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Virtually Speaking

Natural Language Technology Has Major Benefits for the Public Sector

Posted by Shannon Senecal on Aug 8, 2019 3:46:44 PM


As pressures mount to improve efficiencies while lowering costs, many government agencies are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to meet their mission. With over 15 years deploying, managing and growing intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs), our AI has analyzed a lot of conversational data, uncovering some interesting insights and revealing that people behave differently when interacting with public sector organizations versus private sector organizations.

Recently, Verint Next IT Chief Scientist, Dr. Ian Beaver, Ph.D., presented these findings at the AI World Government conference. In a similar presentation (which you can listen to here), Dr. Beaver explains how natural language self-service technology is particularly beneficial within the public sector.

According to Dr. Beaver, if you’re considering Conversational AI to modernize your agency, here are three main considerations when applying the technology.


Build Upon Existing Technologies for True Transformation

Offering people a way to self-serve is one of the best ways you can improve operational efficiencies and boost satisfaction. If your agency offers a interactive voice response (IVR) system or website FAQs, is that enough?

Unfortunately, no.

While these are all good things (and please don’t get rid of them), they are fixed-path self-service models – meaning you and your agency are deciding what types of questions people can ask and how they can progress through a static system, making you blind to evolving needs and user behaviors. 

With natural language self-service, like chatbot and intelligent virtual assistant technology, your users tell you what they want in their own words so you can:

  • See changing user demographics
  • Adapt to your user’s evolving interests and needs
  • Enhance service, automate redundancies and optimize operations

So, build upon your IVR system and website FAQs. Offer intelligent virtual assistant and chatbot technology to garner insights so that you can evolve, grow and modernize your self-service techniques.


The Captive User Effect

Although self-service is a step toward making citizens feel empowered, have you ever stopped to think about how people really feel when interacting with government organizations?

Did they choose to go to the organization for “XYZ” or did they not have any other options? 

Many government agencies don’t realize that, unlike private sector customers, public sector customers have little to no choices for government services. Dr. Beaver calls this, “The captive user effect.”

People don’t always trust what they did not choose and may call into question whether government organizations are keeping their best interest in mind.

That’s why at Verint Next IT, we work with public sector clients to design AI-based intelligent virtual assistant technology with privacy and anonymity as paramount features, giving users a greater sense of freedom and a safe space to talk about personal topics without fear of judgment or retaliation.

Privacy by design is a key feature citizens want and your self-service technologies should incorporate it.


Privacy by design


Data Informs Beyond the IVA for Agency Success

Among apps, smart speakers, social media, web and phone, there are a growing number of ways and channels citizens want to reach you.  

That rapidly growing number of interactions can pose large burdens on your contact center operations, driving up costs or extending hold times. But, it also provides a ripe opportunity for automation ― if you plan correctly for it. 

Verint Next IT’s AI Blueprint leverages your existing conversational data to formulate a “plan of attack” for your Conversational AI deployment so that you can automate interactions and scale for success. Utilizing AI & Machine Learning tools to ingest large amounts of data, we pair the results with your goals to drive quick business value and then grow your AI system beyond the initial use cases.

As you know, Conversational AI is not a typical software buy. It is continually evolving, growing and crossing into new areas and departments. So, before you begin your AI journey, make sure you have a solid roadmap that will lead you to success.


Preparing for the Future

To learn more, listen to Dr. Beaver’s full presentation as he explores natural language solutions at a deeper level. With case studies from Amtrak, U.S. Army and more, you can learn how to take your agency to the next level with natural language technology.

Listen now.

You can access Dr. Beaver’s full talk here.


Topics: Technology, Public Sector