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Bar News - May 18, 2012

Courthouse Productivity Gains as Call Center Answers Calls

Background, Chief Justice Dalianis speaks with Circuit Court Administrative Judge Edwin Kelly and House Speaker William O’Brien. Call Center agents answer an average of 113 calls per day. All of the Circuit Court sites are expected to serviced by the Call Center by July 1, 2012.
As the Circuit Court Call Center takes over phone-answering duties for court locations around the state, court officials say gains in productivity of clerks’ office staff at the courthouses outpace the amount of time the call center staff spends on the phone.

Nevertheless, some attorneys say they don’t like confronting a menu of voice-mail options when phones at the call center are not live-answered. Circuit Court officials say it is rare when calls are not immediately answered by call center staff.

Meanwhile, Superior Court Chief Justice Tina Nadeau said she is investigating how to adapt the call center approach to the superior courts with the hope of beginning a phased implementation next year.

At a call center tour conducted for legislators and executive branch officials last month, the Circuit Court released a fact sheet indicating that in the first four months (January 4- April 10, 2012):
  • 30 locations were serviced by the call center;
  • 36,453 calls answered, and 2,037 hours spent on the phone;
  • 3,395 hours (estimated) in processing time gained by courthouse staff, based on trial run last year which showed that clerks’ staff, when not interrupted by general phone call duties, were more productive at completing paperwork processing.
  • Average length of call center call – 3.1 minutes
  • Percentage of calls transferred to courts: 36.6 percent. (This means that slightly less than two-thirds of all callers’ inquiries are handled by the call center operators without needing to transfer to the court.)
The Judicial Branch expects to have 64 Circuit Court locations tied into the Call center by July 1, 2012, when it projects an average daily volume of 2,600 calls, with the Call Center agents on the phone ( 17 full-time, including a manager; and six part-time) answering an average of 113 calls per day.

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