In the past, the public sector looked up to the private sector for innovation and cutting-edge technology. The single-most important global event of 2020 forced public sector leaders to think outside the box to enable remote work and serve their communities, while protecting staff and optimizing resources – and proved that they can innovate and leverage technology to drive change when it is necessary.

During the pandemic, public sector leaders built formidable contact centers that were cutting-edge from a security and infrastructure point of view. Further, these contact centers optimized their resources to serve more people in the community across their choice of channels and platforms – all while enabling agents to work remotely and measure their impact.

The work we did with one such client in Asia Pacific is the perfect example to describe their challenges and journey to a future-ready state in detail. Taking a leaf out of their playbook will help organizations across the globe, in the public as well as the private sector.

Beyond speed and scale at the contact center

Our client – we’re talking about a public sector organization with 20,000 staff and nearly 500 contact center agents serving a community of millions of people – at the start of the pandemic realized that they just weren’t equipped to enable secure, remote work for agents or even staff. This wasn’t acceptable to them.

They worked with Cisco’s hybrid work specialists along with some of the partners from our ecosystem to deploy Webex and Webex Contact Center in the immediate term. In the long term, of course, their plan is to work to re-architect their infrastructure into something that is more agile, digital-first, and geared towards a hybrid multicloud future.

Webex Contact Center is a world-class offering. Being cloud-native, it can be deployed at lightning speed, and at scale, both of which were critical to the customer.

Serving the community during the pandemic meant that the public sector organization was going to see inbound enquiries soar like never before. It also meant that the community would use new platforms and channels – everything from phone, email, and text messages to contact forms and prominent social media sites.

Deploying the Webex Contact Center allowed agents to serve the community from a safe space such as their home. It also empowered them to track customers through their journey during each engagement to map their experience and gauge the sentiment among individuals as well as the community as a whole.

That was powerful, and it’s why the private sector should take a leaf out of their playbook.

To the credit of the leaders in the public sector organization, action was taken quickly to deploy and scale a contact center solution that put them in control of the situation. Imagine if there had been delays in acknowledging that a change was needed in their infrastructure. The community would quickly lose trust in the organization and start to rely on casual channels for information which could ultimately weaken the public sector organization’s efforts to manage the pandemic and mitigate risks to the community.

Since our solution is cloud-based and provides a whole host of intelligent features, the agents workflows could be optimized and made more efficient, to enable them to serve more members of the community.

The contact center’s powerful analytics spread across multiple channels enabled the organization to put a finger on the pulse of the community and analyze the prevailing sentiments. This enabled the team to craft a mix of messages that provided the public with the right guidance and support – in a way that was clear, concise, and meaningful. This is the power of our ‘omnichannel’ stack or capabilities. Finally, our contact center solution also leverages predictive analytics [thanks to our acquisition of and integration with Cloud Cherry three years ago] to help the team deliver a better community experience overall.

Leveraging the collaboration platform to deliver a better experience

 While it looks like the Webex Contact Center was the star of the show here, it’s only half the story.

The other half is about the work that our Webex video conferencing, cloud calling, and screensharing platform. The solution served the 20,000 strong team at the public sector organization, allowing them to pool their intelligence together, to improve the lives of people in the community every single day, and enabling them to collaborate without any hassles, irrespective of the device or network they used.

An important victory for the team, for example, was the ability for various teams and leaders to collaborate online and put together a vaccination program, and then leverage a mix of messages on various platforms to rally the troops and get the community to sign up for their first and second doses. A fully digital, cloud-based contact center allowed them to launch an exclusive hotline for this purpose and tune-in their agents to provide information, sign-up support, and more.

Ultimately, the public sector organization was on a mission to support their community during the health crisis. It’s what kickstarted their motion to build better infrastructure fit for the digital era and new normal.

Their efforts led to the development of a top-of-the-line contact center that wins a great number of hearts and minds, and unleashes a great deal of positivity into a fairly large community, every single day. They’re proud of what they achieved with us and our partners, and what this initiative allowed their teams and agents to do when the community needed them the most. Their journey isn’t over – but they’ve definitely set the bar high as far as hybrid work is concerned.