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Maricopa County Saves $185K By Building Citizen-Centric Experiences

The Clerk of the Superior Court in Maricopa County (aka “the Clerk’s Office”) decided to centralize the customer experience by leveraging technology to provide a better experience for customers. They used IBM Watson and Twilio Flex to build a unified omni-channel contact center solution with AI. This solution more efficiently engages with human agents and provides a seamless support experience for Maricopa County citizens.

The Results
$185K
Savings to the County’s Human Resources Costs
8
Channels Supported with AI Bot & Twilio Flex
16x
Increase in AI Bot Usage

Maricopa County in Arizona is the nation’s fastest-growing county, home to over 4.5 million people with more than 13,000 employees. The Clerk of the Superior Court in Maricopa County is focused on leveraging technology as a key component to accomplish strategic community goals, maximizing ROI on taxpayer dollars, and streamlining operations in the most cost-efficient way.

The Clerk’s Office's long-term goals are to build a better, more responsive, citizen-centered organization to provide citizens and employees with exceptional experiences. With more than 33,000 calls and 75,000 unique web visits monthly, the Clerk’s Office needed a smart self-service solution that integrated with existing infrastructure to support customers across multiple communications channels. Consequently, the Clerk’s Office switched to Twilio Flex to expand access to court services for county citizens.

Leveraging artificial intelligence across multiple channels

Innovation was top of mind for Jeff Fine, the elected Clerk, who was eager to embrace advanced technology and innovation as a strategic advantage to improve citizen and employee experiences.

The team chose “Cleo,” an integrated virtual assistant powered by Twilio and IBM Watson. It supports a natural language experience through omni-channel communications including web chat, text, phone, email, social media, and voice technologies like Alexa and Google.

“Cleo was born to be more than a chatbot,” said Aaron Judy, Chief of Innovation and AI for the Clerk’s Office and the brainchild behind Cleo. “She is an AI-powered ‘personality’ that embodies our exemplary customer service values. She reflects elements of all those who have contributed to her and frequently learns new skills.”

In the wake of Covid-19, lives changed drastically as the world contended with the worst pandemic of a lifetime. With millions of citizens relying on the continued operations of several Maricopa County agencies and support services, the Clerk’s Office leveraged Cleo to improve and expand services during the pandemic.

Building unified agent experiences

Conversations with Cleo grew 16x within the first 24-months. Cleo is on track to facilitate more than 55,000 conversations by the end of 2022, saving the agency more than $185,000 in human resources costs.

An intelligent AI bot strategy injected confidence in the Clerk’s Office staff knowing they had an efficient cost-effective choice for Maricopa County citizens. That said, the human touch was still a fundamental requirement to tackle more complex inquiries. Not a problem for Cleo.

Cleo grew quickly in popularity and use. Soon after, the Clerk’s Office recognized the contact center agent experience was becoming disjointed and difficult to manage across all channels. The Clerk’s Office initially integrated Cleo with an off-the-shelf chat provider to handle the bot-to-agent transitions. However, the Clerk’s Office quickly learned the solution had limitations in the ability to support existing citizens and to extend to other agencies to meet unique business requirements.

Recognizing the need to establish a unified experience across all communications channels to reach citizens, internal staff, and stakeholders, the Clerk’s Office decided to deploy Twilio Flex as their contact center solution of choice.

Migrating to Twilio Flex with the help of Gravity CX

Based on the Clerk’s Office's immediate needs and long-term strategic goals, it was clear Twilio Flex was the right choice for unifying citizen experiences across all communications and engagement channels. However, without the depth of technical experience and resources, the Clerk’s Office turned to Blacc Spot Media, a certified Twilio Build Partner, to deploy and manage their Twilio Flex contact center.

Blacc Spot Media has specific expertise in deploying Twilio Flex contact centers. One of the first steps was to migrate the existing contact center provider to Twilio Flex, with the objective to improve the agent experience and define a clear roadmap to extend the functionality to other County agencies.

Blacc Spot Media deployed its Gravity CX solution to quickly get the Clerk’s Office up and running resulting in accelerated time to market and eliminating the drain on internal development resources that would have been needed to build and deploy Twilio Flex.

The combined strength and functionality of Twilio Flex and Blacc Spot Media’s Gravity CX product delivered the flexible customized solution they needed to support the Clerk Office’s strategic goals and align with its unique business requirements.

A bright future with Twilio Flex

Twilio Flex has been a game-changer for the Clerk of the Superior Court in Maricopa County, allowing the agency to accelerate digital transformation initiatives. Soon after the initial launch of Twilio Flex for the contact center, Blacc Spot Media began to roll out additional enhancements and functionality based on the agency’s strategic roadmap, demonstrating the power of Twilio Flex to provide a flexible and customizable customer experience.

Next steps include routing 100% of the interactions to Cleo with future plans centered around the implementation of natural language processing (NLP) services designed to create the greatest impact on citizen adoption and satisfaction. Simply put, the Clerk’s Office is on course to end the days of “Listen closely as our menu options may have changed. Press 1… 2… 3…” and replace that outdated and frustrating experience with a more customer-centered, friendly, and intuitive NLP experience, i.e. “Hello, I’m Cleo, how may I help you today?”

We follow a bold-but-calculated philosophy in the race to innovate and leverage new and emerging technologies for transformational change.

Richard McHattie, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer