New Hanover County introduces an omni-channel customer experience.
Meet the industry's next trailblazer.
The team in New Hanover County is tasked with ensuring a sustainable future and prosperous community for the residents living coast side. They are committed to providing equitable opportunities and exceptional public services to ensure a safe, healthy, secure and thriving community for all. In other words, New Hanover County is dedicated to bringing superior economic development, education, workforce, public health and safety net support to their residents each day. However, “in New Hanover County, we have more than just a mission statement,” Chaney said. “We have a strategy as an organization that acts as the foundation for our every decision.” The team lives out the model of good governance, recognizing that all of their customers deserve high quality services, and this commitment plan plays an influential role in decision making. “Our good governance plan is intended to provide continuous focus on the customer experience regardless of which department services they are accessing-- our residents deserve to be served with quality regardless of the types of benefits they are receiving. We ensure effective county management and strong financial performance through several tenets of goals,” added Chaney.
“The cloud came ready for us to innovate, giving us the foundation to elevate our processes and workflows to bring residents the services they needed, in a way they wanted to receive them.”
Tools to deliver the customer experience anywhere, anytime.
The team launched a complete customer contact solution with case management capabilities on the cloud in just eight weeks. By implementing an intuitive customer portal, New Hanover County was able to optimize workflows and quickly bring new functionality to their operations. “Our contact solution was built out to provide maximum support to both our internal teams and those seeking our services with a holistic view of resources that are available or currently being received,” said Esther Watson-Hall, Administrative Supervisor of Health and Human Services at New Hanover County. “We have built out components of the system to allow for updates and adaptations as we listen to customer feedback and alter accordingly to provide a level of customer experience that is both practical and pleasurable.”
With processes being brought to the cloud,the team is able to provide an omni-channel customer experience in a fast and efficient way by empowering operations internally. The team deployed several critical initiatives to get the job done:
- Starting with stability
The system is built on the FedRAMP-authorized Salesforce Government Cloud Plus. Here, all workflows, data, systems, and teams live within a unified space so the team can collaborate in a secure and productive manner. New Hanover County has been able to automate programs and boost IT operations by introducing a modern, digital solution to their Public Sector work.
- Warming the welcome
The customer experience starts for the residents in New Hanover County with a complete greeter process built out via Service Cloud. When the customer walks into the building they are greeted by a team member and asked the reason for their visit today, while the greeter makes them an appointment to be served-- this ensures that customers are not waiting in long lines to simply share the reason for their visit, before continuing to wait longer just to be served. The customer will be entered into the queue and directed by the greeter to the service department they are seeking assistance from. The receptionist will gather any additional needed demographic or general information regarding the customer and their visit before notifying the case worker that their customer has arrived through the platform.
New Hanover County is utilizing a round-robin type format for their Economic Services department, as the platform notifies case workers when their customers have arrived and where they are waiting to be served. This has resulted in minimal wait times, more efficient service being provided, and an overall better experience for both customers and employees empowering the mission. With transparency and care enforced every step of the way, customers are comfortable and assured each time they are receiving service from the team.
- Ensuring confidence in each case
Once a customer's appointment has been confirmed, they are entered into the system, and a case is opened. Caseworkers inside New Hanover County are able to manage the queue from the same platform and accept customers, assign task items, and automate workflows to provide the highest quality of assistance possible. “When our team finishes a case with a customer, they are able to assist that same resident with additional help in other programs, without the customer needing to get back into the queue,” said Watson-Hall. “There is a warm handoff process our residents receive as they go about navigating the different resources we have to provide them here.”
Staff can assign tasks, tag subject matter experts on key questions, share current status, and collaborate as they work to confirm the application and distribute the desired resources, while keeping the customer in lockstep along the way.
- Integrating to expand capabilities
To improve efficiency of development and simplify processes during the application lifecycle, the use of Lightning and Scheduler provided a centralized source control system as a way to define a single source of truth. Chatbot capabilities brought to life on Experience Cloud were used for ARP and ERAP applications to serve customers in a means they choose, whether that be text, email, chat, or in-person, so New Hanover could deliver service anytime, anywhere. The team was able to separate the programs provided so that application and case volume could be managed virtually based on customer profiles and solved / approved efficiently. Integration with SeamlessDocs even allowed residents to sign documents online, keeping the entire assistance process remote if preferred by the customer.
Digital engagement capabilities helped the team collaborate and share sources internally with unified data while self-service options for customers were allowing for faster case resolution time. Additionally, this empowered customers with an alternative voice when seeking assistance programs and resources from New Hanover County. Automation and AI features were embedded into service workflows to free up agents and bring speed to processes.
- Uncovering visibility
Tableau provides New Hanover County leadership, management, and specific resource teams with the ability to assess program performance, spot patterns,, and surface the kind of data driven insights that lead to smarter decision making and faster service delivery.