When the coronavirus hit New York hard in March 2020, the state realized citizen services would quickly be swamped and critical constituent needs would not be met. State leaders needed a way to quickly add new call center agents, and also needed to divert a significant percentage of calls to self-service. With information changing day to day, it was critical that the call center agents and self-service channels offer accurate real-time information. This included COVID-19 related information from the World Health Organization, the National Institutes of Health, the CDC, and financial and social services information from the NY Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services.
And the state needed to execute all of this with a remote workforce spanning multiple departments and agencies in mere days.
To create a scalable, reliable platform that would support its goals, the state’s Department of Taxation and Finance leveraged their existing instance of Oracle Fusion Cloud Customer Experience (CX) to serve as the foundation for the Consolidated Contact Center Department which would enable 4,000 workers to act as call-center agents, even though doing so was not their core job responsibility. Given the rapidly expanding crisis, New York State needed all hands on deck.
An intuitive elegant interface activates thousands of new call center agents
Within hours, Oracle partner Speridian, who was already engaged with the Department of Taxation, helped the Coronavirus Hotline team created 4,000 new accounts for the new workers who would be joining the front line response team. Designing an interface that was elegant and intuitive was essential, as the state did not have much time to train its employees on the system.
Agents and self-service channels needed to field inquiries spanning a range of areas: COVID-19, other healthcare concerns, unemployment, financial assistance programs, mental health services, and even driver’s license renewals, trash removal, and more. Lastly, to be complete, the portal needed to enable online application support so that programs with eligibility requirements, such as supplemental nutrition assistance (SNAP), temporary assistance for families in need, unemployment - could be run and managed online from start to finish.
To get started, call center agents just needed an internet connection and a web browser. From there, they could securely access the Agent Interface and begin assisting with constituent inquiries.
From concept to completion: Four Days
On March 15, New York State launched the New York Coronavirus Hotline. With Oracle CX Service as the foundation of the new hotline, the state was able to offer citizens and employees with access to key services via the communication channel of choice: mobile phones, land lines, text, chat, email and the web portal. Robotic Processing Automation and Bots were deployed to constantly scan for new information from the CDC, World Health Organization, National Institutes of Health, Department of Labor and Department of Health and Human Services.
Learn more about how three levels of government responded to COVID-19.