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Business Process Optimization for Public Safety Answering Points

Author: Patrick Salg

Copyright: Copyright 9-1-1 Magazine, Feature Content

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By Patrick Salg, Director of International Sales, ASC telecom AG

Historically, Public Safety Answering Points were equipped with communications recording systems for protection from liability due to legal evaluation of emergencies. This function was facilitated by time stamps, protection from tampering and assurance of fail-safe operation.

Today, Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) are adopting a trend growing among contact centers in private industry: the use of recorded calls to streamline processes and improve business process efficiency. This function has become critical in light of recent government cutbacks and the need for agencies to justify their need, effectiveness and productivity.

For many years, contact centers have implemented Business Process Optimization Solutions to gain deep insights into their agents’ activities and increase operational effectiveness. Today, these solutions may also help PSAPs meet new demands of next-generation 9-1-1.

Business Process Optimization

The latest Business Process Optimization Solutions are based on a comprehensive multimedia recording platform for capturing TDM, VoIP and radio conversations as well as related data such as screen interactions between call takers and their dispatchers.

A quality monitoring application integrated with the recording solution lets shift managers review and examine incidents in great detail. By evaluating call takers’ interactions, their strengths and weaknesses can be identified, and comprehensive reports can be generated comparing them to inter-agency requirements.

Using outbound surveys, the PSAP can effectively follow up on citizen calls to measure their satisfaction and perception of service in a proactive manner. The feedback helps agencies review and improve their processes and standards.

An eLearning application can be integrated with the quality monitoring solution to let the communications instructor assign customized coaching sessions directly to call takers to address skill gaps and increase productivity. Call takers can learn from eLearning sessions in between emergency calls without attending costly offsite training.

eLearning modules are particularly useful because they can improve agents’ weak points by delivering customized instruction directly to their desktops. Then, as agents learn, their weak points will change, and the module will provide new lessons, thus creating a loop of continuous learning.

Enterprise-Wide Integration

New functionality helps supervisors communicate with call takers and dispatchers in real-time, listen to ongoing calls, and even take control of the call taker’s desktop for effective on-the-job coaching.

Calls can be tagged with an incident number or a call taker’s name to facilitate search and replay. The ability to quickly listen to the most recent calls can help shave seconds off the response rate and make the difference between life and death; however, it can also enable deep and comprehensive post-incident investigations. Recordings can be easily emailed back and forth or grouped together by incident or subject for selective archiving as well as easier retrieval and analysis.

The latest business process optimization solutions provide speech analytics to structure raw data captured in recorded interactions. This process helps to identify the reasons for calls, recognize emerging trends and evaluate the call taker’s performance. Speech analytics solutions transcribe recorded calls into text data for mining and automatic evaluation by business intelligence systems. Speech analytics can be used for compliance (script adherence), call classification (through voice and emotion detection) and general investigations. For organizations with a large volume of communications, it can automatically categorize recorded calls to identify the most interesting, critical and useful interactions among an otherwise unmanageable number of communications.

A cutting-edge business process optimization solution should also include a business process management application. This tool matches the right quantity of employees with the right skills to the right job at the right time. Through automated processes, such as importing the call taker’s skills from quality monitoring reports, it increases the efficiency of staff scheduling while lowering overall costs.

Next-generation 9-1-1 communication platforms will also capture new media such as text, multimedia messages, video and e-mail as additional input channels for business process optimization solutions. Synchronized replay of associated telephone or radio interactions will also be available for incident investigations.

A Case Study

The Netherland’s National Police Department KLPD was one of the first European public safety organizations to adopt a business process optimization solution.

Unit Teleservice 1-1-2 employs over one hundred people to answer and route four million “1-1-2” emergency calls from cell phones and one million standard calls to the police every year. As the contact center for the KLPD, it serves as the “front door” of the national police department.

Prior to the installation of the business process optimization solution, the KLPD could only evaluate quantitative data such as “the number of emergency calls answered within 10 seconds.” Now, it can monitor, analyze and improve intangible skills such as customer friendliness, ability to listen and reassuring the caller.

The quality manager of Unit Teleservice, Judith van Paridon, said, “We interact with both internal and external groups including the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the intelligence and security services. Business process optimization helps us meet their needs by evaluating the quality of our system and agents on an ongoing basis.”

The KLPD solution preserves both the call audio and screen display. It also helps evaluate the infrastructure, such as the ACD routing, adapt work protocols and change the information on an agent’s desktop. At the same time, it accurately monitors employees’ communications and computer skills.

 

Conclusion

By providing comprehensive online training for dispatchers and call takers, citizen surveys and sophisticated call analysis applications, business process optimization solutions can improve operational effectiveness, increase citizen satisfaction and lower overall operational cost.

PSAPs are striving to optimize their processes and employees´ performance, and to increase efficiency and professionalism to enhance public safety. Business process optimization solutions have been proven effective in achieving these goals in commercial contact centers through their combination of advanced functionalities. Therefore, next-generation 9-1-1 communications platforms will continue to add business process optimization solutions to their nationwide emergency systems.

About the Author
As Director of International Sales for ASC, Patrick Salg handles business with international partners. He started his career at ASC almost 15 years ago and holds a CCI degree in Master of Business Management.

ASC is a leading global provider of innovative solutions to record, analyze and evaluate multimedia-based communications. First responders and public safety organizations enhance reactivity in emergency situations; therefore, ASC provides an important contribution to public safety.

For more information, visit www.asctelecom.com, call 201-252-3001, or write ASC, 1 International Boulevard, Suite #623, Mahwah, NJ 07495.

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