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Chatbot ready to work in a few hours – case study of Wrocław City

Chatbot ready to work in a few hours – case study of Wrocław City

Andrzej Gruszka 30.03.2020
Andrzej Gruszka

With limited access to public offices, numerous restrictions in cities due to the coronavirus epidemic, and dynamically changing situation, the City Council of Wrocław has hired a danger-proof employee who works around the clock, has extensive knowledge about the virus and the current situation in the capital of Lower Silesia and, most importantly, satisfies the information needs of the residents.

Hello Andrzej. I’m a virtual assistant of Wrocław!

Currently, I’m only providing information about the coronavirus epidemic.

Discussions about the chatbot for Wrocław have been on the table for some time. The idea was born during the following stage of cooperation on the development of chatbot. Over two years ago, the tourist service website implemented our system to automate communication. Its visible outcome is the bot on Messenger (currently also informing about the coronavirus).

When we were just about to start working on the chatbot, we had to change its original concept. And we had only few hours for it! We prepared a solution entirely devoted to the coronavirus. 

We didn’t wait long for the necessary materials. Based on the detailed analysis of users’ questions, we knew what information was needed most. While preparing to implement the system, we were aware that the residents of Wrocław were not looking for an in-depth conversation. On the contrary, they required specific information, which they needed to obtain almost immediately. 

We developed the chatbot’s structure and equipped it with appropriate data to make the results of our work available as soon as possible and to start testing. This includes links to a special service on the city’s website, texts entered directly into the bot, as well as an RSS channel, which provides up-to-date information on the situation in the city.

Then we focused on introducing FAQs into the system, appropriate categorizing them and NLP training. Throughout the entire process, we received feedback from those who tested the tool. 

On Tuesday, 18 March, at 5.30 p.m. we launched the chatbot. We’ve been constantly optimizing the solution since then. We’re keeping the news base up to date, adding new questions and answers in order to provide replies to repetitive questions more effectively without a consultant.

Publikacja chatbota miasta Wrocław na Facebooku
Posting of information about chatbot of Wrocław on the fanpage

Chatbot for the website and bot on Messenger in one system

The residents need definite answers in a short time, especially nowadays, in the face of the virus pandemic, because they are interested in how Wrocław deals with the threat.

Radosław Michalski,
Director of the City and Tourism Promotion Office

The chatbot is located on a special website dedicated to the coronavirus as well as on the Wrocław [Wroclove] fanpage. It has almost an identical structure, which is managed from the CMS level on our platform. The only difference lies in notifications. In the chatbot on Messenger, we provide a save feature, and in the solution for the website, we provide information with a number to the hotline.

Chatbot Wrocławia na stronę www
Chatbot of Wrocław on a special website
Chatbot miasta Wrocław
Chatbot of Wrocław on the Wrocław fanpage [Wroclove]

The solution contains information in Polish but also has a special menu in English and Ukrainian, from which users can move to specific subpages on Wrocł dedicated to the coronavirus.  

The tool works around the clock. The residents of Wrocław can use the chatbot to:

  • look for current information about the coronavirus,
  • learn how to protect themselves against the virus,
  • get information on how to spend time at home,
  • find out where to order a meal as part of the #WroclawNaWynos campaign,
  • check how to get psychological help,
  • find out how seniors can handle their shopping,
  • find answers to the FAQs about the coronavirus and its impact on the city’s life.

So, we’ve created a solution that shortens the response time and provides the residents with a convenient form of receiving news, also as regular notifications.

Chatbot miasta Wrocław w Messengerze
The message view for notifications subscribers in the bot on Messenger of Wrocław

The effectiveness and outcomes of the chatbot of Wrocław

The chatbot of Wrocław is a perfect example of how technology to automate communication can successfully help people and make interactions work efficiently even in the current crisis situation. 

The virtual assistant has been working for just over a week, and has exchanged over 60,000 messages with users so far! As many as 97% of the conversations have been handled without the need to contact the moderator.

What’s more, as many as 84% of users on average open daily notifications with information about the coronavirus, and up to 57% of readers get familiar with the notifications. 

Efekty chatbota miasta Wrocław
The chatbot of Wrocław outcomes

As Jacek Sutryk, the Mayor of Wrocław affirms:

The chatbot will eventually help to provide you with daily information on the key matters concerning our city. We encourage you to start testing it. We are constantly improving the tool, collecting your inquiries and updating our content database. We want it to fully comply with the expectations of the residents. 

This is just the beginning of our activities. Based on the results, we already know how to – with the use of technology related to intelligent automation of communication processes – quickly improve interactions with the residents and effectively respond to their information requirements without the need to involve employees of the municipal office.