Health care support during a massive increase in call volume
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Department of Public Health for a Midwestern county serving over 1 million people experienced a high volume of calls in both English and Spanish.
The Department handled all calls with one human agent per call, providing guidelines, directions to vaccination centers, and answers to questions and concerns. Because of the increased call volume, between 200 and 300 voicemails were left each day. The Department could not keep up with the call volume even with mitigation efforts outsourcing Tier 1 functions.
Additionally, the health department did not have capacity for 24/7 customer service. Because each call was handled by one agent at a time only during work hours, 128 hours during evenings and weekends were not served.
The health department worked with C1Conversations to build and integrate an Intelligent Virtual Agent (IVA) to its on-prem Contact Center Infrastructure (CCI). The new IVA provided the following functions:
- Expanded department of health customer service hours to 24/7 bilingual customer support
- Implemented virtual symptom checker and patient self-service, enabling patients to find answers for themselves without having to talk with an agent
- Introduced an intelligent dashboard to capture, understand and rank major topics of public concert in real time
- Used IVA capabilities to keep the public continually updated on quarantine, vaccination, contact tracing and other pressing public health matters
Within 12 weeks of implementation, C1Conversations
- Increased health department phone service hours to 24 hours a day, seven days a week in two languages, with options to add more if needed
- Redirected around 85-90% of calls to the IVA, which distributed crucial public health information more efficiently and directly
- Was able to reduce workload for human agents, who now only needed to answer 10-15% of calls
Because of the immense success of the first integration, the county department of health is now working to expand services with C1Conversations.
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