Södertälje Municipality is taking a shared approach to digitalisation to make the most of digitalisation’s ability to create new and effective digital working methods. One part of their digitalisation journey is the launch of the chatbot Kommun-Kim, who is the Contact Centre’s new digital employee.
We interviewed Tony McCarrick, Digitalisation Strategist at Södertälje Municipality.
What was the main reason why you hired Kommun-Kim as a digital employee at Södertälje Municipality?
“We wanted to improve accessibility for our citizens so that they could get answers to their questions, even outside our normal working hours. We also wanted to relieve the burden off our employees and allow them to spend their time on more specialised tasks.”
What challenges have you faced during the project?
“You need the organisation, which includes the contact centre and other operations, to really check that your information is correct and up-to-date. When you start working with an AI chatbot, many questions come into your head. Is the robot going to take my job? Will it be able to give good enough answers? How does AI actually work? It is incredibly important to have a clear understanding throughout the organisation about why you are introducing an AI chatbot, but also make sure you look to the future. When KIM is able to master several languages, when KIM is able to talk to citizens, when KIM is able to work with other chatbots, such as Skatti at the Swedish Tax Agency. We usually say that AI makes you ask yourself: What does being a human actually mean? :-).”
What has the reaction been from the citizens?
“Of course, we’ve had mixed reactions, but they’ve been mostly positive, from every age group. Citizens seem to be confident asking different kinds of questions to a chatbot than they would to a person. We can see from our statistics that we receive many questions outside our normal working hours, and this is positive as one of our aims is to increase our accessibility.”
How has Kommun-Kim streamlined/affected your operations?
“We launched Kim on the start page of our website in August, so it’s too early to draw any more indepth conclusions about efficiency. But we can see that Kim received a total of 2,583 calls in September in Södertälje. Over the same period we received about 16,500 traditional telephone calls, so KIM is already answering a large proportion of these contacts.”
Which questions can Kommun-Kim answer?
“At the moment KIM can answer questions about schools and education, culture and leisure, some healthcare issues, housing and town planning. Soon KIM will be able to answer questions about the environment and politics.”
How has Softronic contributed to the success that Kommun-Kim has helped to achieve?
“It was Softronic that introduced the concept of Kommun KIM in Sweden and they have been an important partner in developing the concept and also in upscaling it to other municipalities and organisations, which speeds up the pace of change.”
Would you recommend others to hire a chatbot to increase service to citizens?
“Yes, I really would. This is a concept where we municipalities can help each other to improve through collaboration and development. It’s also an important signal that we in the Swedish municipalities are not just talking about AI and digitalisation, we are actually starting to use these concepts and they are already benefiting the citizens.”
If you would like to know more about how Softronic can help you implement ‘Conversational AI’, contact:
Tel. no.: +46(0)70-691 44 97
Our AI team has more than 30 years’ experience between them of introducing ‘Conversational AI’/chatbots in different sectors. Our project deliveries quickly result in huge benefits to the operations and a better customer experience:
- 80% of all users receive the help they need through the chat
- 92% think they are dealt with in a friendly way
- 98% accuracy in the answers in the chat