Customer Spotlight: City of Tacoma, WA

Today, we’re excited to announce that Tacoma, Washington, has successfully integrated and enhanced its Relay IVR with our new Advanced Language Module (ALM)!

Problem
Tacoma, Washington, has a multicultural population of 216,000 residents from across every corner of the globe. Nearly 12% of the current Tacoma population was born outside of the United States. While Tacoma has benefited from such a diverse community, this has created a series of language barriers that prevented effective communication between some of Tacoma’s agencies and their non-English speaking residents.

Solution
Addressing these language barriers was a significant priority for the City of Tacoma and its agencies. 

“The city of Tacoma is committed to transforming how we do business,” 

– Linda LeCompte from the Tax and License department. 

The department began working with Selectron and the city’s technical team to find a solution to enhance access for their multi-lingual residents. They decided to integrate Russian, Vietnamese, Korean, and Spanish into their existing Relay IVR system. These additional languages enabled more callers to use the IVR to get 24/7 account access, complete transactions, and avoid late fees resulting from language barriers.

Results

“Before implementing the ALM, many of our non-English speakers transferred out of the IVR and chose to speak with a staff member instead. Now they are utilizing the language module to make their payments. We are seeing how this ensures our services are accessible to all members of our community.”

– Linda LeCompte from the Tax and License department. 

However, ALM benefits more than just residents. Since implementing the Relay IVR, the Tax and License department has freed up more than 280 hours of staff time, allowing staff members to focus on more critical
tasks. The department anticipates that adding the ALM will continue to benefit this department for years to come. 

If your agency is facing similar language barriers or diversity initiatives, or if you are looking to expand your self-service options, contact us to learn more about how we can assist your community.

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