Using Technology to Improve Customer Service


Agency: Department of Commerce

Title: Using Technology to Improve Customer Service

Background Information

Many efforts are under way that take advantage of technology to improve customer service..

Some examples of the use of technology for improving customer service are illustrated below.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has instituted 800 number service to enhance customer service and improve staff operations.

(Contact: Elaine Bunten-Mines, 301-975-2667)

The Advanced Technology Program instituted an 800 phone number service to distribute information to the public about their program. The 800 number provides the public with a set of recorded messages concerning program news and status, as well as information concerning other numbers to call for detailed information.

An 800 voice or data communications number was instituted which links NIST staff on travel with any office or computer system at NIST.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has established electronic bulletin boards to better serve their customers.

(Contact: Donald Humphries, 202-482-2300)

The Southwest Region provides interested parties with a variety of reports, notices, and publications. A computer bulletin board was instituted that provide continuous electronic access to public fisheries information including regulatory actions, catch reports, the status of quotas and trip limits, and trade and industry statistics.

An electronic bulletin board was established to make available information all NMFS regulations to employees, the Regional Fishery Management Councils, NOAA attorneys and the public. Regulations are updated within a few days of any amendments being published in the Federal Register, through use of an on-line database service with text-search capabilities.

The Census Bureau asked respondents to their Report of Organization Survey if they would interested in reporting electronically. Over 75 percent of the companies responded that they preferred electronic reporting .In response to these customers, the Census Bureau developed a menu-driven diskette system and delivered the system to survey respondents.

(Contact: Jerry McDonald, 301-763-5504)

The Census Bureau is developing a program to use Internet to disseminate data and information in a consistent and timely fashion, increase the awareness of the value of its products and services, and better serve its customers. For approximately six months, seven prototype applications will be available on the Internet.

On June 1, 1994, Global Network Navigator, a publication of O'Riley and Associates, recognized Census's Internet Site with a "Best of the Net" Award, and on June 13, 1994, this Internet site was featured on the cover of the Government Computer News.

(Contact: Cary Bean, 301-0763-4071)

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has made several changes to improve electronic customer access to information.

A wide range of information from the Information Infrastructure Task Force is now available to customers with computer modems and Internet access. The task force system posts all publicly available task force generated information and sometimes gets accessed by more than 300 customers per day.

An Internet mailbox was established for customers seeking information on the National Information Infrastructure ( Ten to 15 messages per day are received at this address.

Internet public access was established to gain information on Federal spectrum management and use.

(Contact: Charles Franz, 202-482-1835)

NPR Category: Customer Service

Contact Person: Contacts are included in the text above.

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