Census Helpline: Managing peak call volumes

When you accept the contract to manage the help line for a country’s Census you do so with a certain amount of trepidation. The experience is pretty unique. Typically a successful contact centre evolves over time through continuous process improvement both in terms of resourcing to meet expected volumes and delivering a quality experience.

With a project like Census the rules all change. The centre needs to scale from zero to major  volumes in a matter of days and the staff need to hit the deck running answering a wide range of queries confidently and efficiently.  This is what the team at Telnet has achieved in the last week with the New Zealand Census. In the attached press release we talk about how we answered  75,000 calls over 3 days with an average wait time of 3 seconds. We complemented our existing staff with over 200 temporaries obtained by our sister company CallCentre People Limited who worked closely with Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ). Also, Knowledge Management systems, designed for ease of use, enabled staff to quickly identify and resolve customer queries.

I am pleased to say that with a lot of planning and very hard work by our  loyal Telnet team we pulled it off. Programmes like this that test you and the learnings provide a platform for innovation and further growth.

John Chetwynd

Press release