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Department of Informatics Information Management Research Group

Improving Public Service with Conversational A.I.

The Future of Corporate Identity Training with Pedagogical Conversational Agents

A strong and consistent corporate identity (CI) of public administrations is an important pillar of high-quality citizen service. It helps to build trust and credibility with citizens, leading to more effective and efficient interactions. However, building and maintaining a strong CI is not an easy task for public administrations. For instance, unclear and poorly implemented organizational rules make it difficult for citizens to reach public servants. Existing workplace learning programs to train employees in these areas, are poorly received and considered ineffective. Building on new technological developments, this research projects explores the possibilities of revolutionizing workplace learning with the support of Conversational Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and to promote an understanding of corporate identity among employees through personalized and motivating learning experiences.



Corporate Identity and Citizen Service

In today's rapidly digitalizing world, government agencies and municipalities are working hard to offer the best possible services to citizens. But despite the introduction of new technologies, the importance of a direct contact and accessibility of government agencies, either through telephone, e-mail, or in person, cannot be overstated. Studies show that individuals still prefer to call or visit an office when they need to solve a problem or to make a decision. Thus, providing consistent and coherent interaction with citizen across different communication channels is an essential pillar in good citizen service. This is where a strong and lived corporate identity comes into play. 

A consistent corporate identity of public administration is important for the interaction with citizens as it helps establish trust and credibility. When citizens contact public administrations, they want to feel confident that they are speaking with a representative who has a clear understanding of the organization's mission, values, and policies. By presenting a consistent corporate identity, public administration can demonstrate its professionalism and commitment to providing high-quality service. With the development of a strong corporate identity, public administration can build a positive reputation and foster trust with citizens, leading to more effective and efficient interactions.

However, our research has shown that public administrations face great challenges to establish a consistent corporate identity for high quality citizen service. For example, citizen frequently encounter difficulties of reaching public servants or are overwhelmed by unclear organizational rules (e.g., business hours or responsibilities).  Together with the University of Public Administration and Finance Ludwigsburg (HVF Ludwigsburg), it has been investigated in a long-term study since 2012, how municipalities can improve their external communications, in particular the telephone service and reachability, by introducing clear measures, guidelines, and training programs. Nonetheless, due to COVID-19 restrictions and workload problems, the implementation of these measures slowed down or were no longer feasible.

Unleashing the Power of Conversational A.I. for Corporate Identity Training

Artificial intelligence and natural language processing technologies in form of chatbots or speech-based conversational agents (e.g., Apple Siri or Amazon Alexa) have reached the mass market and found great proliferation in people’s private and professional life. In organizations, Conversational A.I. is used in various contexts, e.g., to enhance customer and advisory services, to support creative work or to provide an improved learning experience for students. The IMRG and HVF Ludwigsburg expand the scope of Conversational A.I. by leveraging state of the art speech technology to develop a Pedagogical Conversational Agent that supports public administrations’ corporate identity management. The quest of this digital coach: to revolutionize workplace learning and promote an understanding of the corporate identity among employees through personalized and motivating learning experiences.

Together with two cities – Sindelfingen und Neckarsulm (Baden-Württemberg, Germany), the IMRG and HVF Ludwigsburg investigate ways to improve workplace learning by implementing a digital agent in different ways. The project leads to the understanding of how a Pedagogical Conversational Agent must be designed to

  • be able to be integrated into workplace learning (in particular, CI training), 
  • replace or complement an analog trainer,
  • to identify design principles for a Pedagogical Conversational Agent and 
  • to identify differences in learning outcomes with/without a Pedagogical Conversational Agent.

Student theses within our project

Join us in our quest to enhance citizen service in public administrations by developing a corporate identity training supported by a Pedagogical Conversational Agent. Learn how we're improving learning settings, developing pedagogical digital agents, and discovering the difference in learning outcomes with and without a digital agent. Let's make sure that every call and every email of citizen are answered promptly, efficiently, and professionally.