Answering the Call of Duty

We have just wrapped up our second week working with the United Way of Metro Atlanta’s 211 Call Center (for more information on the 211 call center, check out last week’s blog post!).  This past week has been very productive and given us more insight into the problem we’re trying to solve this summer.


After analyzing some of the sample data we gathered last week, we decided to collect more data about abandoned calls.  Looking at the data from the past few months, we noticed that there are a few numbers that have called hundreds of times a month.  We will notify the 211 director of this issue.


Our main goal for the summer is to analyze the data to make a menu that benefits both the callers and the agents.  The current menu is pictured below.  Currently, the menu is long and repetitive with some inaccurate prompts.  Some of the improvements we hope to make on the caller’s end are condensing the information, taking out the repetitive sections, and allowing repeat callers to skip information they already know.

Call tree

On Wednesday, we had the opportunity to experience the other end of calls by listening to agents handle calls.  This was very beneficial, as it allowed us to see what agents do for each call and what they would like to be improved.  The biggest potential improvement involves data entry.  All of the information gathered is manually entered by the agent while they are on the phone.  Agents have to rush to input the caller’s age, zip code, insurance status, employment information, and more while trying to find the best organizations to handle the callers’ needs. A way we hope to improve this is having callers input numerical data (phone number, age, zip code, etc.) and yes/no questions (veteran status, insurance status, etc.) before the call is connected to the agent.