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Talkdesk Tackles Vaccine, PPP Challenges


Image: JeromeCronenberger -
Talkdesk today announced solutions to address two significant challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic: the global administration of COVID-19 vaccines, and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan distribution and similar small business relief programs worldwide. The Talkdesk Vaccine Administration Solution and Small Business Lending Solution are the outcome of the company’s plan, discussed in an October 2020 No Jitter post, to invest in an industry-focused marketing organization.
In an analyst briefing, Talkdesk executives Andy Flynn, SVP, industry strategy; Greg Miller, VP, industry strategy, healthcare & life sciences; and Cory Haynes, VP, industry strategy, financial services & insurance, explained the new offers. The three are part of a larger team that Talkdesk CMO Kathie Johnson is assembling to develop customer service industry solutions. Talkdesk expects to expand the industry strategy program beyond these initial healthcare and finance targets to include, Flynn said, offerings for “ecommerce, retail, public sector, telco, and more down the road.”
Vaccine Administration Solution
“Vaccination administration efforts are an enormous part of getting back to normal, but also an opportunity to help our customer base help their customers and consumers move forward,” Flynn shared during the briefing. A streamlined patient’s vaccine administration journey will rely on multiple Talkdesk CX Cloud features, as shown below.
List of Talkdesk contact center capabilities for vaccine call centers
On first blush, this list might look like a rundown of contact center components. But when put through the prism of a government agency hoping to, as Flynn said, “get it right,” it takes on a new significance.
In my home state of New Hampshire, Jan. 22 was the first day that any citizen 65 and over could begin the process of scheduling a vaccine shot. That meant the potential of 300,000 people poised to start hitting the website and dialing the contact center at 8 a.m.
A local news story, which aired days before the vaccine registration program would begin, explained the situation the state would face. The state would be sending calls for information and registration to a 211 contact center. Established 13 years ago, the center is typically staffed with about 25 agents, taking an average of 300 calls per day.
With the 211 center designated for vaccine administration calls, even before broad registration began, the COVID call center manager reported a spike of more than 3,000 calls in one day. The governor announced plans to add 300 temporary agents, many government employees in other jobs, to help handle the extra load. Within days, the state also tapped members of the New Hampshire National Guard to help.
This is the kind of situation in which a cloud contact center is ideal: the need to burst to more than 10 times the number of agents for a few months. As in New Hampshire, many government, hospital, and pharmacy chains elsewhere are likely contending with small, relatively dated contact center operations. Many are likely voice-only call centers, with no ability to quickly ramp up the omnichannel communications and proactive notifications that would dramatically improve their ability to address the coming onslaught of interactions. Just seeing a graphic like the Talkdesk one shown here might give them new ideas on how to best handle the load, with new digital engagement and mobile solutions.
How does Talkdesk win? Providing 20 free Talkdesk licenses and proactive notifications for six months allows the agencies and companies to explore the capabilities not just for the current need but for ongoing use, as well.
Small Business Lending Solution
The Talkdesk Small Business Lending Solution is an end-to-end answer to the problem of delivering great borrower experiences that streamline the administration of PPP loans by banks, credit unions, and fintechs. Headlines like this one from NPR, “Here's How The Small Business Loan Program Went Wrong In Just 4 Weeks,” were pervasive in the spring of 2020 during the first round of the PPP program. No doubt, the PPP application and fund distribution process needs better communications capabilities.
Designed by Haynes, who has a long history in the financial industry, the Talkdesk Small Business Lending solution aims to help streamline the borrower experience, improve borrower communications, and allow lending institutions quick deployment so they can quickly handle the expected spikes in applications. Haynes will be sharing more information on the solution today during a Contact Center Week Digital session, “How Banks Can Build a Seamless Client Experience for the Next Round of PPP.”
As discussed in a recent No Jitter post, Avaya, Genesys, and Nuance are among other companies that are offering vaccine rapid response solutions. All, including Talkdesk, are already working with government agencies and companies to help get us all to the other side of the pandemic.