Breckland Council has announced a new addition to its team – Bobbie, the Phone Bot.

This innovative piece of technology uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to provide answers to residents’ questions over the phone, 24/7. Bobbie will initially be focused on providing information on council tax issues and questions, but later in 2024 it will also be able to answer questions related to housing information, business support, and planning matters.

With Bobbie available all day, every day, accessing information about the council’s services has never been easier. Meanwhile, the council’s Customer Services team (who are human) are still available to answer calls, during normal office hours, but they can now focus on more complex cases, which means that vulnerable residents can receive even better support.

Bobbie taking to the phones is an extension of the council’s existing use of the Bobbie technology. Last year, Bobbie started answering written questions received by people using the council’s website and it has already seen great success with the public. In 85% of cases, Bobbie was able to resolve a resident’s query without having to pass them on for further help, dramatically reducing the wait time for residents.

Cllr Alison Webb, Executive Member for Customer and Corporate services, said: “This latest innovation from Breckland Council is a testament to our commitment to serving the needs of the community and providing access to information in the most convenient way possible. With Bobbie the Phone Bot on board, residents can rest assured that their questions will be answered quickly and efficiently. I look forward to seeing Bobbie develop further as the year progresses and we train it in answering even more of our residents’ questions.”

(Source: Breckland)