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A 24-Hour Success Story that Started with a Disaster

By Kolby Harvey Ph.D.
Head Content & Conversational Strategist

Inundated by a series of “once-in-a-lifetime” disasters, a major US city sought to support its residents by creating a disaster relief hotline and augmenting its existing 311-style hotline. Though typically focused on quotidian concerns like noise complaints and off-side street parking, the city’s 311 hotlines suddenly had to address life-or-death questions as call volumes skyrocketed as high as 200,000 per day at the onset of the pandemic.

Scaling Up Customer Service While Downsizing

In addition to unprecedented demand, the city also had to contend with a 50% reduction in staff, a policy instituted to curb the spread of the then-enigmatic COVID-19 virus. It was clear that an agile, scalable contact center solution would be key to their efforts.

Contact Center Expansion at Scale

Thankfully, Humach excels at providing custom, flexible solutions to help client organizations scale to meet peak demand for caller needs. Our experience training government agencies, combined with our team of expert agents and cloud-based contact center technology made us the perfect choice for the alarming situation at hand. In fact, Humach more than rose to the occasion, delivering a fully functional hotline in just twenty-four hours and later growing our agent team to 180 members in less than a month.

“We saw an opportunity to help the city leverage and improve their hot line service. Yes, it can provide residents with information and support, but it can also serve as a vast data-gathering vessel for the city to develop a more proactive approach.”

—Jennifer Lundberg, Director of Technology Enablement

Omnichannel Contact Center Support

Empowered with the contact center technology of one of our closest partner organizations, Talkdesk, Humach agents provided omnichannel support while the city gained real-time insight into operations.

As Humach’s Director of Technology Enablement, Jennifer Lundberg explained, “We actively track 17 different call types and constantly monitor data for new trends. By spotting new trends early, we can make the city aware of potential issues, allowing them to make more proactive, data-driven decisions when developing an appropriate response strategy.”

Proper training is always a high priority for Humach, and this project was no exception. To that end, we developed a custom training curriculum and a QA application. To learn more about our efforts, read the case study below.

Disaster Relief Hotline: Live in 24 Hours

“We knew the city needed two things: a wide talent pool of agents who were experts in various resident-related topics, and a team of advisors who could mine request information, look for trends, and share insights. By doing this we saw a way to help the city proactively enhance not just their resident’s experience, but the city’s response as well.”

—Charlotte Fauser, VP Agent & Client Engagement



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