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The necessity of reliable government customer service

From transportation to children and family services, government bodies are responsible for providing critical service and assistance on a daily basis. Learn how one government agency implemented a new IVR system that offered faster, more personalized interactions. And most importantly, streamlining the IVR allowed staff to focus on what was most important – providing help to children and families.

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Learn how to improve the customer experience in government services.

Government plays a critical role in citizens’ lives. From transportation to healthcare to public safety, everyday people rely on government agencies for a host of critical issues. Therefore, offering exceptional and timely service isn’t an option. It’s a must. When people are seeking answers to their questions or are looking to solve a problem, agencies can’t afford to provide service that is sub-par. Local, state, and federal governments must consistently find fast, easy and secure ways to provide information and resources across all channels.

But – that’s a tall order. Government services are often high stakes and high stress. So how do you provide an effective experience that the public can count on? In 2015, a child and family services agency figured out how. By launching an intuitive speech-enabled Interactive Voice Response system (IVR), they were able to deliver faster, more personalized assistance that met the rising expectations of citizens.

 

The challenge

Like so many government agencies, this child and family services agency was tasked with handling hundreds of calls each day, amounting to nearly three million a year. From inquiring about available services to checking the status of applications and payments, the citizens calling into the IVR were in urgent need. Unfortunately, the agency’s legacy IVR system created long wait times and impersonal and confusing IVR menus. Additionally, there were limited self-service capabilities, forcing callers to either wade through a maze of submenus or wait for an agent. To make matters worse, important information provided by callers in the IVR wasn’t captured and relayed to the agent, thereby making callers repeat themselves, which quickly drove up call handle times.

 

A better way

In order to provide high quality service and better meet the needs of families and children, the government agency launched a speech-enabled IVR, allowing callers to use their voice to interact with the system and efficiently navigate to the information they were looking for. The IVR offered the following capabilities to enhance the caller experience:

  • Natural interaction: The high-quality text-to-speech capability and natural-sounding speech recording encouraged spoken interaction with callers, and recognized both English and Spanish.
  • Easy authentication: The new IVR offered easy authentication, creating a simpler experience for the caller. The IVR prompted the caller to authenticate themselves by speaking their case number or social security number. The caller ID is also verified against the phone number on record for an additional layer of security, which also enables a more personalized interaction with the system.
  • Anticipating caller needs: After being authenticated, a unique, predictive menu capability offered personalized menu options and messages based on previous caller records and interactions. The ability to anticipate needs and offer a personalized experience allows the IVR to proactively provide relevant information to the caller, before the caller even has to ask. It additionally helps to contains calls that, in the past, would have required agent intervention.
  • Inform agents: If the caller opts to interact with an agent at any point, the information they provide to the IVR is then transferred to the agent, eliminating the need for the client to repeat themselves and allowing the agent to efficiently and seamlessly provide support.

Government bodies are responsible for providing critical service and assistance to people, every single day. The demands are high, but with the right tools in place, consistently reliable and impactful service can be ensured. Implementing a new IVR system can reduce costs, allowing agents to be utilized on more complex and rewarding customer interactions, thus empowering government agencies to serve citizens more effectively . This child and family services agency improved the user experience by offering more personalized interactions and increasing the number of self-service options. Additionally, they increased the containment rate and reduced the number of repeat calls. But most importantly, by streamlining the IVR and enhancing its efficiency, it allowed staff to focus on what was most important – providing help to children and families.

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Automated self-service gets easier for consumers demanding a better experience
Context, speed and ease are key factors for success.
looking-to-the-future-of-customer-service
The future today: Empowered customers, anticipatory experiences and effortless self-service
Real-world examples of Forrester’s 2016 customer service trends to watch
auto-tech-evolves-but-don’t-forget-car-insurance
CES speeds automotive technology into the future, but don’t leave car insurance behind
Three tips for enticing new customers with low cost self-service solutions
Interactive Voice Response systems should avoid misroutes by giving clear directions so callers don’t get lost in a phone menu or taken to the wrong location.
Are misroutes sending your customers in the wrong direction?
Part 1: Master misroutes with five proven steps to create an IVR that delights customers
Intelligent self-service continued to transform customer service in 2015 and we’ve seen glimpses of what artificial intelligence will look like in the future.
2015 in review: The year AI entered the conversation for customer service
How intelligent self-service continued to transform customer service in 2015
The future of self-service understands the issues customers may have and reaches out to help.
Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.
Removing complexity from your customer self-service experience is the key to better results
This holiday season, retailers need to focus on building long-term customer commitment instead of encouraging one-time purchases.
‘Tis the shopping season: Are you creating a gift that lasts?
Four tips on how to build long-term customer loyalty
No one likes robocalls, but there are certain calls consumers want from the companies they do business with.
Making the calls consumers want
Illegal and despised – Four steps to ensure no one thinks you’re making robocalls 
Many Americans have yet to get their EMV cards, and others didn’t realize they already had them because they were never told.
What you can learn from the slow and confusing adoption of EMV credit cards
Both consumers and companies lose when proactive communication is put off until tomorrow
We’ve come a long way since ATMs were introduced as one of the first self-service technologies, and once again the latest generation (this time it’s the Millennials) are bringing their desire for self-service to new levels.
Self-service expectations: From ATMs to Apps
Millennials are shaping the face of customer service for all generations
Consumers now expect exceptional customer experience at every turn, so best your competition with technology that provides a fun and effortless journey to meet user needs.
Part 2: Saving is hard: Giving “gaming” a twist by providing financial education
Using design principles to engage customers with exceptional service
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), one of the largest banks in the world, this week announced the launch of RBC Secure Voice - a conversational voice biometrics authentication solution.
Companies kicking passwords to the curb
Global leaders adopt voice biometrics for easy, secure authentication consumers prefer
Poor customer experience design is a microstressor like any other, so in order to alleviate customer stress, companies need to focus on creating a user-friendly experience.
Stress, design, and the mother of necessity: Why a Band-Aid approach won’t cut it
Focus on causes rather than fixes when dealing with design
Bringing inbound customer contact center calls to a favorable resolution while staying completely contained within the IVR can bring significant business rewards to your company.
Part 3: Why an IVR containment strategy is a must for driving loyalty
Implementing the new rules of call containment
With the right vision, robust data and proper expectations on how big data value is unlocked, data-driven customer service companies can reap huge benefits.
Big Data: Keeping up with the Joneses is not enough
How data-driven customer service yields results
IVR call containment can do more than just contain – it can provide a great customer experience that leads to a resolution for the customer and inspires loyalty.
Quit monkeying around: An IVR containment strategy is a must for driving loyalty
Part 1: Contain your customers (in a good way)
By allowing text messages to become more conversational with natural language understanding, businesses can improve the experience and cut costs.
Improving two-way text messages with natural language understanding
How NLU and texting can create a better customer experience and reduce costs
Small data can bring big impact to the customer experience.
Small data drives big customer experience impact
Tap into your data – big and small – to enhance the contact center
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