Since the pandemic, State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) have been moving toward online solutions and call center services. However, these approaches could not meet the demand generated by the pandemic. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems were challenged under increased load. This led to SWA’s searching for ways to increase customer service during these unprecedented times.
State workforce agencies have responded to the challenges posed by significantly increasing call center staffing. While this has led to an increase in the number of calls being answered, it has not proved sufficient to meet the increased customer demand.
Stay at home orders and mandatory business closures left no region or county untouched. This further complicated the ability of state workforce agencies to deliver services most effectively. Unable to get help on the phone, constituents had nowhere else to turn but to online services. With broadband unavailable in some areas and disparate availability of computer access in pockets across the nation, constituents turned to use their phone as their last available vehicle to file claims and interact with their state workforce agencies.
Many states do not have a system that utilizes a mobile-responsive user interface. Even fewer employ a mobile application for filing claims. This leaves a significant percentage of constituents who have no other communication vehicle with their state workforce agency other than their internet-enabled cell phone, resulting in a less than ideal customer experience.
Fortunately, there are innovative solutions available to state workforce agencies to enhance their service delivery given these unique challenges.
Chat technology can significantly improve state workforce agencies' ability to answer constituent inquiries. Most constituents ask many common questions. Sagitec’s ChatBot technology employs artificial intelligence to continuously improve its linguistic understanding and learning and automatically answer the most common questions without staff intervention.
Sagitec implemented ChatBot services in South Carolina and since its release, the solution has answered over 1,000,000 inquiries. Ninety-Eight percent (98%) of the questions asked by constituents were answered automatically without staff intervention. This technology reduced the call center demand while also ensuring that the answers given were high quality, accurate, and consistent.
Live chat, in addition to chatbot technology, enables constituents to query information and get answers but also allows for transfer to a live agent when the query cannot be handled by an automated ChatBot. Staff, using secure technology, can be working on multiple sessions at one time. Written communication is more direct and efficient and eliminates the confusion and lengthy discussions inherit to telephony. Each chat session can be transferred to more experienced staff or more experienced staff can “join” into the session. This results in more constituent questions being answered in less time and by those staff with the proper experience.
Mobile response user interfaces and mobile applications provide a high-quality user interface to those whose only communication vehicle is their mobile device. Constituents can submit their claims through a means they have available and with less confusion leading to a higher quality of service and fewer claimant inquiries.
Sagitec’s solution is designed using a mobile responsive design out of the box. In Maryland, 48% of claimants are using this mobile responsive design while submitting their claims.
Sagitec’s mobile app, MOBIAS, was implemented in Maryland on 6/30/2020. MOBIAS allows claimants to certify for weeks of benefits, view payment history, make demographic changes, receive agency messages and respond to the agency about their claim, receive alerts for action items, view correspondences, upload documents, and understand a variety of different benefits at their convenience using their mobile device – amongst many other features.
Since the implementation, over 25% of the weekly claims submitted were processed using MOBIAS with limited advertising. MOBIAS adoption continues to dramatically increase week over week:
- Over 200,000 downloads
- Over 300,000 weekly certifications filed
- Over 14,000 tax withholding updates
- 6,000+ address updates
MOBIAS changes the way claimants can interact with the department. It puts the power of self-service at their fingertips and lets them access and update their information anytime, anywhere. The department can improve claimant communication with instant notifications, assist claimants during their benefits claim and employment service application process by sending real-time notifications and alerts.
These components are important and necessary tools to realize successful customer service outcomes. However, they are no replacement for a modern, flexible, and configurable system designed with self-service in mind. Sagitec’s Neosurance solution places a priority on self-service and empowering claimants to interact with your agency without staff intervention. The results we have achieved for our clients include:
- Sagitec’s Neosurance Solution processes 100% of employer registrations online in the employer self-service portal for Washington DC and 96% in South Carolina.
- Sagitec’s Neosurance Solution processes 98% of wage filings online in the employer self-service portal in Washington DC and 94% in South Carolina. In both states, we have reduced paper-based, manual wage processing by over 90%.
- Sagitec’s Neosurance Solution processes 100% of employer account updates online in the employer self-service portal for Washington DC and 86% in South Carolina.
- Sagitec’s Neosurance Solution processes 100% of initial claims online in the claimant self-service portal for all programs, including all pandemic programs, in the State of Maryland.
- Sagitec’s Neosurance Solution processes over 94% of continued claims online in the claimant self-service portal for all programs, including the pandemic programs, in the State of Maryland.
- Sagitec’s Neosurance Solution processes 100% of the initial and continued claims online in the claimant self-service portal for all pandemic programs, in the State of Delaware.
Today’s State Workforce Agencies now have additional solutions to manage this pandemic’s unprecedented demand and to improve the quality of customer service. To learn more about Sagitec’s Chat technology and mobile solutions, click the link below.