Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is Scotland’s largest independent advice network. Their 59 member bureaux offer free, independent advice on a range of topics — including benefits, finance, housing, law, immigration and health — to the citizens of Scotland.
Citizen’s Advice Scotland needed to route callers to local advisors when locations closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
A voice assistant that could route callers to local advisors through natural language conversations
100% calls answered with an average resolution time of just 30s.
In 2020, Citizens Advice Bureaux across Scotland were forced to close their doors when the country went into lockdown as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. In order to keep supporting the citizens of Scotland, the network offered a new national helpline, enabling people to access Citizen’s Advice Bureaux (CAB) advisors over the phone.
While the helpline enabled people to access free, impartial advice during national lockdowns, it was impossible to match callers with advisors from their local areas. If the advisor was unable to answer a particular hyper-local query (about local food banks, charities or faith organisations for example) or needed further specialist advice, they would take down the caller’s details and a local advisor would call back within five days.
Citizens Advice Scotland members wanted to make it easier and quicker for people to access local advice from local advisors. As a part of the CivTech challenge, they appealed to organisations who could help them to solve this problem.
In conjunction with SIDE Labs, a social impact agency, PolyAI won the deal to deliver a voice assistant that connected callers to advisors from their local Citizens Advice Bureau.
“It’s a great opportunity to provide the best service for our clients and allow us to put our resources where they’re most needed — in the conversations we have with clients to provide them with the highest quality advice!”
Reducing call wait time By 5 daysBefore deployment, callers requiring local advice could end up waiting days for a local advisor to call them back given the massive demand at the start of the pandemic. After deployment, callers can reach an expert adviser in their local area in under 30 seconds. This enables Citizens Advice Bureaux across Scotland to deliver the same service over the phone as they can face-to-face
"This has been transformative in terms of ensuring our clients get high quality, impartial, free and confidential advice that the CAB network is justifiably proud of from local advisors within their communities"