When was the last time you heard someone express delight over their interaction with a government agency? People are far more likely to make known their unhappiness after a negative customer experience than they are to talk about a positive one. When this happens regarding a government agency, the media can be rather eager to help spread a bad word.
The work agencies do is difficult to begin with and is further impeded by legacy technology systems that don’t talk across departments and are inefficient, confusing, and redundant. Demand on these agencies has always pushed them to capacity, but the COVID-19 pandemic brought challenges to unprecedented levels. Cracks in those legacy systems have become too big to ignore.
What citizens want from agencies
Constituents have growing expectations of technology and its role in their lives. They have smart phones and are used to online retailers like Amazon making every interaction easy and efficient. They believe engaging with government agencies should be the same and want the option to connect on any platform, in whatever way they’re most comfortable. But reality often means calling multiple phone numbers and waiting on hold indefinitely, physically going to offices only to discover they’re missing critical documentation, submitting the same information over and over, and long waits to get answers or receive services.
Technology alone is not the answer. Government contact centers (or, as they’ve been known, government call centers) have unique process and management challenges that mere technological solutions won’t adequately address. For a solution to work, it must begin with the people who run the system and the people who use it; then it must address current challenges while being able to accommodate future adaptations.
A contact center solution in action
The State of Ohio approached this problem with a vision for a state-hosted centralized contact center that would help provide a consistent customer service experience across public assistance agencies throughout Ohio’s eighty-eight counties. They brought in Resultant to collaborate on the solution and facilitate the implementation of what became their Enterprise Contact Center (ECC).
To begin, we assessed their current technology status, sifting through how to optimize and standardize existing pieces. We helped them define exactly where they wanted to go—after all, a solution is pointless if it doesn’t help an organization move toward its desired outcomes while keeping in line with its mission and values. Proactive training and change management throughout iterations of the transition is essential; a solution won’t work if the people using it actively resist it because it doesn’t make their lives easier.
Modernized call center outcomes and impact
Ohio’s entire user experience accessing agencies has been streamlined and provides real-time eligibility information via ECC. Who doesn’t love things taking less time? This takes way less time. The state can now reallocate resources that were previously spent on those transactional tasks and direct them into active comprehensive case management services – further streamlining services for citizens.
Let’s state that very clearly: Ohio can now proactively address the root causes of generational poverty.
How many more great things are possible when technology serves your organization’s real purpose?
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