COVID Contact Center for two Western State Department of Health

Background:  During the COVID outbreak, the respective Departments of Health (DofH) realized their internal customer support operations were not adequate to handle the increasing volume of calls.  Rather than cobble together applications to manage the rapidly increasing volume, the DofH decided to outsource the support operations to a partner that could handle the fully breath of citizen inquiries, using the latest technology to support the communication process. 

Approach to Providing Services: 

      • SIGNIA’s Operations and IT Teams met with the DofH staff to understand the current challenges and the objectives the departments wanted to achieve:
          • Citizens must be able to reach the DofH during and after normal operating hours
          • Effectively respond to requests of public health that require timely response, service and, where required, escalate to public health officials.
          • Communicate and response to citizen inquiries on multiple platforms (i.e., voice, email, etc.)
      • SIGNIA built a time of full and part time Agents, moving to a team of 40 full-time Agents during the period of peak inquiries.
      • Agents practiced in the knowledge management system practicing standard responses and data searches for possible inquiries. Both SIGNIA Supervisors and Agents became very familiar with the DofH’s applications and knowledge management system to be able to navigate both systems quickly and effectively, providing an efficient experience for citizens.
      • Once operational Citizens could call or email the DofH for information regarding the nearest location to receive a COVID vaccine or for a COVID testing center. SIGNIA Agents answered call and responded to emails, using the respective DofH database to research and gather information to respond to questions. Services SIGNIA Agents provided were to provide locations for vaccines sites and testing centers, schedule vaccine appointments and escalating citizen sessions to a DofH staffer where required.

Results: DofH goals were to handle all communications quickly and efficiently.  SIGNIA exceed the goals set:

Average wait time:  less than 1 minute
Average speed to answer:  less than 30 seconds
Average handle time:  5 minutes
CSAT score:  over 95%

Benefits to DofH Partners:  SIGNIA scaled the number of Agents needed quickly to support the project.  SIGNIA Agents accessed the DofH databases and/or applications to research citizen questions and provide the appropriate response.  SIGNIA Agents managed communications via phone and email.