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We want to be able to provide New Mexicans, who are reaching out for government assistance, a delightful customer experience. We need tools to help deliver that customer experience — and we’ve been able to get where we want to go by using automation.”Shanita Harrison Customer Innovation Director
New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment, is home to a vibrant arts scene, majestic mountains, desert landscapes, and two million residents. Fifty-one percent of those residents receive support from the Human Services Department (HSD), and it’s critical that programs are easy to use and accessible to all. To ensure the state meets residents’ needs in the best way possible, HSD consolidated its customer service center and utilized intelligent automation to help residents access and manage their benefits.
New Mexico HSD leaders describe themselves as “customer-obsessed”. They’re dedicated to delivering a first-class customer experience to residents who depend on support from the public sector. To contact HSD, residents had to either visit an office, call and attempt to reach the correct person — searching a list of 100 phone numbers — or use a fax machine to attain key data. And the challenge to connect went both ways. Staff needed to reach out to residents on a regular basis to confirm they were aware of critical deadlines for the continuation of services like Medicaid coverage. HSD knew that to deliver top-notch customer service, they needed a one-stop shop for resident inquiries.
At the beginning of their journey, HSD onboarded an SS&C Blue Prism digital worker, fondly called “Baby Bot”, who checks hospital systems for recent births. Once a baby has been registered by the hospital, Baby Bot adds the newborn to the mother’s Medicaid record. Depending on how heavy the workload was prior to automation, this information could take three to 30 days to be recorded. Baby Bot completes the task in 15 minutes — a 99% reduction in time to process — and ensures the baby, mother, and insurers have current information.
The HSD then went to work consolidating its customer service center and expanding offerings for residents. They used “human-centered design”— based on data from focus groups and direct conversations with residents — to create a Unified Public Interface. Residents can now connect with HSD via chat, text, and email. To help the staff manage these new communication streams, HSD again turned to its team of digital workers. Ava, their “brainy bot”, supports agents by keeping their case notes synchronized across multiple systems. Caseworkers typically enter 40 to 50 notes per day. Digital workers save them from duplicating efforts and give them time back which can be spent interacting directly with citizens.
Today, digital workers help New Mexicans update their addresses, authorize or remove representatives, and reset passwords. Additionally, HSD creates predictive handling scenarios by leveraging intelligent automation and AI. This allows them to push pertinent information to their customers. As the Medicaid continuous eligibility mandate ends, Medicaid recertifications will be prioritized and customers won’t have to navigate tedious interactive voice response systems. HSD has delivered on its commitment to improving its customers’ experiences, reduced time and effort for staff, and returned more than 100,000 hours back to the state.
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