Government Contact Centers

Creative Usability Test Methods—or My Brief Career as a Robot Voice

Aug 31, 2016 |

When you want to do a usability test, sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone and get creative to get the job done. That’s just what happened to us. We’re well practiced at usability testing at USAGov—in person, remote, hallway tests, first-click tests—all of these things we manage without blinking an eye. Read »

Journey Mapping the Customer Experience: A USA.gov Case Study

Aug 12, 2015 | ,

Journey maps are a visual representation of a customer’s end to end journey with your product or service. They are a powerful tool for exploring key interactions and experiences with your organization, programs, and/or services. Journey maps describe a customer’s entire journey, even the parts that occur before and after contact with your organization. They Read »

The Content Corner: Determining Your User’s Needs

Jul 20, 2015 |

I recently wrapped up a series of user interviews as part of a review of our judiciary-wide intranet in order to provide better digital services to our customers (and yes, our internal users are our customers, not just the general public). As I prepare to delve back into determining user and content needs for a Read »

USA.gov in Beta: Tell Us What You Think

May 4, 2015 |

Thirteen years in digital is an eon, and on the eve of its 13th birthday, we at USA.gov found ourselves reckoning with a mid-life crisis. In the thirteen years since Firstgov.gov was launched (and ten years for FirstGov en Español), the sheer volume and sophistication Read »

How Much Will My Agency’s Contact Center Cost?

Apr 30, 2015 |

The federal government has caught the customer experience bug. We want our customers to complete their tasks with minimal effort using a streamlined process. If they need personal help, we want it to be quick, polite, and provide the best answer. But that personal help frequently requires a team of highly skilled, dedicated people—a contact Read »

DigitalGov’s Inaugural Podcast: How IVR Supports Contact Centers

Apr 30, 2015 |

​DigitalGov University has added podcasts to our suite of offerings on DigitalGov, featuring interviews and discussions with leaders in the DigitalGov community. For the first edition, we talked to Diane ​Devera, “Voice of the IVR” for the USA.gov Contact Center. In this 10 minute discussion with Jacob Parcell, Manager of Mobile Programs, Devera discusses several Read »

Lessons Learned from 4 Decades in Federal Contact Centers

Apr 28, 2015 |

For more than 40 years, Warren Snaider has been working at the General Services Administration providing government information to the public. A Senior Federal Information Specialist, Snaider has witnessed government contact centers evolve as technology has changed the way people communicate and access information. Snaider first joined the Federal Information Center in Sacramento in 1972. Read »

Are FAQs Still Relevant?

Apr 27, 2015 |

Users have questions. Your content and website navigation can help them find answers, or potentially cause frustration. One tool for answering questions is up for debate: are FAQ sections still relevant in 2015, or are they a relic of bygone days? Nielsen Norman Group recently published two articles arguing for the continued use and usefulness Read »

Meeting Customer Needs Through Social Media

Apr 24, 2015 |

Social media tools can amplify your agency’s message, but they are also a meeting space for two-way conversations. They can be a key tool to resolve user issues and deliver excellent customer service. This is true for agencies in every corner of the government space. In honor of our monthly contact center theme, we reached Read »

NCI: Reaching the Public via SMS to Change Behaviors

Apr 16, 2015 |

SMS messages are an excellent way to reach audiences. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) saw SMS messages as an opportunity to reach the public for the implementation of their Mobile Health Behavioral Intervention Programs. NCI has 15 SMS based programs, including HealthyYouTxt, a program designed to help users live a healthier lifestyle, and SmokeFreeTxt, a Read »

The Content Corner: Structured Content Challenges and Lessons Learned

Apr 13, 2015 |

In May 2014, Sarah Crane discussed the importance of structured content, APIs and the development of a “Create Once, Publish Everywhere” (COPE) strategy at USA.gov via a three part video series. After my recent post about a world without Web pages, Sarah and I connected and we discussed the challenges she has experienced during the Read »

Government Contact Center Round Up

Apr 10, 2015 |

The Government Contact Center Council (G3C), led by GSA’s Tonya Beres, has been working with DigitalGov University to host events for the contact center community across the federal government. This year they hosted events and posted articles that will help you get a contact center up and running, make up-to-date changes to meet 21st century Read »

Monthly Theme: How Federal Contact Centers Deliver Great Customer Service

Apr 8, 2015 |

At the end of last year, DigitalGov posted an article predicting that 2016 would be the year of the customer. Stephanie Thum, Vice President of Customer Experience at Export-Import Bank, looked at the great strides made in federal customer service in 2014 and called it the year of “planting seeds.” She then pointed to 2015 Read »

Trends on Tuesday: Using SMS for Customer Support

Feb 3, 2015 |

Don’t forget, mobile first strategy can include text messaging and SMS, not just native apps and responsive Web design. Ninety percent of all SMS messages are read within three minutes of being received, according to a recent blog post on Gigaom. Paired with an average open rate of 98% (versus 22% for email) and the Read »

How Government will Accelerate Anytime, Anywhere Services and Information in 2015

Jan 29, 2015 |

Innovative wearables, stronger wifi and more 3D printing have been among the many projections for the future of mobile in 2015. Whatever comes to pass, we can be certain that the anytime, anywhere user will develop new habits and desires based on new trends. Government must accelerate its customer service approach with anytime, anywhere efforts to keep up. Here’s Read »

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