Faced with unprecedented demand for unemployment assistance related to the Coronavirus outbreak, one state needed to upgrade its contact centre fast. Rather than overwhelm phone lines, the state looked to add messaging to interact with citizens quickly and efficiently from a remote environment.
Working with TTEC, the state agency added chatbot and messaging options for citizens seeking unemployment assistance such as payment status, appeal process, website login issues, filing new claims, and eligibility questions. Rather than wait on hold, callers were given an IVR prompt option to connect to a live at-home messaging agent. For website visitors, an automated chatbot connected users to a live at-home messaging agent to answer their questions.
This was the first time the state used messaging as a contact channel, and its fast adoption illustrated the public’s willingness and preference to use the cost-savings channel. Within weeks, messaging volume reached nearly 35% of all contact volume.
The program underestimated the impact and cost savings of messaging on the contact centre. Out of the gate, messaging associates closed approximately twice as many contacts per hour as their voice counterparts. In less than 10 days, the number jumped to 3.5 times as many contacts closed per hour. These quick wins have set the foundation for a new primary communication channel for the government agency.