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211 San Diego Speeds Service with inContact's Hosted Call Center Platform

January 12, 2010
By Patrick Barnard, Group Managing Editor, TMCnet

Information and referral specialists at 211 San Diego can now deliver faster and better service to residents of the San Diego area, thanks to the fact that the non-profit organization recently ditched its on-premises call center system in favor of a hosted call center system from inContact.

The 2-1-1 service helps residents find information on jobs, housing, rent assistance, utility assistance, health programs, recreational programs, basic “town hall” services and just about anything else community-related. Due to the recession there has been increased demand on 2-1-1 services, as more people are seeking financial and other assistance.
“After a dramatic increase in calls following the 2007 wildfires, the economic downturn and the H1N1 flu virus, we knew we had to upgrade to a call center platform that can handle larger call volumes and accommodate additional Information & Referral Specialists,” said John Ohanian, CEO of 211 San Diego, in a release.

With inContact’s hosted call center solution, 211 San Diego now has a highly scalable contact center platform that can deftly handle large spikes in call volume – such as when there is a severe storm or other emergency that could result in a flood of calls coming into the 2-1-1 center. Rapid and dynamic scalability is one of many advantages today’s hosted call center solutions have over on-premises systems.

inContact’s hosted call center system also sports an inbound/outbound IVR with advanced speech recognition technology that can be used to relay important information to residents in the event they have to wait on hold to speak to a live agent.

What’s more, inContact’s hosted call center solution sports a “cloud”-based architecture, which means the call center software environment can be accessed via any computer with a high speed connection. That opens up new deployment scenarios and capabilities for 211 San Diego – including the opportunity to tap into the “informal contact center” and home agent model.

For example, should there be a sudden spike in calls, the system will automatically route overflow calls to other knowledge workers outside of the main call center, to speed customer service. In addition, calls can be routed to I&R specialists’ home phones and cell phones, thus enabling them to help residents with important questions even if they aren’t in the main center.

Although inContact operates its own dedicated network, in this case its hosted call center platform will be delivered to 211 San Diego via partner Smoothstone (News - Alert) IP Communications’ network.

In the release, Ohanian said inContact “is a trusted partner that will help us meet our community obligations with maximum flexibility.” He also thanked the First 5 Commission of San Diego County for it generous funding of the project and Qualcomm (News - Alert), Inc.’s information and technology team for its technical expertise.

“211 San Diego is our 17th customer in the 211 market and we are very happy to be working with them,” said Frank Maylett, Executive vice president of sales and global alliances, in Contact, in the release. “inContact is uniquely positioned to deliver outstanding service to complex contact centers such as 211 San Diego. Our leadership in cloud computing enables us to meet the community’s demand for help by routing calls to the homes or cell phones of 211 San Diego’s I&R specialists, alternate lines, or a completely separate call center.”

Patrick Barnard is a senior Web editor for TMCnet, covering call and contact center technologies. He also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet e-Newsletters in the areas of robotics, IT, M2M, OCS and customer interaction solutions. To read more of Patrick's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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