Aunty Wai - Waikato District Council's *not-so* Rubbish Chat Bot

The problem

After analysing a month of Facebook messages, we found over half of all incoming queries were outside of normal working hours and about rubbish and recycling. Most questions had an answer that could be found on the website.

Each Facebook message received from the WDC Contact Centre would take approx. 15 minutes to answer and cost approx. $20. 

The Solution

Working with the Iwi & Community Team, Contact Centre and the Rubbish Team, I created an AI Chat Bot to answer all Rubbish and Recycling queries.

As the Waikato District has one of the highest Māori speaking populations in Aotearoa, I made sure to work with the Iwi team so the bot would be bilingual. 

To get the entire business engaged, we ran a "name the bot" competition where the business came up with the winning name - Aunty Wai, Waikato District's Kaiaawhina. 

The Results

In three months, Aunty Wai had:

  • Spoke to 656 customers
  • Answered 1,400 questions
  • Saved Council approx. $12,000 
  • An average positive conversation sentiment of 38%.

In the same period:

  • Our contact centre received 39% LESS Facebook messages compared to the three month period prior
  • Only 8.5% of people who messaged Aunty Wai chose to communicate with a real person at Council.


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