As life becomes more intense, people’s demands for all institutions are soaring at a rapid pace. The private sector strives for the best customer service initiative. The government sector needs to provide a seamless experience.
In this issue, we invite you to see how exactly government institutions improve customer satisfaction and call center performance to meet citizens' demands.
What’s the demand for a government to have an effective gov call center?
There are only two ingredients for an astonishing contact center experience. And there’s simply no substitute for these crucial elements, and here they are:
- The speed. Government customer service is better when the agent achieves the actual verbal insights from a person and will able to provide the service immediately
- The accuracy. The margin of the mistake during government customer service dramatically decreases as people clearly spell out what exactly they need from the agency. While text messaging in rush can make contact center operators guess about the issue. And as a result, loss of a valuable time for the solution.
How are technologies transforming government customer service?
Technologies are putting both the government and society on another level in a positive way. Whether it’s the local or national call center, the communication techs allow to speed up the exchange of information as never before.
While the phone call is at the top of the communication chain, the omnichannel government call center solutions are a way to make it even better.
If we take the private sector, it shows more flexibility and performance in terms of digital transformation. Almost all businesses strive to establish a presence across all digital channels. And they’re keeping a sharp eye on emerging trends in communication.
Government customer service with the new ways of communication
Yes, citizens' expectations from government customer service are higher today not only because of the rising consumer expectations yet due to intense working and living conditions. Let’s look at what they are:
- The necessity of rapid communication in the private sector
- As a result of the factor above, the necessity to have reliable and rapid two-sided communication in the case of government customer service.
Government customer service that saves time. The speed and the quality of communication are improving citizen-government relationships.
The major obstacles the public sector encounters with
Every head of the government branch should keep an eye on the predictable number of phone contacts per month, quarter, and even whole year. That’s just what the top private call centers are doing while selling goods and services.
But in the case of the public sector, it’s even more important to forecast the ups and downs of the public’s needs in order to absorb people’s inquiries. And by keeping high public service standards. Here are the most common challenges:
Keeping the government employees in a shape. Modern government call center solutions sheer the services via better agent performance. Today, accuracy rather than speed comes the first place for citizens.
That’s why the heads of public departments must improve their own value as well as their employee’s service performance. The only way to reach this goal is to keep them in the shape regarding the knowledge of the up-to-date subject in which they serve: education, transportation, health care, and the list go on.
As well as to keep the agent’s communication skills to provide the service without people’s aggravation.
Government employee teams. According to the data, nearly all government institutions have aging service staff. For instance, in the UK, most public employees are 50-59 age. The implications could be the performance in both knowledge and communication skills. With all due respect, aging people act slower than their younger colleagues.
Thus it’s important for modern governments to think about the future of their staff by educating and hiring the younger generation to the public sector.
Current citizen's needs
Precision and the quality of the service in the public sector will improve current relationships between the people and the government. For example, if a citizen or a company requests a certain package of documents regarding their business or personal activity – what matter is how fast the citizen will achieve the result.
How fast are the emergency services capable to provide assistance?
The speed of response on emergency calls such to drive firefighters, ambulances, and police, in the right direction – is the subject of the call center industry.
Frankly, there are millions of cases each year people are reporting about the slowness of the emergency service as well as the state and local government. Is it because of the emergency call center’s agent performance? Or perhaps this is about technology in their possession? Anyway, it’s the subject of people’s concern today.
The call centers systems in the local and national public sector
The issue regarding the PBX and other outdated systems are boiling down to these basic questions:
- Are the PBX systems and other traditional telephony systems capable to meet today’s needs of the public?
- Should heads of the public branches consider the transition to the new telephony systems due to the growing costs of the PBX?
Well, that’s a well-known fact that even in the G7 countries, the public sector still uses outdated PBX systems. Don’t get us wrong. These systems were effective in the early 1970s and late 2010. But that’s not the case anymore.
The costs of maintenance and update are putting the budgets and the speed of communication between public servants and people – in danger. The budget constraints are holding heads of departments from:
The hiring of new government agents. If people are waiting too long in the queue then in most cases, that's due to the lack of staff.
Training. The more budget will be free from the maintenance and update of the systems – the more time and money the public sector has on the training agents.
And salary. The professional work of government employees can be rewarded because of the reduction of expenses.
Time on the recovery. If systems are outdated it could slow down communication and in some cases: shut it down for a short period of time.
That’s what the legacy of the PBX systems looks like. Once the system was very effective but perhaps now it’s time to change.
Is there a single branch of the government that doesn’t need a call center?
Actually, there are no more branches of that kind today. Because people are living either in the jurisdiction of a branch or leave close by one of them. Thus the inbound customer service and all other calls from citizens will be directed to the closest public branch.
If we’re talking about national or federal public institutions, it’s important that it’d have a reliable gov call center. These are the institutions with thousands of households in the jurisdiction. Each household has a different need and will give and receive a call from a call center.
