Apr 15 2024

State and Local Agencies Can Improve the Citizen Experience with AI Customer Service

Legislative, judicial and executive agencies can modernize contact centers via artificial intelligence to speed assistance.

So far, 2024 has been a banner year for artificial intelligence, and nowhere is that more true than in the government sector. On the federal level, President Joe Biden has issued sweeping regulations surrounding compliance measures and security mandates for AI initiatives and ordered the installation of chief AI officers at every federal agency. Those of us watching the state and local government space anticipate that states, counties and cities will follow suit, enacting their own safeguards and hiring specialized staff to keep an eye on AI initiatives and ensure that anything being integrated into the environment is secure and has approved from the top down.

But is AI useful to government? To answer that question, it’s important to understand that the government’s goal at the state and local level is to enable constituents to engage with it to improve their lives. Whether it’s finding a polling location, renewing a driver’s license, reporting a crime or finding the hours of a public park, all of these things are geared toward making constituents’ lives better and creating a safer world.

From the state level through the local level, we see great AI applications in legislature, judiciary and permitting. Let’s look at where AI, and specifically contact center AI, can make a difference in supporting constituents in these areas.

Click the banner below to explore the benefits of transformation for state agencies.


Navigating Legislative Processes with AI

As state leadership works to enact laws, people throughout the states advocate for changes and look to understand other changes being made. They may call the state legislature to ask questions, to find out when tours are happening at the statehouse, to protest laws being enacted or to testify.

When constituents call in, a bank of agents has historically answered their calls. Rather than directing people through a call queue, conversational AI can help make sure they’re calling the right branches of government and also provide them with immediate help. A virtual agent can escalate to a live agent, and agent summarization will take the information that AI has already learned from the call and pass it to a live agent for a handoff.

If a citizen is visiting a website, a chatbot enabled with conversational or generative AI can provide information taken from all of the data available and answer questions about the time of a hearing or what’s on the legislative docket. A chatbot can even escalate to a live agent when necessary, so that the constituent has a best-in-class experience.

READ MORE: Here are some ways in which states use contact center AI.

Delivering Information Quickly in Stressful Situations

Constituents may also contact the judiciary, where situations may be more pressing and wait times may be longer. With a shortage of people working in these high-pressure environments, virtual agents can prove critical. Again, chatbots or contact center AI can escalate inquiries to live agents while also capturing pertinent information. A record of the communications can help rout issues as needed.

Routing is another feature that AI can support. Virtual routing can reduce the amount of transferring required on a call. Virtual routing can support the caller and the agent and help ensure correct routing of the call in high-pressure situations, such as when someone is waiting on a court case outcome or finding out how to post bail. These can be critical and time-sensitive moments. Providing the correct answer right away is important to ensure constituent support and also to reduce agent churn. AI-enabled tools can keep a state or county’s employees happy and reduce their stress.

DISCOVER: Cities can use AI to enhance public services.

Producing a Robust Support System for Permitting and Licensing

Finally, AI is helpful when it comes to applying for permits and licenses. AI-enabled tools can sustain a permitting system that is easy to use, supporting access for constituents to register for anything from driving to boating and owning a firearm. Executive agencies can modernize how constituents move through permitting and licensing systems to enhance transparency, helping citizens to understand expiration dates and renewal costs.

All of these deployments improve communication between constituents and governments, leading to better quality of life as a result of AI-powered customer experience and modernized contact centers.

This article is part of StateTech’s CITizen blog series.


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