Improving Customer Experience in the Wake of COVID-19
Over the past month, as COVID-19 cases spread rapidly across the country and normal life came to a screeching halt, many government agencies at all levels and private-sector entities were caught off guard, unprepared for the onslaught of inbound calls from concerned customers. News stories and social media posts described immense frustration as people waited on hold for hours to talk to their county health department about getting tested, or called other county offices to inquire about grants for small businesses, or called their state unemployment office hundreds of times a day without ever being able to get through to file for unemployment benefits.
These overwhelmed state and local government agencies can serve as a cautionary tale for federal agencies—both in the near future, as customers follow up with the IRS or Small Business Administration about CARES Act benefits (and likely future stimulus measures), for example, and longer term, as all agencies look for ways to increase call center resilience and performance in times of crisis. After all, it is precisely during a crisis when it is most important to provide an experience that gives customers confidence in their government.
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