The Ticino Cantonal Road Traffic and Shipping Authority receives hundreds of enquires over the phone and counter every day. To speed up the handling of this volume, the canton commissioned Swisscom to set up a modern contact center. From day one, the Road Traffic and Shipping Authority experienced a huge improvement in response times and in the availability of staff to handle calls. As a result, counter staff can now focus on serving their customers.
Whether it's a query about a driving licence or a question about registering a motor bike or a new boat on Lake Maggiore, the Sezione della circolazione (Ticino Cantonal Road Traffic and Shipping Authority), with 340,000 inhabitants and around 294,000 vehicles, has its work cut out.
120 administrative staff and some 50 traffic experts handle around 500,000 files, 160,000 vehicle registrations and over 20,000 driver health checks annually. Managing such volumes was stretching the Authority's resources to its limits, taking its toll on customer service.
The Authority faced the enormous challenge of how to improve the inadequate availability of its staff to handle calls and at the same time reduce the sometimes excessive waiting times at the counters.
In 2011, the Head of the Road Traffic and Shipping Authority decided to submit a request to the canton for a contact center to be set up. The application was approved that same year, and the Centro sistemi informativi (Cantonal IT Department) commissioned external contact center advisory specialists as well as suppliers to evaluate the hardware. In spring 2012, the decision was taken to work with the Channel und Dialogue Management Team from Swisscom for technical project consulting. Swisscom's Corporate Business division was selected to supply the infrastructure.
Before addressing the procedural, organisational and technical issues, a comprehensive situation analysis was conducted together with the project leaders in the canton and the contact partners in the Sezione della circolazione. Based on the results of the analysis, a target framework and a set of principles governing the future handling of customer enquiries was developed together with the management of the Road Traffic and Shipping Authority. These then formed the basis for defining the deliverables and the range of services to be offered in the contact center.
It took just six months to complete the project and roll out the modern contact center for the Sezione della circolazione. Today, a total of ten individuals along with a team leader handle hundreds of calls daily. This was made possible thanks to the strengthening and expansion of expertise at this central customer contact point, enabling the team to handle most of the calls directly. Forwarding a call to a second level specialist is only necessary in exceptional cases. In no time at all, customer satisfaction improved greatly as a result of these changes. From week one of the contact center going into operation, the availability of staff to take calls went up significantly. Meanwhile, the average response time for calls to the Sezione della circolazione is two minutes – well below the response times experienced before.
«Because the calls are responded to directly in the contact center, staff manning the counters can now focus on looking after their customers», says Cristian Canova, Head of the Road Traffic and Shipping Authority, points out. «Working with Swisscom has enabled us to greatly improve customer service at both contact points.»
The new service has also been well received by customers, with numerous positive feedback responses commenting on the easier access and the number of customers complimenting the level of service a clear sign that it is viewed as a positive and appropriate step by the public.
The positive response from customers and employees alike goes to show that the path we chose was the right one. Cristian Canova: «Over the next few years we intend to invest in further specialist staff training so that we can transfer additional, more complex tasks and activities to the contact center. This is essential if we wish to meet the high expectations of our citizens.»
The responsible departments in the Ticino Cantonal Administration are also delighted. Encouraged by the positive experience with the Road Traffic and Shipping Authority, the canton is now considering setting up additional contact centers for other departments and authorities. Further such centers could also optimise use of the infrastructure.