4. April 2017

Splashy, the first ever chatbot for water meter reading transmition worldwide!

People spend a lot of time on Facebook. In addition, many have a hectic everyday life and appreciate services that can be used via the Internet, regardless of their current location and time.

Our innovative developers are constantly looking out for product extensions that can make the lives of water suppliers easier. In the autumn of 2016 a new idea began to flourish in our office – why don’t we let citizens transmit their water meter readings via a Facebook chatbot. We looked it up, we asked around and were surprised to find out that there is no such service out there! We knew we were stepping into something big, which had the power to change the water sector forever. For this reason, we are now launching “Splashy”, a virtual personal assistant for water metering reading. You can chat with splashy at https://www.facebook.com/waterloo.splashy/

More and more people are using chatbots because they appreciate the numerous advantages it gives while doing their daily tasks. The term “bot” stands for robots and refers to a software that is capable of performing certain tasks completely independently and automatically. With the ever-increasing computer performance, Chatbot systems can also access more extensive data volumes faster and offer intelligent dialogs for the user. The knowledge of our chatbot is obtained from WATERLOO’s database of the water provider.

Our chatbot Splashy communicates with the citizens via the Facebook Messenger and guides them through the most important steps of water meter readings. Information such as meter number, customer number and meter reading are recorded and sent to the respective water supplier in less than 2 minutes. In addition, Splashy recognizes erroneous data and gives citizens tips like where they can find their user number.

The birth of the idea

We place great importance into the relationship with our customers and always look forward to likes, comments and feedback. We had the experience of the biggest eulogies arriving at 2 o’clock at night and mostly via Facebook. One such came not to long ago, from a fan named Florian Zach from Bad Vöslau, exactly at 02.08 in the morning.

Hello folks, I’ve come across your site in my all-nightly world improvement mode. You have great ideas and their implementation brings us all foward,“says Florian Zach. “You are doing great things, hopefully we can achieve some further improvements in Bad Vöslau with your innovations, is the WLV already a customer?“, he asked subsequently.

At first, we were surprised how often and at what time of the day customers contacted us via Facebook. Today however, we know that Austrians spend about 200 minutes a day online in average. A big chunk of that time relates to Facebook. The statistics show that even 3.7 million Austrians are active on Facebook, every day! For Germany, the latest official number stands at 28 million users!

The sending of short messages and chatting via messenger has also become an essential part of our everyday life. Many people can not imagine the world without programs such as Apple’s Siri. Chatbots are also becoming more and more popular as they are mostly user-friendly and very convenient. One of our own employees recently had a positive experience when she booked the whole family holiday directly through a Chatbot.

Splashy offers numerous advantages for water suppliers and their customers

Not only citizens, but also water suppliers can benefit from the numerous advantages of our latest product expansion. We have summarized some advantages for water utilities and their citizens:

The benefits for your citizens:

  • This service is completely free for citizens.
  • Direct meter readings save valuable time and nerves for citizens.
  • No stress around the reeding appointment agreement.
  • Citizens enjoy the perfect temporal and local flexibility.
  • This service ensures better quality of life and customer satisfaction.
  • Splashy detects erroneous meter numbers and helps citizens avoid typing errors.
  • Transmission confirmation via e-mail as proof.

 

The benefits for water providers

  • Reach your citizens, where they spend their free time. Facebook is the most used communication tool of today.
  • Water suppliers, who offer this service to their citizens, position themselves as trend-conscious opinion leaders.
  • It is an innovative citizen-service for municipalities pushing a high quality of life as well as closer proximity to the citizens in their municipality.
  • Absolute error prevention by means of direct meter reading by the consumer, without annoying typing of from reading cards.
  • Splashy detects erroneous data and gives citizens useful tips in order to make the transmission error-free and enjoyable.
  • Saving time, money and work during the readout – significant reduction of the cost of acquisition by up to 70%!
  • Citizens can also send a photo of their water meter to you.
  • Simple use of an instantly working system. You don’t need a server nor to install any software – it does not get any easier!

 

No Facebook? No problem!

Water counts must be recorded. Alternatively, read-out cards are sent to citizens which they afterwards return to the municipality or the water provider in several different ways. However, in most cases, work is still required to transfer the information from those cards into the billing system. Through WATERLOO, water providers can integrate their citizens into the management of water meter data in several cost- and time-saving ways. In addition to Splashy, we offer three more options for the meter data transmission via citizens:

the WATERLOO App – citizens have the possibility to carry out meter readings themselves and to transfer the data quickly and simply to their water supplier via a smartphone (Android or iphone). You can download the app on the following links – Android or iphone.
the WATERLOO Webservice – on this easy-to-use and effective website, citizens can easily transfer the meter reading data directly to the administration system of their water supplier. Simple, time and cost-saving! Visit the website at www.zählerstand.io
the WATERLOO Hotline – the citizens transmit their meter number, customer number and counter reading via a fully automatic telephonehotline. They additionaly  receive a transfer confirmation by means of a short message. Easy and fast.

 

You are not a WATERLOO customer yet or have not yet persued this WATERLOO module? Contact us today, so that your citizens can use this unique service as soon as tomorrow.

 

Share this article