SEDD offers “Chatbot" service through “WhatsApp for Business”


Sharjah Economic Development Department “SEDD” launched “Chatbot" service through “WhatsApp for Business”. This service aims at enriching the customer experience and enhancing communication channels in a smooth and simplified manner by applying best practices to provide digital services based on advanced systems. Such thing comes in line with SEDD’s plans to consolidate the government's goals to create an integrated digital environment and to support the digital transformation process. Also, it helps to reach SEDD services through multiple channels to enable customers to follow up on their business anywhere and anytime without the need to visit the Department. This supports attaining SEDD’s objectives to provide an attractive environment for investment and the practice of economic activity in the Emirate of Sharjah, in order to benefit from the information technology revolution in providing innovative and distinct solutions that enable investors to access the services they need from the Department with ease. The list of services in the WhatsApp for business chatbot application includes license renewal service, renewal of a trade name, as well as inquiries, complaints, reporting on licenses, and follow-up on requests.

The customer can use the services immediately after registering the number 0097165122222 to start communication, and follow the procedures until the completion of the service and its final receipt. The new feature relies on artificial intelligence techniques to respond to customers' inquiries through the "virtual assistant". This technique is distinguished by its ability to learn and absorb the needs of customers based on their inquiries, and analyze them according to the available data and evaluate them, and then take the necessary decision to answer and respond accurately to contribute to the completion of transactions with ease. The virtual assistant is also able to recognize registered users and interact with the customer according to the information provided, retrieve stored data from the user profile and end the conversation in an interactive manner. The service also ensures that customers' privacy is preserved, as all messages exchanged within the verified "WhatsApp" account are encrypted to ensure the highest levels of security and reliability.

Commenting on that, HE Sultan Abdullah bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, SEDD Chairman, confirmed that the Department works according to the directives of HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and the wise pursuit of HH Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of Sharjah Executive Council, to harness all human, material and technical capabilities, and to develop and offer all new services from advanced electronic platform that aims to simplify procedures for customers to implement the concept of digital government. This comes as a continuation of the quality approach followed by the Department, and within the SEDD’s development strategy that aims to benefit from modern technologies in enabling customers to continue their work anywhere and at any time without the need to visit it.

HE pointed out that the number of digital transactions during 2022 amounted to 424,638 transactions. This huge number reflects the Department's concerns to develop the level of its services provided to the public, investors and partners, by converting them to the digital mode. This facilitates procedures, reduces time and limits waste of resources, by providing innovative, easy and fast government services that encourage citizens and residents to benefit from them, which confirms the efficiency, durability and quality of the technical systems of SEDD and the continuous improvement processes pursued by the Department.

From his side, Ali Al Naqbi, Deputy Director of IT Department, said that “Chatbot" service through “WhatsApp for Business” has become an evolution of the customer experience and meets their needs faster due to the wide spread of social networking applications in addition to their ease of use. This comes within SEDD’s plans to provide fast and effective service, facilitate the conduct of transactions, and save time and effort for the investor in implementing them. The interactive chat via the WhatsApp application also allows customers to serve and respond to their inquiries and questions electronically about the services. This increases the accuracy and effectiveness of communication, while employing artificial intelligence to raise the program’s ability to better meet their needs and enable them to access the package of integrated digital services. It should be noted that the Department works to harness all human, material and technical capabilities, to develop and offer all that is new in terms of advanced digital services aimed at simplifying procedures for the customers, as we work hard to implement the concept of digital government.

Al Naqbi added that this interest is what drives us to work with a high degree of quality, more fluidity and accuracy, and to achieve the vision emanating from the strategy of Sharjah in particular and UAE in general, and in implementation of the directives of our wise leadership on the necessity of facilitating the public, providing the best services and using modern technologies.