City of Rochester 311 Call Center Uses Verint to Manage Call Volume Surge and Shift to Remote Access Services

Young woman call center agent

Results

  • Successfully managed call volume surge and shift to remote access services without adding staff.

  • Helped staff stay connected, engaged, and supported.

  • Kept citizens up to date on COVID testing and vaccines, service changes, and municipal office hours.

Opportunity

The City of Rochester 311 Call Center handles calls for non-emergency information and services for more than 200,000 residents living and working in the city of Rochester, New York.

In March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led to unprecedented panic and disruption and a dramatic shift in the call center’s workload. Residents scrambled to understand how regular city services were being impacted and how to access and navigate new services such as COVID testing and COVID vaccination appointments.

The call center had to handle a surge in call volumes, alongside these new issues and inquiries, without any increase in staff. It also had to coordinate its citizen engagement efforts while only a quarter of its agents remained in the call center, with another quarter working from the city’s back-up facility and half shifting to working from home.

“Collaboration and keeping the communication lines open was important,” says Arleen Hyland, City of Rochester 311 Call Center Manager. “That was initially challenging because so many things were changing so quickly.”

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Solution

To help manage communications more efficiently, ensure adequate staffing, and empower its agents to cope with these challenges, the City of Rochester relied on Verint for Citizen Engagement.

Verint for Citizen Engagement is a cloud-based, digital-first engagement solution that automates customer/citizen interactions across both assisted and self-service channels.

Based on Verint Case Management Professional, the solution combines case management, knowledge management, integration, reporting, and AI capabilities to enable engagement across hundreds of services while maximizing the opportunity for self-service.

Verint for Citizen Engagement was used as a central hub to provide the City of Rochester 311 Call Center team with access to updated information. This included links to the Centers for Disease Control, as well as to Monroe County and city service departments, giving agents and residents the means to effectively navigate pandemic concerns.

“There was a lot going on during COVID,” Hyland explains. “Things were changing day-by-day, hour-by-hour, even minute-by-minute. We relied on the Verint solution as a hub for all information and were able to leverage the solution to help register citizens for COVID testing and triage their eligibility for vaccinations.”

Hyland continues, “When things changed with other departments, we made sure that the updates were included on the city’s COVID web page to ensure citizens had up-to-date information regarding departments and services offered.”

The pandemic and resulting move to remote work meant that call center executives could no longer have service rep celebrations or other in-office team-building activities. So, the City of Rochester 311 Call Center used Verint for Citizen Engagement to stay connected and support the needs of its agents, serving up online games to encourage digital engagement.

“We wanted to let our agents know that they are important and that we care about them,” Hyland says. “We wanted to let them know that we are here for them just as they are here for the community.”

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Benefits

With Verint for Citizen Engagement, the City of Rochester 311 Call Center was able to successfully manage the surge in call volumes and the resulting move to remote access services brought on by the COVID pandemic without adding staff.

The Verint solution’s capabilities enabled the call center to provide citizens with up-to-date information on COVID testing and vaccines, service changes, and municipal office openings and closures. Meanwhile, the solution helped call center administrators, supervisors, and agents stay connected, engaged, valued, and supported as part of the team responsible for critical, digital-first line of citizen service in the midst of the pandemic.

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