ERGO helps Düsseldorf with the Corona Hotline

Magazine, 29.04.2020

Whoever dials 0049 (0)211-8996090 will now be helped by a friendly robotic voice. The ERGO experts have “taught” this digital assistant to channel thousands of calls a day.


Digital partner ERGO helps the city

“We are very pleased that the City of Düsseldorf has approached its digital partner ERGO to improve its hotline service”, says Mark Klein, who last winter was also in charge of setting up a kids’ games website for the Museum Kunstpalast with colleagues from ERGO Digital Ventures and ERGO Digital IT.

ERGO’s Chief Digital Officer adds, “As a company with its headquarters in Düsseldorf, it is even more important for us to support the state capital and our fellow citizens with our digital expertise in view of the exceptional burdens imposed by the coronavirus.”

The Mayor of Düsseldorf, Thomas Geisel, is full of praise for the cooperation

Even Düsseldorf’s Mayor, Thomas Geisel, is impressed: “The quick technical implementation of the improved Corona Hotline with the help of the ERGO experts once again shows how well the networking of businesses and local authorities works in Düsseldorf.”

The Mayor continues that it was also thanks to the great commitment of the ERGO Digital Ventures and ERGO Digital IT team that the improvements and automation of the hotline were implemented perfectly. “The rate of calls reaching the Corona Hotline is regularly 100 percent. This means we actually deal with every caller’s request for information. It couldn’t be better”, says Mr Geisel.

ERGO helps with call centre and voice Expertise

Before the local authorities brought ERGO on board, their newly established hotline team had been coping extremely well for days - however, despite the efforts of up to 100 employees answering calls, they were consistently stretched to their limits due to the sheer number of calls. The main aim of the hotline is actually to allocate appointments for SARS-CoV-2 tests – however, in addition there are always a great number of requests where the hotline staff could only refer the callers to other municipal offices such as the Ordnungsamt (local authority for public order) for answers. This tied up resources.

ERGO’s extensive expertise in operating call centres, in voice skills and generally in handling customer enquiries efficiently was exactly what was needed: At the end of March, colleagues from ERGO in Nuremberg and Düsseldorf helped the local authorities within a few days, amongst others things, to

+ create guidelines with open questions and coordinated memos to provide assistance for the answering of calls,

+ optimise the shift system and personnel deployment planning,

+ install the previously mentioned phone bot with a female voice – implemented by a municipal service provider – on the hotline that was previously operated exclusively by humans and

+ structure the hotline by topics, which the new phone bot offers to the callers. This means that those callers who do not want to have an appointment for a test bypass the hotline staff.

Various levels of technological development ready to be put into practice

“My thanks go to our colleagues for the spontaneous and hard work they have put into this project, in which we were able to help especially in an advisory capacity”, says Gregor Wiest, Head of Innovation & Digital Transformation at ERGO. “At the moment there is no need for it, nevertheless our offer stands: Depending on future developments in the crisis, ERGO could also provide technological support to the state capital by replacing their existing bot with a more powerful phone bot solution from ERGO.”

By Ingo Schenk

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