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State Unemployment Office Reduces Caller Wait Time by 40 Percent with Scheduled Callbacks

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, state social services agencies have been inundated with phone calls from residents who need to file for unemployment insurance. WWT helped one State's Department of Labor's Contact Center develop a callback solution to reduce long wait times and improve the constituent experience.

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The Challenge

This contact center at this state's Department of Labor is experiencing a significant increase in calls regarding unemployment insurance questions and COVID-related claims. Due to the influx of calls, filers were experiencing long wait times — sometimes up to four hours — to speak with a representative. 

To file for unemployment insurance, an individual is required to participate in a live interview with a representative of the state to confirm eligibility, communicate restrictions and collect a vocal signature. Filing claims were being held in a lengthy queue, and if a claim was not answered by the close of business that day, it was dismissed.

Unemployment insurance filers launched complaints with their state representatives through social media, and the issue was brought to the attention of the state governor. The State agency engaged WWT's Contact Center team to develop a solution to reduce wait times and caller frustration. 

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Solution overview

WWT proposed several short-term and long-term options for reducing caller wait times and improving the customer experience. Given the urgency of the issue, the agency chose to implement an immediate, short-term option that involved repurposing its existing technology to allow callers to schedule callbacks from representatives based on future agent capacity. Depending on the current wait time, callers would receive the option to schedule a callback for a future date and time of their choice. Prior to the appointment, callers would receive an automated call from the contact center to confirm the callback time, reschedule if needed, and remind the caller of the necessary information for the appointment.

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Outcome

After implementing the callback solution with automated notifications, the agency reduced caller wait time by nearly 40 percent and agents' average handle time by more than 25 percent. Agents indicated that individuals who opted for a scheduled callback were more prepared with the necessary information and documentation to quickly complete the process.

Due to the tremendous success with this solution, WWT is now partnering with other departments within this state to leverage the same callback solution for their specific needs. 

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