Author: Giovanni De Santis
Location: Lecce, IT
LocalTime: 13:45

From idea to public service in less than a week

On March 31, the Italian government announced that families suffering from the financial impact of COVID-19 could apply through their municipalities to get vouchers to buy food and groceries. On the same day the Civil Protection ordinance was released, Transcom offered the Municipality of Lecce its support to set up a digital process, to avoid the risks associated with citizens having to physically go and register their application with the municipality.

Complication: The Municipality of Lecce did not have a technology platform to provide information through voice channels or messaging, and furthermore its workforce risked being  overwhelmed to handle live-channels, such as a live-chat. Moreover, local authorities had to avoid queues and gatherings to reduce the risk of the contagion to its minimum.

Solution: Transcom immediately started to work on an innovative and smart solution, together with our technology partner LiveHelp. In just three working days, Transcom did the technical setup, testing, and training, to ensure that the service was up and running by April 6. The service is based on setting up a phone service with an effortless transition to WhatsApp.

Agents were working from Monday to Friday, from 9:00 to 13:00 and from 13:30 to 17:00, but citizens could submit their application via WhatsApp 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When the service is resumed, during working hours, the agents could verify that the application was correct, and if needed, contact the citizen via messaging to ask any remaining questions or ask for complementary information.  

Results & learnings: One of the lessons learned was the speed of deployment and how WhatsApp is not only for enterprises - it's really for the people! By combining WhatsApp with inbound calls, the citizens were able to submit the application by sending a photo of the request form along with a photo of their identity document of the applicant. The ease of use was astonishing and the application process became very convenient for families and close ones, especially when the sender was not necessarily the actual applicant.

Another lesson learned was that even if this was a completely new way for the public administration to communicate with the citizens of Lecce, it was not new for their citizens! The WhatsApp channel was selected because it's the people's own preference. The success was immediate by far, 62% of contacts have been via WhatsApp.  

Conversational commerce thinking, quick and easy setup - be where the customer is.