Cuyahoga County

Make the Smart Decision

Customer: Cuyahoga County Department of Employment & Family Services

Location: Ohio

Market: Government

Application: Custom

The Cuyahoga County Department of Employment & Family Services provides essential support services to parents, child care providers and caregivers throughout the county. Before Mutare's software was installed, staff members were fielding thousands of phone calls a month. Working with Cuyahoga County's existing voicemail system, Mutare was able to develop a voice response application that fields, sorts, relays and, in many cases, provides immediate resolution to incoming caller requests from department of employment & family services clients - 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The system works as follows: after dialing the new Child Care Hotline, the caller is asked to identify him or herself by an assigned I.D. number. The application then guides the caller through a series of touch-tone menu options designed to gather all information necessary to respond to various requests - from checking the status of a provider payment, making changes on a child care voucher, or reporting absences. When prompted, the caller is linked to a second application that will read back the name of the assigned caseworker and caseworker supervisor, and even dial the number.

With the ability to record both touch-tone and voice responses, the application creates a digital file of each caller's responses and relays them to the email inbox of the appropriate case or staff worker. "It is set up to handle a wide variety of requests, making sure that all of the information is relayed to the right person. Not only does that spare our employees the need to route calls or call back for additional information, but it also assures the customers a quicker response," says Tom Drescher, Manager of Information Services.

To illustrate the value of the new application, Tom notes that in the month of April, his agency received nearly 7,000 payment inquiry calls. For 5,200 of those calls, the application was able to identify the status of the payment and automatically report that information to the caller. "Assuming each of those calls would have taken at least five minutes, that's over 430 hours that our staff was spared in one month alone," says Tom. "It's really taken the burden off of our call center and made a real difference in our productivity." Just as important, says Tom, the new system has improved the quality of support experienced by E&FS families at a reasonable cost to the County.