Evolve for Government: Future-proof the Citizen Experience: How the Pandemic Provides an Opportunity to Become More Citizen-centric
The COVID-19 pandemic placed a huge burden on government agencies, especially those that suddenly faced skyrocketing call volumes. Meanwhile, the rapid acceleration to remote work upended the norms in the traditionally brick-and-mortar call center environment. This unexpected shift may have exposed gaps in how prepared agencies are to manage a sudden surge in demand, but it also presents an opportunity to consider what future contact centers could look like.
Join our TTEC government experts, Amber Rosebaugh and Jim Ziaja, as well as Rosetta Carrington Lue, Director of Industry Principal State & Local Government at Pega, as they examine how government agencies can modernize call centers to make them more resilient and scalable and improve the citizen experience in the “new normal.” They’ll discuss:
- How a modern call center can help you better adjust to and manage sudden surges in call volumes
- How to connect with citizens where and how they want, and enable your agency to demonstrate empathy through proactive outreach
- Case study examples of jurisdictions that are gradually modernizing call centers to become more efficient, while enabling employees to interact with citizens quickly and efficiently from a remote environment and efficiently from a remote environment
- My name is Rosetta Carrington Lue, and I am the industry principal director for state and local government here at PEGA. Prior to joining PEGA, I was the White House presidential executive fellow and senior executive assigned to the veterans administration. I am also, formally, the chief customer experience officer and deputy managing director for the city of Philadelphia. Today, I have the pleasure of speaking with two representatives from TTEC. Jim Ziaja, VP, Managed Services, Public Sector, and Amber Rosebaugh, director, government technology strategist. TTEC is a global customer experience technology and services company focused on the design, implementation, and delivery of exceptional customer experience. That's a large portfolio. So today, Jim and Amber will focus their discussion on the current trends, impact, and citizens' experience, and identify proven strategies to aid government leaders to be more citizen-centric. You know, I recently read a survey that showed that citizens experience and their expectations are continuing to rise even in a pandemic or even in weather-related crisis. So, what's going on, what do we do? Well, the good news is government leaders are recognizing that challenge and are seeking solutions to future-proof that citizens' experience. So Jim, based on TTEC's experience working closely with federal, state, and local government leaders and agencies, what have been some of the common pitfalls that you've witnessed during the crisis for environmental challenges? And also how has TTEC help citizens' experience leaders steer in the right direction?
- Yeah, so, thanks, Rosetta. So some common pitfalls we see are not implementing a full suite of channels in addition to voice, and then not including mobile apps, SMS messaging, and other things like this. And then the second one is quick implementation of automation, and including tools such as IVR and agent assist to help the caller's experience. And so we try to steer clients to implement these from the start and, you know, it comes out with a much better result at the end. So I have some examples here of solutions we've implemented recently. And the first one you'll see is the American Red Cross. Red cross is a longterm partner of TTEC. And we support them, you know, in normal times. But then when a disaster hits, a flood, a hurricane, we ramp up support. And the example here is how we set up 191 person call center in a matter of hours to have volunteers come in and staff us, such as the National Guard to be able to take calls in and to assist people in need. And the second example as you'll see is FEMA. Frequently, when a hurricane hits, or floods, or other disasters, FEMA is the agency overseeing that. And in this example here, in addition to taking all of our, many of our US centers, all of our centers in Texas, our at-home capabilities, we set up three pop-up centers in the Houston area for volunteers to come in and take calls and assist people in need. And then the third example is in the data breach area. TTEC support say a major credit reporting agency. So when there's a data breach, when someone steals your personal information, your social security numbers, things like that, we can ramp up to a thousand agents in 72 hours to bring the support needed. So these are just a few of the examples we have that show how we respond to emergency situations.
- Wow, those are incredible customer success stories. So tell me, Amber, how can agencies avoid the common pitfalls and future proof their evolving contact centers? Because I know in my experience, when implementing strategies to improve the customer experience, you run into lots of challenges from budgets to culture. So what advice would you give government leaders who are responsible for improving and managing their citizens experience?
- I think those are some great questions, Rosetta. And I think back to my time in the military and learning that the one constant is change. And so, you know, when we look at the new demands on the contact center, it's really flattening that curve. And so that we make sure that the citizens that need that human touch at that immediate time are able to get through. And it's not just on their time, but, you know, we don't want them to hit a busy signal. And so that's where it's really key to flatten that curve. And so when we look at all of the next new technology out there, it can be very overwhelming and can be, and at times can be costly to over, to implement. And so what my favorite thing to do is to work with government agencies to take it a step at a time to make sure you're getting that return on your investment and to make sure that you're driving the citizen satisfaction that you want to get. And then humanizing that technology. So just like we use Alexa at home, giving, you know, enabling your IVR to do self assist, enabling your agents through robotic desktop automation, so that some of those mundane tasks that they're doing, that could be prone to error, you're reducing your error, the risk. But they're able to focus more in on that citizen experience. And then again, the citizen experience is improved by that reduction in handle time. But lastly, you're really empowering the agent to dig deep and really be able to assist the citizens on an even deeper level. But you're also empowering them to progress in their career and preparing the agency for the future.
- Thank you Jim and Amber for sharing your insights and expertise with us today.
- Thank you, Rosetta.
- Yes, thank you, Rosetta, it was a pleasure.
- Want to learn more information about and continue the discussion about citizens' experience, visit TTEC's virtual booth.
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