What Government Agencies Can Learn From The Private Sector

By Charles Brooks, Featured Contributor

There’s money to be saved, and federal government agencies are taking a look at their customer contact centers. There are too many of these centers, and they don’t always work together very well. That adds up to costs.

Consolidation is an obvious solution. Technology has evolved to ensure continued customer satisfaction, and mitigate risks to programs and projects that require real-time responses. The transformation has begun at many agencies in the federal government. The quality, effectiveness, and speed of service are changing with the development and deployment of new technologies, agile processes, and training for customer service agents.

Make It Scalable
The way to doing more with less in an era of government belt-tightening is to adapt scalable service desk operations to meet the complexity and diversity in an agency’s core objectives. Many federal agencies have dozens of help desks operating independently across various states. For example, the Department of Interior has 71,000 employees receiving technical support from over 50 dispersed help desks. They are now planning consolidation – with the intent that many of these operations can be fulfilled virtually and implemented with fewer contact centers. This is a cost-savings and return on investment opportunity that is gradually being recognized by agencies throughout government.

Automate and Assimilate
Because of recent IT advances, (specifically with cloud alternatives) customer contact centers can now be automated and assimilated into enterprise service desk platforms that use multi-channel contact tools such as phone, email, text, Web, mobile devices, or through self-service tools and agent assisted responses. These virtual analytics tools make the agents’ jobs easier by simplifying and augmenting their capabilities to respond to customer needs. With improving software, agencies can now monitor, track progress of tickets, and analyze end-user customer satisfaction to a degree that was not possible in the past.

Always Improve
In conjunction with technology tools, standardized and continuous improvement processes are an integral part of optimizing service desk solutions. Agents are a major component of this change management. Creating a culture of collaboration while hiring and training technically savvy customer service agents are paramount for success. Incentivizing the agents with performance rewards is also important, because a happy agent means a happy customer.

Reliability, quality and cost-savings are integral to federal contact center mission objectives. The consolidation trend can be fulfilled with commercial metrics, new technology offerings, and the best processes and people.

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Chuck Brooks
Chuck Brooks
Chuck Brooks is a globally recognized thought leader and evangelist for Cybersecurity and Emerging Technologies. LinkedIn named Chuck as one of “The Top 5 Tech People to Follow on LinkedIn”. He was named by Thompson Reuters as a “Top 50 Global Influencer in Risk, Compliance,” and by IFSEC as the “#2 Global Cybersecurity Influencer” in 2018. He is also a Cybersecurity Expert for “The Network” at the Washington Post, Visiting Editor at Homeland Security Today, and a Contributor to FORBES. In government, Chuck has received two senior Presidential appointments. Under President George W. Bush Chuck was appointed to The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as the first Legislative Director of The Science & Technology Directorate at the Department of Homeland Security. He also was appointed as Special Assistant to the Director of Voice of America under President Reagan. He served as a top Advisor to the late Senator Arlen Specter on Capitol Hill covering security and technology issues on Capitol Hill. In local government, he also worked as an Auxiliary Police officer for Arlington, Virginia. In industry, Chuck has served in senior executive roles for General Dynamics as the Principal Market Growth Strategist for Cyber Systems, at Xerox as Vice President & Client Executive for Homeland Security, for Rapiscan and Vice President of R & D, for SRA as Vice President of Government Relations, and for Sutherland as Vice President of Marketing and Government Relations. In academia, Chuck is Adjunct Faculty at Georgetown University’s Applied Intelligence Program and graduate Cybersecurity Programs where he teaches courses on risk management, homeland security, and cybersecurity. He was an Adjunct Faculty Member at Johns Hopkins University where he taught a graduate course on homeland security for two years. He has an MA in International relations from the University of Chicago, a BA in Political Science from DePauw University, and a Certificate in International Law from The Hague Academy of International Law.

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