Slovakia’s Ministry of Health
Building a Covid-19 hotline for hundreds of calls per second
In 2020, the Covid-19 outbreak brought many challenges to the public sector. There was a sudden need to create hotlines for entire countries—such as Slovakia, with a population of 5.5 million. Slovakia’s hotline would have to handle countless issues regarding the coronavirus, from general information to the tracking of cases, vaccination, testing, and home treatment.
Slovakia’s Ministry of Health—specifically the Department of Crisis Management—needed to set up a new call center to manage Covid-19 more efficiently by providing citizens with a reliable source of answers and information.
Although the department had around 150 employees, it became impossible to manage the number of callers. The pandemic urgently required a call center that would be prepared for a record-breaking call load.
The call center had to be built in just a few days. It immediately needed to have a stable line that could handle an enormous amount of people calling at once. (Once active, the hotline actually received 500 calls in one second, more than any other line in Slovakia’s history.)
Because there was no such call center in the country, the best course of action was to create a unique team of people ready to help: works from the NCZI (National Health Information Center), soldiers, volunteers, and employees from companies such as Tatrabanka, Telekom, SLSP, Credit Call and Curaprox, among others.
However, getting support from the private sector actually made things a bit complicated. It’s one thing to run a call center with 50 agents in one office; it’s an entirely different situation to run a call center with people from 10 different organizations. Without a potent cloud-based call center software, it could arguably turn into a nightmare.
To cover all requirements, the Ministry of Health decided to test three cloud-based call center solutions. The number one priority was stability. Only CloudTalk managed to handle the call load; the other systems literally collapsed immediately. It also met all other needs, which would guarantee efficient management of the highest number of calls possible.
The key requirements for the phone software were:
- High call quality: The ability to handle massive amounts of calls during the day.
- Intelligent call routing & IVR: Routing callers to the most suitable agent or callers group.
- Voicemail: Allowing callers to leave a voice message.
- User-friendly call flow designer: Helping managers design various scenarios for incoming calls for each phone number.
- Call statistics: Providing supervisors with an outline of the busiest hours/days, lines, phone numbers, etc.
- User-friendly application: Being easily understandable for all agents, thus allowing them to quickly start working with the software, handling calls and requests.
In the last three months, the hotline from the Ministry of Health has made 200,000+ inbound and outbound calls using 11 phone numbers, having spent 145,000+ minutes on inbound calls and 3,000+ minutes on outbound calls.
Thanks to CloudTalk’s phone software, the hotline is able to handle around 50,000 call requests monthly from Slovak citizens regarding vaccinations, testing, quarantine, and information about crossing borders.
The hotline is consistently the busiest in Slovakia. There are days when it handles 15,000 calls a day. Luckily, the Ministry of Health is confident in its choice of vendor. CloudTalk has proven to be reliable every step of the way, thereby playing a crucial role in keeping Slovakia’s citizens informed during the past year.
Results in the last 3 months
Inbound and outbound calls
Minutes on the phone with clients
Essential CloudTalk benefits
- Call Recordings: CloudTalk can automatically make recordings of all calls when requested. Once the call ends, the supervisor/agent can listen to a recording directly from an internet browser—anywhere, anytime. (For instance, when call notes are insufficient or if a new agent may not be communicating properly.)
- Customer Service: The team agreed, that CloudTalk’s staff has been particularly communicative and helpful with the setup of the integration.
- IVR: This feature allows the covid call center to route the calling customer to the most suitable agent just in a few steps.
- Call Statistics: Call Statistics help managers analyze the busiest time, days and which lines are loaded the most, so they can plan ahead accordingly.
Project Manager, Slovakia’s Ministry of Health
A senior project manager working in the Department of Crisis Management within the Ministry of Health. He and his team are behind the building of Slovakia’s busiest call center from scratch in just 15 days. Currently, the call center has almost 60 internal operators, along with many external operators.
Ministry of Health’s favorite features
- Call Statistics: Our software displays real-time call center statistics and historical metrics starting from the day the company initiates its CloudTalk account. Call statistics (filtered by a date range of your preference) allow managers to track total inbound and outbound calls, unanswered calls, average time-to-answer and wait times, average and total call duration, and more.
- Ring Groups: This feature comes in handy with routing callers to the agents who can solve the given issues fastest. It comes with many perks—for example, when setting up a ring group, the ringing timeout can be set to 10 seconds; this is how long it should ring an agent before ringing the next one. Another example is allowing a maximum number of callers that can be waiting in a queue. This avoids having anyone waiting too long before speaking to someone.
- Call Flow Designer: Allows managers to create various call scenarios for each phone number. For instance, when a caller reaches a hotline that provides general information, the IVR feature automatically redirects the caller to the most suitable call group or agent based on which issue needs to be solved. It’s also easy to add various details to call flows—like business hours, call forwarding to external numbers, multi-level IVR, and voicemails. No IT knowledge needed.
- Call Monitoring: Supervisors can utilize three ways of monitoring—listening to the call; whispering advice to the agent (without the caller hearing); joining the call. This is especially useful with new agents that require immediate assistance.
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