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From automated answers via email

May 24, 2005

One year after the implementation of Autom@il for free dial up costumers of (, were presented the results of a survey on the quality of the service.

“The opinion expressed on Autom@il is good”, says Francesco Di Perna, responsible for the Internet Customer Area of Telecom Italia Media. “A survey on customers that have contacted the service shows how, although the answering service is automated, the satisfaction of customers matches our pre-defined quality goals, even though of course it is slightly inferior to that of the costumers of the call center; moreover, about 60% of the sample expressed the intention of asking for support via email, in case of future need. A valuable result indeed, especially considering that when Autom@il was first designed, we knew we were facing an important challenge: it was an extremely innovative solution, a unique case in the Italian market, and anticipating the reaction of the customers was not an easy task.

Autom@il, realized by DeS – Delco Services and relying on Expert System’s technologies, is the free automated help service chosen by to improve the efficiency of the services offered to the customers.

The free customer, by filling a web form on the support portal of ( sends a support request, and Autom@il is immediately launched. Relying on COGITO®, the exclusive semantic platform of Expert System for Knowledge Management and Information Mining, the text undergoes a complete morphological, syntactical and semantic analysis. During this, the main subjects are found and categorized. In fact, by individuating specific semantic domains (categories), the content is categorized conceptually. At this point, the concepts expressed in the queries are compared to the contents of the database, and the correct answers are retrieved and sent automatically to the customer.

All this happens very quickly – in less than a minute – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in a completely autonomous way.ù

And what’s more, Autom@il is so “intelligent” to understand also what cannot be understood. In fact, when the system cannot individuate with precision the meaning of the message, because for example the text is long or particularly complex, it provides no answer, and forwards the requests directly to an operator.

“Relying on this advanced and innovative solution” – says Di Perna – “we could obtain a sensible reduction of the operative costs, at the same time maintaining an adequate degree of costumer satisfaction. Already during the experimental phase, in fact, more than 70% of the requests, received a correct and accurate answer. An average that has remained unchanged, and today the projections of future behaviour show a clear preference of customers for support via mail. Also, the implementation of Autom@il has brought an increase in the number of pages seen on our web site, as it is an effective and accurate “bridge” to the many in-depth analyses available on the support portal.


The on-line presentation of the service:
For DeS-Delco Services, see the web site and the case history of


For Expert System, se the page dedicated to the COGITO ® platform
and the case history about

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