Delivering support when it's needed the most - The public sector contact centre
Author: Russell, Public Sector Accounts at 8X8
What challenges did this public sector organisation have?
Like many public sector bodies, they told us that making efficient use of existing resources was a key priority. The organisation's old contact centre system was not fit for purpose. The agency was receiving over 20,000 inbound calls per month — and citizens complained of long queues. Other important stakeholders were also kept waiting. And if the agency appeared in the news, it would trigger a deluge of extra calls on top.
When we sat down to discuss the situation, it was immediately obvious that their 30 different phone numbers and 60 different email addresses were causing confusion. Clients didn’t know which number to contact — and calls often needed to be passed from team to team, using up highly-skilled case worker resource.
This government agency needed to focus on delivering support when citizens need it the most.
How did introducing 8x8’s contact centre solutions improve efficiency?
With a cloud-based virtual contact centre that included analytics, call recording and remote working capabilities the government agency was able to make better use of their in-house expertise. Changes to their new interactive voice response (IVR) messages and call flow could be handled within hours rather than weeks or months, keeping the agency in step with the demands of fluctuating workloads.
What was the immediate impact of having a user-friendly contact centre and call analytics?
VOIP calls are routed to the right person, first time, with far less waiting. They have also been able to consolidate vast number of phone numbers and email addresses. Meanwhile, other stakeholders can get ultra-fast answers via web chat.
The agency now gets access to vital call data and understands more about the needs of callers. This has allowed managers to spot bottlenecks and improve service quality. We realised the organisation’s website and online case tracking could do much of the heavy lifting by providing information in better ways. This has paid off spectacularly. Incoming calls have reduced from 20,000 to 14,000 per month.
Now, when their services get mentioned in the media, the agency doesn't get knocked off its feet by a surge of calls. Managers can now quickly update the IVR to provide just the information that citizens need. Calls can be handled more efficiently and it's easier to add licences if staff numbers need ramping up.
How have staff been affected by the changes?
Employee productivity has risen by 25%. That’s thanks, in part, to less time being wasted passing calls between teams, and call recording helps with training and sharing best practice. Meanwhile, the new system's ever-evolving knowledge base tool gives more team members the confidence to answer complex queries in a consistent way.
Many case staff now choose to work from home using the contact centre which has boosted morale and job satisfaction.
Were there any unexpected results?
The success of the project has led the Ministry to divert more work to the contact centre, relieving the pressure on other government agencies. The contact centre has increased from 55 to around 80 employees. Helping other government departments was a welcome side effect of improving efficiency.
What’s next for the customer?
The agency’s virtual contact centre is now attracting attention of decision-makers across government. Other agencies looking to roll out similar contact centres system to allow staff to work more flexibly visit regularly.
But that’s not all. The agency is now looking to increase the use of web chat, add email integration and connect its CRM, taking client engagement to the next level.
To find out more about creating a more efficient contact centre, why not Register your interest here for UC EXPO 2019!