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4 Organizations Tap Amazon Connect to Eliminate Friction
Constituents, citizens, students, patients, and customers expect convenient interaction when engaging with government, education, healthcare, or nonprofit organizations. Contact centers are the first touchpoint for many who reach out to a public sector organization for services. Organizations are increasingly adopting an omnichannel approach to their contact centers by offering options like chat, email, web, text, and interactive voice response in addition to existing voice capabilities.
Cloud-based contact centers—especially those with artificial intelligence features—help enhance the interaction experience for constituents. Besides reducing or eliminating friction between the agents and their callers, cloud-based contact centers with omnichannel capabilities are better able to handle an organization’s inbound call volume, helping to free up resources for other priorities.
The constituent engagement programs listed below show how government agencies can better communicate, listen to, and respond to constituent requests for information, services, and transactions.
1. Local governments in Oakland County, MI, increase services and speed of deployment. Constituents continue to rely on the public sector for digitally delivered information and services through websites, applications, and contact centers. For example, Oakland County, MI, created a hotline to help their constituents schedule their COVID-19 vaccinations.
Oakland County built and launched a cloud contact center prototype on Amazon Connect in just four days. With a strong interest in vaccination from constituents, the program expanded from 30 contact support agents to 100 as the county experienced higher call volumes. Once the majority of the county’s population received the vaccine, daily call volumes for scheduling vaccines receded naturally. Using a pay-as-you-go model, administrators optimized their contact center cost by only paying for the call volumes supported. Now that the vaccine initiative is winding down in the county, Oakland County will deploy cloud contact center capabilities in other agencies within the state.
2. Nonprofits in Los Angeles (LA) County manage to deliver more with less. Cloud contact centers offer nonprofits and non-government organizations (NGOs) powerful ways to scale and advance their mission goals. For example, the Los Angeles LGBT Center has cared for, championed, and celebrated lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) individuals and families in LA and beyond since 1969.
Today, the LGBT center employs a staff of 800, provides direct services for more LGBTQ+ people than any other organization in the world across nine facilities in LA County. Over 50 staff members dedicate themselves to taking calls via a cloud contact center—serving over 30,000 clients in a healthcare clinic and handling explosive growth over the past year.
Individuals call in with questions about everything from their upcoming appointments, prescriptions, or anything related to mental health services. According to Allen Spiegler, CIO, Los Angeles LGBT Center, the call center is largely the LGBT center's face for people who don't want to come to the facility but want to use the programming and services. “With the help of Amazon Connect, the center has continued to meet their clients’ needs during COVID-19 without additional headcount in the call center,” Spiegler said.
3. Singapore University reduces eleventh-hour anxiety among students. Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) turned to a cloud contact center to support its students and staff during remote learning and examination periods in 2020. In May 2020, end-of-year final examinations were underway for SUSS students. The university used its videoconferencing solution for students who had to submit final assignments remotely. The procedure was manual and cumbersome for the students who were already anxious when they ran into issues submitting assignments. They opted for a cloud contact center to resolve the matter.
Lee Chye Seng, director of learning systems and applications at SUSS, explained that in November 2020, SUSS introduced Amazon Connect for students and lecturers to contact the school for queries related to online exams and grading. School support teams could also reach out for complex issues encountered during online exams. “Its ease of use impressed us. The system we had in place with individual meeting room IDs for faculty and students was working fine, but procedure-wise, it was rather tedious for the lecturers,” Seng said.
4. Keele University is “clearing” millions of pounds in the U.K. by relying on the cloud. With a cloud contact center, Keele University in England can now meet students’ and prospective students’ admissions needs virtually. Prospective students from around the globe going through the confirmation and clearing process (a period where U.K. universities accept students and fill remaining seats in their incoming class if a student has not matched with their preferred institution) have a more streamlined, efficient experience. Clearing day is high-stakes for universities across the U.K “So much happens on this one day. Nothing can go wrong because millions of pounds of income are on the line. This was a major commitment for Keele University, and Amazon Connect worked flawlessly,” said Dan Perry, CIO, Keele University.
The traditional telephony system Keele University used required staff to be onsite. But with the need for remote access amid COVID-19 lockdown orders, the team turned to cloud contact center. The networks team quickly built and trained staff on the new system. On the day they rolled out the solution, Alex Goffe, Keele University head of operations and infrastructure said, “We delivered a virtually faultless telephone experience for prospective students to contact the university.” On the backend, the staff was able to gather insights not previously possible. “Seeing statistics about call demand by course type, who they were trying to contact, all of that was new to us and really valuable information,” Goffe added.