Contact center of the future
By Destiny Washington
OKDHS AFS, OMES and OU partnering together to move to an updated cloud-based platform for one of their crucial call centers for Oklahomans in need. The platform has the security, resiliency and flexibility to make the move from just another call center to a contact center of the future.
Not many folks understand the fast-paced changes happening around call centers and their technology and infrastructure needs. Some of the latest tools for modern omnichannel contact centers include virtual agents and conversational artificial intelligence.
At the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, we get it. OMES provides phone services for over 80% of our state agencies as well as consulting for ramping up state call center services.
Omnichannel means all channels. This technology allows citizens to interact with Oklahoma state government using their media of choice – phone, web, text message or social media.
The goal is to enable citizens to reach us on the maximum number of channels. Using channels to increase engagement – the more engagement the better.
“A better name would be an omnichannel contact center,” said Allie Larman, OMES Technology Services Manager. “The next step for state agencies providing call center services will be to
transform to a contact center. Staff will be trained and equipped to meet a customer where they are at and get them what they need more quickly.”
An omnichannel cloud contact center is a customer service function that lets customers seamlessly switch back and forth across channels when seeking support. It empowers our citizens to leverage today’s technology and prepare for the future.
An omnichannel approach is citizen centric. This means we’re focused on developing stronger customer relationships through a holistic approach that connects channels for a unified and personalized experience.
Most often, this type of transformation requires a complete overhaul of call center processes, technology infrastructure and updated call center tools and systems.
We recently helped the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Adult and Family Services and the University of Oklahoma call center team. In a matter of weeks, OMES, OKDHS AFS and OU began to see positive effects of their transformation to a contact center of the future.
Since 1936, the OKDHS mission has been helping individuals and families in need help themselves lead safer, healthier and more independent lives. A mission that can be difficult to fulfill with outdated technology in a digital world.
OKDHS is looking to the future, undertaking a digital transformation across the agency and massively shifting how they think about and approach technology and customer service.
“At OKDHS, one of our Executive Leadership True North goals is to create a world-class customer service experience, and on-premise technology wasn’t cutting it,” said Dustin Crossfield, OKDHS Chief Technology Officer.
The first goal for OMES was to get the call center team on a cloud-based platform. Updating the technology infrastructure increases security to meet the requirements needed for the sensitive data collected.
Flexibility is another feature that provides the ability to scale up and scale down capacity based on agency needs. The cloud-based platform enables OKDHS to increase call capacity and to expand services to citizens as needed.
With all the updates, the OKDHS AFS contact center is holding steady on their call abandon rates by meeting the national average of between 5%-8%. This is a phenomenal when one considers the variety and complexity of questions the team handles daily.
And, they are not stopping there. As part of the next phase, they will implement workforce optimization, quality monitoring and customer satisfaction surveys, providing meaningful information for the future.
Updating the technology infrastructure increases the contact center’s security and flexible and also sets a critical foundation for resiliency and optimization.
“With the cloud-based platform, you do get a larger toolset, but you do need to understand how to use it and when to use it,” said Larman. “As we roll out additional optimizations before we do anything else, the next step is making sure we’re making our citizens happy.”
With a new and improved system, OKDHS can truly look to the future.
Plans include implementing omnichannel tools such as conversational AI, virtual agents, and more, while retaining citizen experience as a top priority.
The successful collaboration between OMES, OKDHS AFS and OU will continue to evolve, advancing the ability to better serve citizens by meeting them where they’re at. Whether that is a callback, an enhanced menu selection or a virtual chat agent, the OKDHS AFS contact center will be ready to respond.