Let’s shed the light on the US and ways to improve the government contact center
Elementary, middle, and high schools sector
The education sector is the largest sector in terms of US government employees. All three parts of the sector: elementary, middle, and high schools in a summary have more than 7 million government employees. It’s clear that the number of households in their jurisdiction is the largest in the US.
Talking about the necessity of a call center for the educational sector – it helps to have a reliable call center to improve citizens' application processing.
What’s more, by keeping the maintenance and updates costs within the limited budget range, a government contact center will serve the intellectual strength of the country.
The backbone of the nation: police, hospitals and health-care
These two sectors take second and third place in the number of service employees. The police have more than 900.000 employees across the country. While the number of hospital workers consists of over 885.000 workers. The health sector holds more than 400.000 active-working employees.
The jurisdiction area of these three institutions is huge. And because the phone is ringing in each of these institutions almost unstoppable 24 hours a day, a good communication tool such as a virtual call center can make the work easy.
Public welfare and Correction institutions
Over 500.000 active-duty government employees are currently engaged in this sector. They are keeping one of the most important jobs in the US. They are keeping the citizen’s welfare and meeting the people’s needs on a 24/7 basis. Around 700.000 employees are serving in the correction sector.
For now, there are over 470.000 active-working employees in the transportation system. By keeping the delivery of goods and services across highways and railroads not only on the local but on the national contact center level as well. Because they make people receive the basest and most common products.
That’s why communication, both internal and external must be at the top level of performance. In case of a lack of communication, there are transportation accidents as well as a lack of information exchange can occur.
Judicial and legal
This public sector holds over 400.000 active-duty employees. In today’s constantly changing legal environment, citizens must have easy access to the institution. As well as the communication between the agents will help to provide this.
The number of employees in this sector hovers around 400.000. That allows citizens to give access to the necessary information and services on the regular basis. Some people claim that this sector could be more responsive and transparent. First of all, they wish to see more live-talking with the agents. According to Statista research in 2022.
Firefighters with all of their departments consist of around 350.000 employees. This is the emergency service every citizen respect and wishes to have constant contact with, if necessary.
How good government call centers should be?
Let’s discuss the key features of government call centers. Because the government sector has more households in their jurisdiction area, much more than any private businesses, they need to comply with the basic features to meet the people’s needs.
What are the citizen’s preferences?
- According to 62.3% of respondents, citizens wish to reduce the goal-achieving stress in pursuing government call center solutions, if possible
- Less than half of the people (47.5%), stated their data isn’t used effectively. Head of call centers capable to turn it in the positive direction by training their employees better
- Around 71% of people are trying to solve their issues singlehandedly before they are calling to a government contact center. Interestingly, the same situation is in the private sector as well.
The role of the inbound government contact center
Because people always tend to call more to government institutions than to receive calls, the capacity to receive inbound calls is one of the primary features. In some cases, people are able to contact you via chat messages, social media, or even email. Thus the government contact center must provide unified contact center operations for receiving all phone calls and messages in one box.
Routing to the relevant agent within one call
One of the most frustrating situations is when a person reaches an irrelevant agent of a government institution by calling a public number. What causes the people’s frustration is: reaching the irrelevant department or an agent.
But what makes the situation challenging, is when an agent must transfer the call to another department or agent. In this case, citizens are losing the time, patience as well as the desire to contact government institutions.
To solve this issue, the inbound call center of the government agency must have a smart routing system, which allows the connection of the relevant agencies with the citizen in a split second.
And it certainly must be conducted within one call. Heads of the branches as well as front-agents are know how to arrange the smart routing system. In making a decision regarding routing, heads must consult with their agents.
Best ways to manage call queue management in government call centers
The vast majority of people are reporting about the overall underperformance in the waiting times during calling government agencies. Some cases are reaching more than 30 minutes of waiting. There are two issues regarding this problem:
- The lack of agents and integrated analytics platform
- Or this is about poor queue management, where people aren’t contacting the agents
- If that occurs frequently, people dismiss their expectations regarding government institution performance.
Thus, it’s important to arrange the inbound call queue in a way to reduce these waiting times as close to zero as possible. For instance, private call centers have the golden standard: answering 80% of calls within 20 seconds. So why are government institutions unable to meet the same standard?
How to add the agentless service to a government call center?
Interactive voice response system has been improved dramatically in recent years. Many banks, Fortune 1000 companies, and even top start-ups are employing the IVR system. The reason: it allows us to provide the service without attracting the live agent to the call.
Thus government can invest in the IVR and deliver the value both during normal business hours as well as outside of working hours. That's 24 hours a day service without attending any agent whatsoever to the work. And still satisfying the customer’s demands on a regular basis.
There’s only one condition one IVR system must satisfy. It must provide a relevant service to exclude such as connecting with the live agent, if necessary. Meanwhile, many of the underworked IVRs only prevent the citizen to speak with the relevant agent.
Although citizens are willing to talk with the live agents rather than a more machine-generated voice, hard-working IVR will work towards people’s needs. They’ll use it and sleep soundly.
The reason why so many people are willing to talk only with the live agent is simple. Too many times they’ve been encountered with irrelevant messages during the IVR or toll-free number.
