Philadelphia Taxpayers Get Relief with IVR

The City of Philadelphia deployed two customized interactive voice response (IVR) applications from NEC Unified Solutions, a communications solutions integrator.

One of the systems was built for the Revenue Department to help with real estate taxes; the other was created for the Board of Revision of Taxes, which assesses property values for the levying of taxes. Both are part of an effort to streamline Philadelphia’s tax collection process call center, with goals of improving service while reducing call center costs.

Among the touted service improvements is reduced work strain on live agents.

“At least 13 percent of all our Revenue Department calls now go to the IVR systems,” says Pam Scott, information management analyst for the City of Philadelphia in a prepared statement. “[This] has enabled the City to improve our agent performance levels and provide the best customer service possible.”

Using the IVR systems, residents can check their tax balance, lien information, request receipt copies, and gather information needed to complete tax appeals applications. They can also can confirm their information, begin the process for filing an appeal, and address other tax issues. Further information, like the current market and assessed value of their homes, as well as the last recorded title date and sales price, is also available.

The applications are available for use 24 hours a day and seven days a week—something fiscally unachievable with a purely live agent contact center.

This is not the first project that has seen NEC working with the City of Philadelphia.  Additionally, the company is in talks with Philadelphia to offer IVR applications in other governmental departments.

“They see the benefit of this and want to apply that to other areas. That’s a great thing,” says Carmela Edmondson, director of the advanced application group at NEC.

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