What is a smart city?
Smart city is an innovative city which embraces information and communication technologies (ICT) and other methods to improve people’s quality of life, increase the efficiency of management and service provision and boost competitiveness, while focusing on the needs of present and future generations with respect for economic, social and environmental values.
(Source: International Telecommunications Union(ITU))
We tend to associate a smart city with the world’s megacities: New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo, London or Paris. A number of Polish cities already have a strong understanding of the need to implement SMART solutions. They are aware of the benefits and challenges they will face. They do their best to rank among the world’s top cities, to meet the expectations of residents and tourists, to provide them with a more comfortable and safer life, with respect for their time, which is becoming an increasingly scarce good.
Wrocław (along with Warsaw) rise to the top in implementing smart city solutions. These are the only Polish municipalities to make it into the top 100 of the smartest cities in the world.
(Source: Cities in Motion Index 2020 Report, prepared by the IESE Business School, one of the world’s top business schools.)
A smart city has a consistent growth vision, with a focus on citizens and their needs, it leverages modern technology to improve communication and quality of life, and remains open to dialogue and innovation.
As KODA, a company with long-standing ties to Wrocław, we are proud to be able to co-create and develop our city in line with the SMART idea.
The idea of smart city has long been on the agenda of the Wrocław authorities. We want to be smart, to make life easier and more efficient for our residents. We listen to their needs and try to find solutions that are forward-thinking, progressive and most desired by them. Oftentimes, technology is the key to staying closer to people, being more responsive, helping more efficiently and letting them contact and obtain information in the way that is most convenient for them. The city portal, the airport, the zoo or the city’s tourist service are just the beginning of the journey. There is so much going on in our city, which develops at such a fast pace, that automating communication is an obvious option and a must for us to be constantly among the smart city leaders.
- City of Wrocław: handle the surge of inquiries from residents following the coronavirus pandemic outbreak as quickly as possible and set up an additional communication channel for them
- Wrocław Airport: streamlining the passenger service 24/7, 365 days a year
- Wrocław zoo: speed up the handling of incoming social media inquiries and reduce the workload of marketing and customer service staff
- Visit Wrocław: promoting Wrocław and Lower Silesia as well as attractions and infrastructure dedicated to tourists
In case of each of these roll-outs, the challenges and objectives were different. The pandemic outbreak triggered ripples of anxiety and thousands of repeated questions from people. The residents of Wrocław sought a reliable source of information on the day-to-day situation, risks, disease symptoms, medical appointments, restrictions, quarantine, vaccination or even the occupancy of hospital beds. The number of incoming messages presented a challenge that no one had been prepared for and could have completely disabled the possibility of direct contact with the city-side advisors. With an automated process and a chatbot developed under exceptional conditions in 24 hours, residents received answers to their questions right away. The massive number of queries became an excellent data source for further training of the chatbot.
The airport, on the other hand, is a continuous communication challenge, 24 hours a day, all week, all year round. It is a facility which is alive all the time, and passengers whose flights take place at night also need help right now. It’s a major infrastructure and a complex ecosystem that passengers need to be guided through efficiently. Ensuring that they were kept informed in real time and looked after at every stage was crucial in this case.
The Wrocław zoo is a perfect example of automating communication to relieve customer service of thousands of “repetitive” questions. The chatbot’s job was to provide directions, information
Chatbot has brought a new quality to customer experience. We respond immediately while solving real user problems. With this tool, we have more time for other forms of engaging our target audience. At the same time, they receive comprehensive answers to most of their questions. It not only took the workload off the person responsible for social media, but also the customer service team. At this point, the time spent on reviewing messages has decreased by 90 percent, yet our community is growing all the time, along with the number of messages exchanged. At this stage of social media activity, we cannot imagine going back to ‘manually’ answering every question.
The main objective for the Visit Wrocław chatbot was to promote the city and provide information attractive to tourists, such as events, accommodation, dining options, current weather, free Wi-Fi and public transport timetables. It was about entertainment and information, bringing tourism to Wrocław. This aspect of the city’s promotion has always played an important role in the Wrocław authorities’ strategy. In 2018, Wrocław was recognised and named the European Best Destination, outranking cities such as Milan, Amsterdam and Paris, and the year before, our solution for Visit Wrocław had won the Rose of the Regions contest, taking first place in the mobile app category. Based on the tourist traffic study, carried out on behalf of the City Promotion Division, it brought in around PLN 300 million to Wrocław’s budget in 2018.
Wrocław: the most interesting tourist destination in Europe
- Brand: Visit Wrocław
- Year of creation: 2017
- Implementation area: Messenger
Travelling to and from Wrocław
- Brand: Wrocław Airport
- Year of creation: 2018 – 2019
- Implementation area: Messenger + WWW
The oldest zoo in Poland is situated in Wrocław
- Brand: Wrocław Zoological Garden
- Year of creation: 2019
- Implementation area: Messenger
What makes Wrocław tick?
- Brand: Miasto Wrocław
- Year of creation: 2020
- Implementation area: Messenger + WWW
Results of chatbot implementations in the Wrocław smart city ecosystem
City of Wrocław:
- 35,000 chatbot users
- Over 200,000 messages (nearly 60,000 messages in the first week of the bot’s operation)
- 40,000 sessions
- Open Rate of daily newsletters on the pandemic situation at 80 percent
- 30,000 chatbot users
- Over 600,000 messages
- More than 60,000 sessions
- Over 70 percent of users’ inquiries handled by chatbot independently
Looking back at the two years of working together and the day-to-day use of the solution implemented by KODA, with all its potential and opportunities for us and our passengers, I can confidently say that it is an investment that pays off. Our clients’ satisfaction is the greatest proof here. We receive positive feedback from them every day, highlighting the efficiency and speed of the support they have received. We are very proud and it also proves that this type of tool is important for passengers. We can honestly say that we cannot imagine our communication without a chatbot and we know that it is worth investing in. The airport is a showcase of Wrocław, a city associated with modern technologies and pursuing the idea of Smart City. All the more we are delighted to be responsible for this development.
- 46,000 chatbot users
- Over 500,000 messages
- Nearly 60,000 sessions
- Nearly 80 percent of users’ inquiries handled by chatbot independently
It is a pleasure to work on such projects. Wrocław is our city, this is where we live, pay taxes, ride our bikes, take our children to the zoo, and from where we fly on holidays. It’s our own little universe and we just want to live a good life in it. Being able to work on projects which improve the quality and comfort of our lives, help develop our city, make it even more friendly, interesting, open, efficient and attractive to tourists gives us great satisfaction. We are bursting with pride that as KODA we have contributed our brick, or rather already several bricks, to the construction and development of Wrocław as a smart city.
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