When Matt Radwell, a customer support officer for a small local authority in the UK, first started answering queries from the area’s residents, it was a frustrating and time-consuming business.

If a resident contacted Aylesbury Vale District Council, 64km north of London, about an issue such as housing benefit in which he lacked expertise, Radwell might keep the caller waiting as long as 20 minutes. He had to find someone who could give him the relevant information.

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