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IPI implements AI chatbot for Northern Ireland Water

IPI, the digital contact centre specialist, today announced that it has implemented an AI-powered chatbot for NI Water, a Government Owned Company providing water and sewerage services across Northern Ireland. Developed in partnership with CX Company, the chatbot and intelligent assistant expert, the chatbot has been delivered as part of NI Water’s digital transformation strategy to enhance customer experience through the implementation of advanced technology.

The chatbot adds live-chat functionality to NI Water’s website and its 1.8 million-strong customer base. IPI worked closely with NI Water and CX Company on developing the bank of content that the chatbot would draw from to provide intelligent and conversational answers to frequently asked questions by customers. These answers are actively refined and improved – using AI to analyse responses given to customers and the questions posed, to make the chatbot even more accurate.

“As a utility company, we know our customers sometimes need information quickly, so don’t want to be on hold with a call centre or have to search through pages of information for the answers they need. The chatbot solves this, providing quick and easy access to information and improving our customers’ experience with our brand,” said Orla McGivern, Customer and Insights Senior Manager at NI Water.

“IPI has made this transition easy for us. Its team of dedicated consultants worked collaboratively with our team, finding creative solutions to problems and making sure that the chatbot both reflected our brand and met the needs of our customers. We are delighted with the results to date and are excited about continuing our digital transformation journey with IPI.”

Developed over a three-month period and following rigorous internal testing, the chatbot has delivered exceptional results to date. Since being implemented, the chatbot has had 2500 – 3000 customer interactions per month, reducing pressure on NI Water’s contact centre – one of the primary reasons for implementing the technology. In addition, the chatbot is consistently scoring recognition rates of 92 per cent for questions posed by customers, far above the expected 50 per cent rate for similar chatbots in their infancy.

Customer satisfaction has also been high around the delivery of correct answers to questions posed. Typically, benchmarks here are much lower, with levels set at a 30 per cent success rate. However, NI Water’s chatbot has reported consistent results of 70 per cent success – outperforming initial expectations. Forming part of its digital transformation strategy, NI Water has further plans to expand the chatbot’s functionality.

“NI Water is an example of a company that has committed to their digital transformation journey – with increased customer satisfaction from NI Water’s chatbot to date,” said Steve Murray, Solutions Director at IPI.

“The age of digital transformation is well and truly upon us, with AI, chatbots and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) becoming more mainstream and accepted by organisations and customers alike. The quicker organisations get to this stage of enlightenment, the faster they will reap the rewards.”