When it comes to personal health, especially in the middle of a pandemic, every minute matters. For Solari Crisis & Human Services, an award-winning nonprofit that oversees crisis and human services programs and contact centers in Arizona, running a COVID-19 hotline proved to be an increasing challenge as official information changed frequently. Find out how Spekit helped this vaccine call center reduce call times by minutes, increase agent confidence and provide new peace of mind to both employees and callers alike.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought more questions than answers, as the official list of symptoms, affected demographics, and vaccine availability evolved almost daily. Solari Crisis & Human Services was already empowering individuals through their programs Crisis Response Network (CRN), 2-1-1 Arizona, and Community Support Network (CSN). Solari then partnered with a major health system to stand up and run their Covid-19 and immunization hotlines. They used Spekit as a central source of information across their multiple organizations to act as a single source of truth for Arizona residents seeking Covid-19 vaccination information.
As the manager for the Solari Crisis & Human Services immunization navigation hotline, Edward Etienne worked with more than 200 call center reps to ensure they had access to the latest information from the CDC and other trusted outlets. It quickly became apparent that the “latest information” was literally changing overnight, making it incredibly challenging for agents to stay current and disseminate accurate guidance.
Initially, Edward’s team received a short document from their health partner that listed relevant topics and resources, but as questions grew and information changed, Edward expanded upon that list and created a shareable Google Doc that reflected the questions that would arise each day.
This new Doc became a one-stop-shop for answers and included CDC updates, suggested call scripts, contact information for local agencies, websites for extensive research, specific vaccine finders, side effects, insurance carriers, and on and on. The goal was to create a comprehensive resource that anyone on the team could access at any time, from anywhere.
But within a short period of time, Edward’s Google Doc became a 118-page resource that required extensive time searching and sorting through topics. The team averaged 700-800 calls per day, and at their peak, logged more than 22,000 calls daily. With no time to scroll and look for answers, team members turned to instant messengers and websites, prolonging call times and making Edward’s tool counterproductive.
“It was a monster document. We needed a way to keep up with all of the information that was constantly changing or in flux and make it easily digestible to give to our staff. We needed to make the user experience intuitive where reps could find answers in one central location and use a keyword search for the appropriate response.” Edward Etienne
Around the same time, Rebecca Storrs, manager of resource database operations, was researching platforms within the organization and those of their partners hoping to find a magic solution to distribute and host content in a contextual, digestible manner.
“I was asking, ‘what are you using? What is working? How are you dispensing this information to your call teams?’ Because we had to launch a hotline over one weekend, we even created internal software but it didn't have the functionality we needed to organize content,” Rebecca said.
She then learned about Spekit’s digital enablement solution, which provided the simplicity of a centralized repository but layered it with the ability to instantly search and access the answers their team needed in seconds.
“Amassing our resources into a place like Spekit was a big boon for us.” Edward Etienne
To get started, Spekit’s implementation team used the existing content from Solari and converted the “monster” Google Doc into easily searchable content cards called “Speks.” In just a matter of weeks, the call center teams had everything they needed at their fingertips. Employees can now perform a keyword or topic search, find the answer quickly and provide real-time guidance for callers.
"Before Spekit, employees would go to multiple websites, internal resources, and turn to other agents while on the phone for answers. Now we have one spot to search for everything." Rebecca Storrs, Manager of Resource Database Operations
"When I first started working with the call team, the instant messaging chat was their first stop for answers instead of the informational aids we put together. They would reach out to coworkers and supervisors and get into a little bit of panic mode. Spekit has calmed that down once they learned they could search for answers just as quickly as posting in a group chat. They’ve transitioned very quickly, saying ‘that’s super easy.'" -Edward Etienne, Solari Crisis & Human Services
"I didn’t realize it at the time, but now, Spekit is the answer to what we were looking for. It’s a breath of fresh air." Rebecca Storrs, Manager of resource database operations
How Spekit changed their day-to-day work
Edward’s team bid adieu to the Google Doc and began using Spekit well beyond their original intent. Where some reps required multiple monitors to keep the myriad Chrome search tabs open to scour websites, they now have one screen to access any and everything they need.
“It’s not about reinventing the wheel but just making things more intuitive. We’re not surfing the web for FAQs. We’re definitely pleased with Spekit.” Edward Etienne
Today, Solari’s immunization call center is a collaborative space where employees encourage one another to look in Spekit before consulting other tools for answers.
“When I first started working with the call team, the instant messaging chat was their first stop for answers instead of the informational aids we put together. They would reach out to coworkers and supervisors and get into a little bit of panic mode. Spekit has calmed that down once they learned they could search for answers just as quickly as posting in a group chat. They’ve transitioned very quickly, saying ‘that’s super easy,’ ” Edward added.
When new information becomes available from the CDC or Departments of Health, Solari uses Spekit to quickly communicate updates in a “Daily Spek” that is instantly available when employees log on to their computer. Prior to this, reps sifted through emails each day to find the latest changes, which could easily get lost or deleted with no way to know if a team member knew of the change. This ability to immediately notify reps of any updates or changes gives Edward and his team newfound comfort knowing the right answer is within reach.
“Before Spekit, employees would go to multiple websites, internal resources, and turn to other agents while on the phone for answers. Now we have one spot to search for everything,” Rebecca said.
While the internal benefits of Spekit have been more than they imagined, perhaps the best result for Solari has been the ability to reduce call times by several minutes. Every minute spent on hold can feel like an eternity, and now callers have less time to wait for critical information.
"I didn’t realize it at the time, but now, Spekit is the answer to what we were looking for. It’s a breath of fresh air." Rebecca Storrs