Good customer service is an emphasis for the City of Bakersfield, and to make it easier for residents to let us know when something needs to be fixed, or just to find out when their trash gets picked up, we are launching a new customer service platform, Archie!
Archie includes an accessible web chat assistant on the City’s website and a text message feature. It was launched in partnership with Citibot, the leading provider of interactive chat solutions for local government.
With Archie – named in reference to the well-recognized Bakersfield Arch – residents can quickly and easily get answers to their questions, find information on various city services, submit service requests, send a message to staff, or sign up for text message notifications. The platform was developed with the latest AI-driven chatbot technology, allowing the City to automate and scale its customer service efforts to help with the day-to-day needs of both staff and residents.
Archie’s web chat service can be found on the City’s website. Both desktop and mobile users will notice the feature on the bottom right section of their browser window. Clicking on the icon launches a chat window, greeting residents and prompting them to enter their questions or service requests.
To start a conversation via text message, residents can text “Hello” to 855-513-2533. Archie immediately responds with a short greeting explaining the ways residents can use the service and a link to sign up for text message notifications.
If at any time during the interaction a Bakersfield resident needs assistance or help from City staff, they can send in a message with Archie and the appropriate staff member can follow up with them.
“We are very excited to provide this new service to our residents. It will be easier than ever for a resident to find what they’re looking for or get an answer quickly, 24/7, without needing to wait for a staff member to receive and respond to it,” said City Manager Christian Clegg. “One of our goals is to be the most customer service friendly city in California and Archie will be an invaluable tool in accomplishing that.”
Based in Charleston, SC, Citibot LLC was formed in 2016 with a mission of making cities and counties accessible for all. Bratton Riley, Citibot’s co-founder and CEO, was inspired by the evolution of the conversational chatbot and its ability to help governments be more accessible and accountable to every resident
“People’s expectations of high-quality customer service are ever-increasing,” said Riley. “Cities like Bakersfield are leading the way by delivering powerful solutions to maximize efficiency and enhance access to information and vital services.”