Room for Improvement at Federal Call Centers: Finding

July 08, 2015

There’s an old joke that says one of the three biggest lies in America is “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.” While that may be true in some instances, new research shows that the government’s efforts at improving its contact centers is actually bearing some fruit.

That’s the word from CFI Group, a global leader in providing customer feedback insights through analytics using the science of its founding partner, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

According to data recently released by CFI, citizen satisfaction with government contact centers improved from 2014. The bad news? It still lags behind the private sector.

“We all know government contact centers face inherent and deep-seated challenges,” said CFI Group CEO Sheri Petras, in comments about the findings. “But knowing what matters most to citizens will help contact centers meet their goal of providing excellent customer service.” Petras pointed to the report’s Government Center Satisfaction Index, which uses the proven methodology of the ACSI to provide managers a better understanding of how to meet the needs of their contact center users.

The report cited three critical areas – “Policies and Procedures,” “Contact Process” and “Representative’s Knowledge” – in which government call centers lag behind the private sector, and offers suggestions on how to close the gap.

“Compare those three critical areas against the private sector and you plainly see where government contact centers can score closer to their private sector counterparts and get back to 2012 levels, when the GCCSI score was 72,” Petras said.

CFI said overall scores for government contact centers improved four points in 2014 to 67, a rebound from a nine-point dropoff in 2013 that provides hope for better numbers ahead. The CFI Group CCSI 2014 study found private sector contact centers had an overall score of 72.

It was also noted that the study found a big increase in the number of respondents using agency websites as a means of contact; those numbers went from 14 percent in 2013 to 25 percent last year.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index is a uniform, cross-industry measure of customer satisfaction. Founded at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, the ACSI is a leading economic indicator of consumer spending in the U.S.

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