The public sector looks completely different in the wake of a global pandemic:
- COVID-19 forced governments to provide public services differently. AI and automation technologies have become significant investments for proactive outreach (anticipating citizens’ needs versus managing demand reactively) and offsetting high call volumes using digital self-service applications. Digital technology has opened the floodgates to providing more accessible and personalized services.
- Millions of government employees began working remotely within weeks of the viral outbreak. Telecommuting has become the norm, even for intelligence agencies employees who once had to work in secured and authorized facilities. Governments are adapting to a new reality as they reopen in a different environment.
- The pace with which governments move has dramatically changed. For decades, regulation in the public sector was a lengthy and inflexible process. Now, regulation is agile and adaptive, with service procurement happening fast, flexibly, and efficiently.
As we forge ahead, governments need a cloud contact center platform (Contact Center-as-a-Service – CCaaS) to improve citizen-facing services, workforce productivity and lay a better foundation for growth and innovation. CCaaS solutions use a subscription-based licensing model to provide cloud-based contact center software. The capabilities of CCaaS often surpass those of on-premises solutions because they are built with a high degree of flexibility and integration interfaces.
Here’s how the public sector benefits:
Elevated CX with personalized, digital service: All customer interactions start or move between digital channels like chat, SMS, social media, and in-app messaging. CCaaS allows customers to choose the option they feel most comfortable with, enabling organizations to quickly meet the needs of every customer while accommodating more inquires faster. This became vital during the pandemic as interaction volumes – especially for things like unemployment claims – hit the roof. Replacing your decades-old legacy contact center with a cloud-based system allows for newer, more dynamic customer experiences.
Intelligent, automated self-service: CCaaS allows for self-service applications like knowledge bases and chat and voice bots that measurably improve customer effort, average handle time, and customer satisfaction. CCaaS also enables organizations to redirect or deflect customers calling from a mobile device to a digital self-service experience. For example, a public health department could redirect mobile callers calling about the COVID-19 vaccine to a related FAQ on their website. Doing so can help save valuable costs and time.
Automated notifications: Enable cloud-based notifications to automatically reach out to citizens with alerts. Many CCaaS solutions include optional response tracking, location requests, text interaction, and auto-forms. For example, a DMV could use this to create a virtual waiting system for residents needing to take care of things like driver’s licenses or passport renewals. Governments can also send proactive notifications to reach out to large groups of citizens to update them on changes in policies, procedures, hours of operation, and more.
Next-level agility: On-premises contact center solutions have been relied on for decades and are not inferior. The demands of the digital era, however, have made them less viable as we move forward. Scalability and flexibility are essential to businesses – now more than ever after the effects of the pandemic – and CCaaS supports these concerns. Companies can easily scale to accommodate increased demand, move faster to adapt and improve, and much more.
Data consolidation and management: Accenture reported last year that 84% of citizens are willing to share personal information with government agencies if it would enhance customer service. The unified nature of CCaaS enables organizations to create an effective, enterprise-wide data management strategy that leverages the kind of intelligence needed to deliver outstanding citizen experiences. This is especially important in the public sector, which has notoriously lagged in this area.
Better employee/agent experience – from anywhere: CCaaS solutions provided by vendors like Google and Amazon offer tools that empower employees/agents to work more productively with better context, responsiveness, and satisfaction. For example, Agent Assist for Chat has been proven to help agents manage up to 28% more conversations concurrently and respond to chats up to 15% faster. These solutions can be used wherever agents happen to be working, using any device.