Right now, the city of Memphis, Tenn., like many other municipalities, is facing a challenge with its emergency contact center: It doesn’t have enough staff to answer calls in a timely manner.
The national standard for call wait times in emergency contact centers is 20 seconds, for at least 95 percent of the time. In March, Memphis tested at an average of 27 seconds.
This is a big problem. Those extra seven seconds could, in some cases, mean the difference between life and death. But Memphis is between a rock and a hard place regarding its staffing shortage, as there simply aren’t enough agents to answer the phone. The city has been struggling with the issue since last August.
City officials are currently working on a plan to significantly increase the number of agents by 2017. But there’s another noteworthy plan in place for next year as well—the implementation of text-to- 911, as part of a statewide effort to upgrade emergency response capabilities.
Text-to- 911 is intended for use by citizens who require emergency attention but who may not be in immediately life-threatening situations, for example witnesses of crimes or domestic violence victims.
Emergency 911 operators will handle these texts and send timely responses. This so-called multichannel service will reduce incoming call volumes, freeing on-call operators to answer phones faster.
Multichannel service is provided by cloud-based contact center platforms like Bright Pattern. With the help of Bright Pattern, agents can access multiple channels over a single hub. It’s a user-friendly, cost-effective way to make emergency contact centers more accessible, and also more efficient.
To learn more about how Bright Pattern can improve your city’s emergency response times with a multichannel service strategy, click here.