Website visitors just type a question into the question box; the system then sifts through the vast amounts of data on the site looking for possible answers. Once an answer has been found it appears on the screen along with links to further information. It is hoped 'Ask Alex' will become the first port of call for people looking for answers, providing instant response and feedback and reducing the need to call the Customer Service Centre, providing a faster more responsive service and saving both time and money. New questions will continue to be added to further improve customer satisfaction. User input is vital, if a question is not being answered there is a facility which allows the user to submit the question for inclusion.
This new interface has allowed Lincolnshire to optimise their online content, by making the information more customer focused and easier to find, therefore creating a solution to both, online and offline customer service issues. At the moment the technology is only available on the 'I am a Parent' section of the Lincolnshire site, however in time it will be widened out to other areas, to further enhance service delivery. To see "Ask Alex" in action, please click here to visit the Parenting section of the Lincolnshire website.
Peter Barton, Head of Web and Information Services at Lincolnshire believes the Synthetix customer service technology gives them a solution to both their online and offline customer service issues;
"People like talking - or writing - to people. And that's how they see it. We anticipate this being a big win for our customer service.