you. AI assistants are now used across public and private sectors to transform customer support, and every organisation is different.

  • Automate up to 90% of routine enquiries*
  • Reduce your average cost per enquiry from £5 to 5p*
  • Increase customer satisfaction by 67%*
  • Move your support team onto higher value tasks

*all results we’ve delivered for our clients

Get started now or book a discovery call with our pro team.