Smart cities around the world implement a lot of innovative technologies to ease the communication with their residents. Moscow has evaluated world’s city contact centers and examined their performance. According to the study, the leading cities are New York and Moscow, which implemented the largest number of smart technologies in their contact centers.

Moscow, December 6 – Moscow IT Department conducted a study on the contact centers in 20 cities including Hong Kong, New York, Moscow, San Francisco, Toronto, Barcelona, London among many others. The analysts studied the best practices in digital technologies introduced and applied when communicating with residents.

The study has analyzed seven different smart technologies used by city governments to put customer experience to a brand new level. The technologies to be implemented include the following: robot operator, big data analysis, emotion recognition, voice biometrics, video call with sign interpretation, AI-based optimization, omnichannel approach (synergy between mobile applications, social networks, video calls). Interestingly, the omnichannel approach as one of the most common used technology contributes to a higher number of requests from the citizens per year, implying a stronger bond with citizens.

According to the study, the leaders in implemented smart technologies among the cities’ contact centers are New York and Moscow.

1 NEW YORK 6 Omnichannel approach, robot operator, voice biometrics, AI-based optimization, big data analysis, video call
1 MOSCOW 6 Omnichannel approach, robot operator, voice biometrics, AI-based optimization, big data analysis, emotion recognition
3 HONG KONG 3 Omnichannel approach, big data analysis, emotion recognition

Moscow results are triggered by its development of own AI-based virtual assistant who has been serving the residents from the beginning of 2014. Now the robot proceeds with 838 000 calls per month and reduces the operators’ workload by 40 percent. Prior the call the robot has the citizens’ data ready: age and gender, usage of city apps, requested documents status, fines and debts.

Strategy and Innovations Advisor to CIO of Moscow Andrey Belozerov notes: “This study sheds the light on importance of smart technologies when communicating with residents. The cities should let their residents to solve any issue related to their urban life as quickly as possible. Here in Moscow we are dedicated to further embrace AI technologies in our contact center. Our AI based virtual assistant works around-the clock-every day in a week and this is something that a human cannot achieve. We aim to disengage human operators from easy routine tasks and let them work with more complex issues”.

The robot advises Muscovites on various points including issues with payment for utility bills, changes in tariffs for utility services, provides the address of the nearest multifunctional center My documents and its working hours, informs on the status of social card or economic patent among many more.

The virtual operator improves its pronunciation in real time thanks to self-training AI-based algorithm. Besides while calling the virtual assistant identifies and tracks residents’ emotional coloring. It allows enhancing the quality of communication between citizens and government.

Starting from now the virtual assistant is to evaluate the citizens’ level of satisfaction by the provided services. The residents will be contacted only by a robot and the operators will be redistributed to incoming calls. The future plan in Moscow is to implement video calls with sign language as an alternative channel of communication with people with hearing and/or speech limited capabilities.

Moscow city contact center is one of the most highly-demanded hotlines in Moscow. In 2017 the city hotline served 24 million requests with an annual increase in a number of calls by 40 percent. This year the contact center receives 3 million calls per month. Each minute an operator receives 70 requests. Pending for a call is less than 45 seconds until the operator answers 95 percent of the requests. According to surveys, 90 percent of people are satisfied with the level of service, and 96 percent of respondents confirmed that their problem was solved the first time.


The IT Department of the Moscow Government (DIT) is responsible for building IT infrastructure that aims to transform Moscow into a smart city.  Projects capitalize on digital technologies to improve the lives of citizens and the efficiency of government structures. The implemented projects include e-Government, Digital Public Services, the Unified Medical Information System, the Moscow Online School, the Intellectual Public Transport System, Wi-Fi city solutions and many others.


In order to evaluate cities’ performance the analysts additionally created qualitative and quantitative KPI’s:


  • SL – service level
  • CSAT – customer satisfaction
  • FCR – first contact resolution
  • CHT – call handling time
  • ToA – time to answer
  • Number of lines
  • Average number of calls per day
  • Number of requests per year
  • Number of requests per citizen per year
  • Number of employees


More information on the study can be found here



Since 2018 a part of the calls to the NYC311 city contact center are handled by a virtual operator based on the self-trained IBM Watson system. The answers of the virtual operator will eventually become more and more similar to the answers of a human being.


Hong Kong’s 1823 call center uses a semantic analysis system which allows to identify patterns of behavior and the preconditions of residents’ complaints, as well as to identify hidden problems at the level of districts or social groups (e.g. area check for ecology conditions after residents report on a few death cases of local flocks of birds). Importantly, Hong Kong doesn’t focus on time spent on the solution of the question per call, but HK aims to mandatory resolve the request of a resident within one call without any transfers. It means that the average handling time for one call in HK’s contact center is 2.5 times more than in any city considered, accounting for 444 seconds, but at the same time, the share of requests solved from the first time is 99%, which is the highest performance. In comparison, at the contact center in Berlin the average handling time is almost 3 times lower than in Hong Kong, but only 65% ??of them are solved from the first time.


London’s Talksafe uses an advanced voice biometric technology that is able to identify residents by analyzing over 100 unique characteristics of their voices.


Barcelona’s 010 Service uses Atento technology which allows determining how satisfied the customer is with the service provided.

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