Grüezi! UMB Voicebot Supports Kreuzlingen Residents' Office through AI – and Understands Swiss German Too.

The town of Kreuzlingen in the Swiss Canton of Thurgau can now serve its 23,000 residents even better. As part of its smart city strategy, the residents' office is now using AI (artificial intelligence) to answer telephone calls. This digital assistant - the voicebot has a female voice - answers questions and understands Swiss German as well as High German. It is also available outside office hours, contributing to high citizen satisfaction and significantly reducing pressure on the employees.

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From an early stage, the Kreuzlingen City Council was convinced that there was no way around the Smart City concept. Improving services for all residents has to be a permanent goal for urban development. This also applies to the residents' office, whose counters are visited by around 300 people a week. At the same time, citizens contact the city by telephone or e-mail. As all inquiries are processed by the same team and residents visiting the counter are given priority, this has led to long waiting times on the phone and response times for emails, as well as causing the residents' office to be backlogged. The introduction of a new AI system should make customer service more efficient, faster and simpler, reduce waiting times and generally improve services. The residents' registration office will now be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


The digital assistant is the first point of contact

Michael Stahl, Kreuzlingen town clerk, believes that an intelligent voice solution would improve efficiency in the long term has proven to be true: Today, the town has implemented an innovative solution developed in collaboration with UMB and its partner Spitch. Spitch's virtual assistant (bot) processes citizens' inquiries directly and efficiently. The bot covers ten different topics, including questions about opening hours, civil status and residence confirmations, passport and ID orders. It ensures a high level of acceptance thanks to its understanding of dialect. The digital assistant answers the phone 24/7 but is not permitted to provide legally binding information. All telephone calls go to the assistant first. If questions are asked that the bot does not understand or cannot answer, the calls are forwarded to the relevant departments - naturally only during counter opening hours. As part of data security and data protection, caller data must also be stored securely and anonymously and deleted regularly. For this purpose, Amazon Cloud Services are used.


How intelligent is Artificial Intelligence?

Together, it has been worked out and defined which questions the digital assistant could answer. The artificial intelligence learns for itself and becomes a little smarter every day: the language model, in particular the understanding of language (NLU), can be trained and continuously improved using the collected conversation data. The UMB Voicebot is cost-effective, can be implemented quickly and requires no additional IT resources. The solution is also scalable: additional offices or departments could be operated via the Voicebot without major effort. 


Better communication - increased customer satisfaction

The city of Kreuzlingen was able to significantly optimize its communication with citizens and thus meet the needs of a growing and diverse population. The solution has proven to be an effective tool for increasing customer satisfaction and improving service quality.


The new system creates more time for the team at the Residents' Office and for its customers.

Working with UMB is absolutely straightforward and effective. The UMB voicebot solution improves our customer service, takes pressure off our team and brings us much closer to our goal of being a smart city.

Michael Stahl, Kreuzlingen Town Clerk

Your contacts

Ralf Stäheli
+41 58 263 27 00