Talkdesk has launched two new solutions that address some of the biggest COVID-19 challenges: vaccine rollout and emergency loan execution. The cloud contact center provider made both solutions available on Jan. 26 for organizations looking to speed up global vaccine administration and communication support and loan processing for small businesses.
Every day matters when it comes to vaccinating the population against COVID-19, yet rollout is significantly delayed across the country, and it’s not just due to vaccine shortages. Provider and pharmacy call centers are overwhelmed with historic call volumes and other technical issues. Some people report waiting on hold for hours to make an appointment, while others cannot get through at all. Those desperate to get vaccinated are resorting to extreme measures, such as traveling out of state to get the shot faster elsewhere.
Talkdesk Vaccine Administrations Solutions simplify patient access to the vaccine
San Francisco-based Talkdesk developed the Vaccine Administration Solution to tackle these problems. The contact center as a service (CCaaS) platform simplifies proactive outreach, appointment scheduling, pre-vaccine patient communication and confirmations, and post-vaccine follow up through the use of artificial intelligence, agent assist, and automation. Providers participating in the distribution of vaccines—including hospitals and pharmacies—can be up and running with the Vaccine Administration Solution in as little as 24 hours. To help speed up adoption, Talkdesk is making its Vaccine Administration Solution free for six months.
Omnichannel communications is lacking in typical voice-only call centers flooded with vaccine-related inquiries, a contributing factor to high call volumes. The Talkdesk Vaccine Administration Solution empowers providers with omnichannel support to proactively reach out to vaccine candidates via SMS, voice, or email to schedule appointments, to send reminders or complete the pre-vaccine health questionnaire. For instance, the Talkdesk platform includes an agentless dialer that expedites proactive notifications to people who haven’t responded or made appointments.
Once a person is ready to get the shot, they can use either the self-service portal, digital virtual agent, or voice virtual agent to book an appointment. Those with complex inquiries or urgent non-COVID-19 related healthcare needs can be redirected to call center agents. Additionally, agents can help clear up any confusion or concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine and set up appointments live during a call.
By addressing uncertainty and misinformation, including confusing messages about potential side effects, providers can proactively educate the public about the COVID-19 vaccine and get more people to sign up faster. The experience, as well as any adverse reactions, can be documented with follow-up surveys, so providers can make improvements to boost satisfaction among vaccine recipients.
Talkdesk provides banks and fintechs the ability to streamline the lending experience for small businesses
The second platform, Talkdesk Small Business Lending Solution, tackles the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) lending process to help small businesses in need. Small businesses struggling due to the pandemic are eligible to apply for PPP loans, but the process hasn’t been straightforward until now. The initial rounds of loan acquisition, prioritization and distribution last year were hampered by delays, errors, and confusion among small businesses on how to access funds.
Talkdesk’s end-to-end platform streamlines the administration of PPP loans by banks, community development financial institutions, credit unions, and fintechs. Using the solution, lenders can quickly set up dedicated contact centers to handle PPP loan applications, approvals, and distribution.
The Small Business Lending Solution also utilizes omnichannel communications to reach small businesses and qualify them for loans faster. Imagine a scenario where a restaurant applies for an emergency loan to purchase construction materials for outdoor dining, but it can’t reach the lender about the status of the application. The restaurant owner complains on Twitter and tags the lender, who responds via email to resolve the issue. The owner then dials the lender’s call center, which has a record of the omnichannel exchange, and talks to a live agent. The owner is asked to submit additional documents and the loan gets approved. The lender sends an SMS to the owner with the details.
The administration of vaccine and loan distribution programs requires complex coordination across multiple stakeholders. Talkdesk’s solutions could help these programs succeed by simplifying the management of interactions between healthcare providers and vaccine recipients, and between lenders and loan recipients.
As a relatively young company in a fairly mature market, Talkdesk recently burst onto the scene and has seen immediate success due to its advanced capabilities and rapid innovation. In fact, Talkdesk is now a mainstay and Leader in Gartner’s Cloud Contact Center Magic Quadrant, a testament to the quality of its product. To date, it’s offered a generic solution to business in all verticals, but these two offerings are designed specifically for healthcare and financial services.
I would expect to see Talkdesk continue to offer industry optimized solutions making the Vaccine Administration Solution and Small Business Lending Solution among the first of its vertical solutions, but certainly not the last.
Zeus Kerravala is an eWEEK regular contributor and the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. He spent 10 years at Yankee Group and prior to that held a number of corporate IT positions. Kerravala is considered one of the top 10 IT analysts in the world by Apollo Research, which evaluated 3,960 technology analysts and their individual press coverage metrics.