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Public service / e-Government

Hotline tests carried out on a regular basis demonstrate just how much the telephone support offered by public administrative bodies is in need of improvement. In many cases, it is not possible to get through even after three attempts. This of course leads to dissatisfaction among the public. However, good telephone contactability is important in e-government too, as telephones offer a fully accessible means of contact.

This problem can be avoided by immediately connecting callers to a voice dialog system. They can give details of their query and, if appropriate, have it answered straight away.

The answering of many calls is a routine part of public service. However, a person enquiring about the opening times of the recycling centers in their city for example does not necessarily need to speak to a member of staff. In this case, a voice portal can take their place and provide this information quickly and easily.

The City of Nuremberg's environmental department began using a portal solution from CreaLog many years ago. This lead to a 60 percent reduction in the number of routine questions staff had to answer.

Clearly, voice portals can be used in a wide range of scenarios within the administration sector. In Denmark, for example, a number of municipalities now use the CreaLog Auto Attendant instead of a switchboard for putting through calls.

Loan extensions in libraries

In libraries, loan deadlines for books can be extended via telephone using a voice dialog. The voice portal identifies each caller on the basis of their customer number and date of birth or a PIN.

The system is able to manage requests for extensions from hundreds of thousands of users. It also provides information via telephone about authors and book titles - all in a natural voice.

Vehicle registration offices

Like many other official bodies, vehicle registration offices have strictly formalized procedures. Whether someone wants to obtain a new or replacement driving license or register a vehicle, cancel the registration or give notification of a change of ownership, the papers required and the procedures to be followed are clearly set out.

Naturally, it is possible to take advantage of this standardization and provide automated answers to recurrent questions regarding opening times, papers which need to be brought, fees etc. This all results in greater convenience for the public, as the information they require is available via telephone around the clock.

However, staff too benefit from this considerable reduction in workload. Instead of giving out dull, routine information, they can concentrate fully on dealing with demanding special cases.

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