That happened with calling the private companies and sales pitches dismissed their expectations. However, some top Fortune 100 companies give the chance to IVR with irresistible success. Definitely, the public sector will profit from the IVR in providing certain sorts of services.
The one system citizens would love and agents like to use in a government call center
This feature for the government call center showed great performance so far. It is called automatic call distribution (ACD) system. What it does is allows the heading of call centers to adjust the inbound telephony lines to meet the citizen’s expectations.
For instance, one call center has several inbound lines, each one of which serves a specific goal. One line is holding government customer service. And another telephony line allows holding specific phone calls.
And the head of a call center is free to adjust this telephony line in the right way. Thus knowing the citizen’s preferences, a manager constructs the system for more efficient workforce utilization by keeping the service at a high level.
Superior efficiency and improvement of the calling patterns
In the modern world, it’s impossible to imagine a call center without recording features. For instance, in the US, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) requires to record the calls for compliance with the regulation. In the practice, the head of a call center can refer to such tape for better agent performance.
Heads of call centers are capable to train their agents by listening to the recording tapes and presenting to staff ordinary and unique calling situations.
The most efficient use of the workforce
The call center software allows the head of a call center to look at the current inbound and outbound calling workload. The manager receives up-to-date information and is capable to watch the government agent’s performance.
In case a certain calling line is under load or overload, it’s possible to make decisions regarding balancing the workload in a call center.
Prolific callback management
Many people are disappointed by the absence of a callback in the government branches. It could even happen if a certain agent promised to give a callback as soon as possible. And at the moment people get stressed, especially with an urgent request, they need the assistance of an agent.
With the call center software, this problem is solved handily. There are features to make the callback scheduled and as a result, reach the citizen at the arranged time.
Achieve high marks with the outbound call center services
Calling citizens is as important as receiving the calls. Government agents are capable to inform, ask and solve the case via phone. Citizens will appreciate the prompt call on the relevant case and will be more responsive. Let’s take a look at the call center's outbound calling capabilities.
Seamlessly integrating with the auto-dialers
Depending on the calling list, call centers are capable to use the Power, the Preview, and the Predictive dialers. Each one of them has its unique capabilities. Let’s show you them:
The Power Dialer. The distinguishing benefit of this dialer is that once the calling list is downloaded on the computer, the agent starts to call it one by one.
The calling time within the Power dialer gives the agent the necessary time for talking without constraints. As soon as the customer or agent wraps up, the dialer automatically dials the next number in the calling list.
The Preview Dialer. This outbound dialer isn’t dialing phone numbers in the list automatically one by one. But allows the agent to view the information, check it for relevance, and have the option to start dialing or dismiss the call. Thus agents are viewing the information and make the decision either to dial one number or check another phone information for the contact.
The Predictive Dialer. To call the maximum number of people in the minimum time, it helps to use this dialer. The advantage of this calling tool is this: it calculates the talking time with people based on the average calling time of all agents in the group.
Technically, all agents know how much time they have for talking, and once the time is up, the predictive start to dial the next number in the calling list.
How to improve communication by using other channels?
The presence across all channels available dramatically improves government agencies’ performance. Here are the most relevant channels of communication:
Phone numbers and external call numbers. The phone number is the first relevant channel of communication. In addition, consider the additional phone number in case inbound calling spikes. The toll-free number is also the tool to provide 24/7 service and frankly one of the most effective ones.
Chat. Online chat is a popular tool to contact the government and vice versa. Not everyone is fine with the phone call. That’s why the chat can be a comfortable tool for both agents and citizens.
Email. An email is a traditional tool that came with the internet decades ago. A certain group of citizens still prefer this tool for communication. Thus government call centers can use this tool for the response.
The purpose of each of these tools is to establish efficient communication with the citizens on a 24 basis.
Today, in the US, there are 18.28 million local and state government employees and about 2.85 m of federal workers. That’s the hefty portion of the employees who are working currently in different positions to support, maintain, and improve the lives of citizens.
With the growing city’s needs, it’s possible to establish great relationships through the agile and flexible call center. One of the ways is to launch a cloud call center that is cheaper, faster, and easy to deploy, 100% remotely.
The government's top contact center solution
It's imperative to provide the contact center technology solution without additional budget constraints or increasing the learning curve of employees. Although the PBX system exists today, if the expenses would be enormous in the nearest future it's reasonable to look for options.
One of the options is unifying all communication channels such as phone calls, messaging, email, and chat in one bundle. It's important to consider the speed of deployment if we're talking about the cloud solution. With the modern cloud solution, the speed of deploying is reduced to 24 hours.
Here's what you’ll achieve from Voiptime Cloud:
- Obligation-free consultation via phone, chat, email, etc
- Free guidance from your manager on how to actually use the software for 1 month after the deployment of your call center
- Ease in upscaling up and down the number of subscriptions per month.
- You are free to increase or reduce your subscriptions
- Deployment in any geographic area in 48 hours.
Contact us to discuss your needs and see Voiptime Contact Center in action!