Top 8 Best Practices for Federal Contact Centers
2. Use Performance Metrics to Influence Business Rules and Drive Improvements
3. Develop and Use a Comprehensive Quality Assurance Program
- Monitor quality.
- Use data to provide feedback to website/content team.
- Compare Quality Assurance scores to Customer Satisfaction scores to ensure they are similar.
4. Implement a Content Strategy
- Develop content guidelines (plain language, accessibility, etc.)
- Institute a content review process (including a schedule and checklist for quality and functionality).
- Use FAQs or a knowledgebase.
- Develop pre-formatted responses (canned/scripted answers) for email, chat, social media, etc.
5. Focus on Top Tasks and Make the Most Important Content Easy to Find
- Determine top tasks.
- Review data (reports, website traffic, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) usage, etc.)
- Review Customer Satisfaction data
- Survey front-line agents
- Evaluate if top tasks can be accomplished through self-service (website, IVR).
- Ensure FAQs are on your website.
- Use a knowledgebase system that automatically moves most-requested info to top.
- Arrange IVR messages in order of popularity (most-requested info is heard as first menu choice).
- Use the same language as your customers. Avoid using government acronyms, which customers may not understand. (For online FAQs, consider hidden keywords).
6. Engage Your Customers to Create a Two-Way Dialogue
- Provide blogs, communities, and outreach via other social media venues.
- Incorporate videos and webcasting.
7. Collect Customer Feedback
- Use a Customer Satisfaction Survey.
- Don’t ask leading questions.
- Review the Basics of Survey and Question Design
- Allow for additional comments from customers.
- Restrict the number of questions to seven.
- Survey everyone; not just the happy or unhappy customers
- Conduct focus groups to gauge opinions.
- Implement [usability testing](http://(
) to determine what is and isn’t working.
- Conduct interviews, workshops.
8. Stay Current with the Latest Research and Best Practices
- Attend training through courses, workshops, webcasts, and webinars to gain knowledge about latest information, methods, policies, and best practices.
- Review industry reports:
- 2011 Federal Contact Center Survey Final Report (PDF, 1.49 MB, 54 pages, September 2011)
- An Analysis of the Feasibility of Employing Home-Based Agents in Economically Depressed Rural Areas to Staff Federal Contact Centers (MS Word, 115 KB, 20 pages, October 2009)
- Removing Barriers to Citizen Engagement (MS Word, 64 KB, 8 pages, March 2009)
- Report of the Citizen Service Levels Interagency Committee (CSLIC) (MS Word, 232 KB, 36 pages, 2005)