Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

MAXIMUS Outfits Government Agencies with Virtual Assistants

September 08, 2017

When we think about customers, individuals or organizations that purchase products from businesses typically come to mind. But, like businesses, government agencies supply solutions too. Their citizens are, in effect, their customers for those offerings. And these citizen customers sometimes need help in getting the answers they require to access or better understand government services and policies.

That means that government agencies, just like businesses, need to have the resources in place to field those inquiries. And while many of those resources are now available online at governmental websites, not everybody has easy access to connected devices and broadband connectivity. So, government agencies need to make resources available via other channels. One of those channels is the telephone.

However, hiring and paying large numbers of people to respond to caller inquiries is not always the most efficient or cost-effective way for government agencies to address this requirement. So, to help them control human resources costs on this front, some government agencies are now using solutions based on artificial intelligence, natural language speech recognition, and virtual assistant technology.

MAXIMUS is one company that outfits government entities with such solutions. It offers the MAXIMUS Intelligent Assistant powered by Interactions, which enables callers to speak normally to get the answers they require. With this solution, a virtual assistant can recognize common caller requests – such as how or where to apply for a passport – and respond by sending the answers to the caller’s email address, or mobile phone via text.

Andy Beamon, senior director of MAXIMUS Federal, earlier this week spoke at the Government Customer Experience Conference @903gov in Washington, D.C. During the panel he discussed how artificial intelligence and virtual assistants can help government agencies deliver digital services through modern citizen engagement centers.

“Citizens’ expectations for customer service are the same for government as they are for the private sector,” said Beamon. “Agencies are challenged with meeting these expectations while lowering their costs.”

Also on panel were Robert Genesoni, chief of customer engagement center, customer service, and public engagement at the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service; Rosetta Lue, senior advisor of contact center modernization at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; John Yuda, acting director of public experience portfolio for the General Services Administration; and moderator Martha Dorris, CEO of DCI International and a former GSA executive.

Edited by Mandi Nowitz