Soon after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, unemployment rates shot up in the United States. The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, like many other state agencies, experienced an unprecedented surge in call volume as citizens raced to file unemployment insurance claims. Hold times were frustratingly long and many calls got busy signals. The agency’s contact centre needed a partner to help it quickly and cost-effectively increase efficiency, expand capacity, and deliver quality support.
TTEC delivered fast and effective results with a two-part solution: first, cutting-edge cloud and automation technology to deflect calls from the agency’s at-capacity system, and second, a team of 30 experienced at-home agents to answer calls and lighten the in-house DWS agent workload.
With TTEC Intelligent Voice Assistant (IVA), Cisco Webex Contact Centre Enterprise, and Google Contact Centre AI, TTEC was able to augment the State’s Department of Workforce Services so callers no longer received busy signals when the on-premise IVR system reached capacity. Citizens’ telephone-based access to unemployment claims can now be processed with a faster, more streamlined caller experience.
When callers dial the toll-free number 888.674.7699, the IVA immediately picks up and callers can ask questions such as, “how do I file an unemployment claim?” or “do I qualify for unemployment insurance?” Pulling from the State’s existing knowledgebase, the IVA will provide an answer. If more information is needed, the IVA will connect the caller with a TTEC associate who can answer most questions. For complex requests, the associate will transfer the caller to an in-house DWS representative.
Using at-home agents enabled the agency to rapidly expand its capacity, and scale back when necessary. And by routing calls to the appropriate resource—AI or human agent—callers receive fast support to address their simple or complex questions.
The State saw immediate results. At launch, the DWS was receiving about 3,500 calls a week at the toll-free number TTEC provided. The IVA automation handled or deflected about 24% of calls, and the remaining 76% of calls were routed to a TTEC agent. The percentage of deflected calls continues to rise as we work with the DWS on expanding the knowledge base and the IVA’s ability to answer more questions on a wider range of topics.
The client was thrilled with the results. “TTEC has allowed us to expand our hours of operation to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday,” Holly McKamey Simoni, DWS Workforce Programs Administrator, said in a news release announcing the partnership. “This will greatly reduce the time callers have to spend on hold, and those who have questions will be able to get them answered more quickly.”