A conversation with Nuance Communications’ Russell Brodsky, Regional Vice President, Government Sales; Vance Clipson, Senior Principal, Industry Solutions Marketing and Strategy; and Joseph Solt, Director of Professional Services.
Constituent engagement isn’t all that different from consumer experience, says Vance Clipson, of Nuance Communications. “It’s about making it easy for [people] to interact with government,” he said.
But compared to most private companies, government’s customer experience usually ranks last, said Russell Brodsky, also of Nuance. “The numbers are not in the favor of government,” he explained. “There are more and more constituents out there putting demand on government. And there are fewer and fewer resources in government to handle those demands.”
Automation for Easy Interaction
Today, every government organization needs to be where the public is — and that means being everywhere. Meeting customers on voice, digital, and messaging channels, and providing a consistent, contextual, convenient experience across every one.
In one case, Nuance worked with a government agency that was struggling to handle incoming calls. They answered less than half, with the others getting a busy signal or a message asking them to call back later. Using Nuance’s solutions, they’re now able to answer all their incoming calls, and nearly half are handled within the interactive voice response (IVR) system. “Citizens are calling in, getting the information they need, and never talking with a customer service rep,” Brodsky said.
Natural Language Understanding & Biometric Authentication
A voice-based system is easier for the caller. “Take 311 calls,” Brodsky said. “We can ask the caller What do you want to do? Just tell me in your own words,’ as opposed to going through numerous yes-no steps.”
But voice can do more. In engaging the community, “trust is a big issue,” Clipson said. “We’re seeing a lot of interest in security through voice biometrics.”
When people contact your organization, they don’t want to waste time remembering passwords and the answers to security questions. But they still want to know you’re protecting their data. With advanced biometrics technologies, government agencies have an opportunity remove the friction from authentication, while making it more secure. That means simpler, less stressful authentication experiences for people, but it also means reduced average handle time (AHT), and — as a result — reduced contact center costs.
How Nuance Can Help
“We believe the best outcomes rely on an AI-first approach. That means using AI to automate as much as you can and to empower your agents. It means instilling trust through biometric identification and fraud prevention,” Brodsky told us. “We show how we can help build better customer engagement, and then work with our customers and agencies to help them build out that business case.”
Joseph Solt, Nuance’s Director of Professional Services, elaborated: “When you can offer better agent experience, better caller experience, and a more secure citizen experience, that creates a very marketable situation for that agency, or for that city.”
This article first appeared in our “Guide to Building Constituent Engagement.” For more ideas on how agencies are improving their outreach, download the guide.