The key to better ‘customer service’ in government is stronger communication

UC helps government agencies provide "customer service" to residents.

There is no shortage of horror stories about how governmental bureaucratic setbacks complicated processes that should have been as easy as pie. These entanglements rarely result from any one person's incompetence. Rather, they're often the effect of a systemic fault in communications – and nowhere is this more apparent than in government contact centers. 

A strong case in point bears out in the infamous reputation that the Internal Revenue Service has developed over the years for having subpar customer service. According to Washington Post columnist Joe Davidson, the IRS commissioner estimated that a mere 47 to 50 percent of taxpayer calls would be answered in 2016. Beyond the immediate inconveniences to taxpayers, Davidson noted that this inefficiency results in fewer collections, which ultimately hurts every person that tax revenue helps support, namely the entire U.S. population. 

This just goes to show how important responsive contact centers are not only to the IRS, but to all federal government agencies. 

Better unified communications can help

"Unified communications represent the central nervous system of any contact center."

Unified communications represent the central nervous system of any contact center, inbound or outbound. This is because contact center agents must communicate with hundreds, or even thousands of residents every day and, increasingly, through a variety of channels – phone, email, web chat and more.

Contact center UC helps manage this with IVR system implementation, but also with automatic distribution of calls according to who is available. It also gives representatives a manageable dashboard display through which caller data can be pulled up as needed, routing to other agents can be achieved, channels can be transitioned and call recordings can be initiated. The result is everything that an agent may need in a relatively small space to optimize responsiveness for callers. 

Contact center agents can perform better with intuitive UC software.Contact center agents can perform better with intuitive UC software.

Get answers with analytics

From the supervisory and managerial standpoint, UC provides a comprehensive overview of call traffic, the number of available agents and a variety of oversight features such as the ability to listen in on certain calls, and "whisper" messages that only the agents on the call can hear.

More importantly, for a high-volume call center, it's important for supervisors to be one step ahead of the game, for instance, by knowing when peak calling times are, and by being able to anticipate increases in traffic. Advanced contact center analytics that integrate not only with the UC solution, but also with third-party communication platforms, provide up-to-the-second insights and visualizations that can help managers stay ahead of the curve. 

Given these benefits, it's not surprising that the government has increased its adoption of UC in recent years, according to Global Market Insights. In years to come, government adoption is only expected to grow even more. As this happens, more agencies will have the tools they need to be more responsive to the people they serve.