Tool helps agencies assess service

Government agencies that use Web sites for customer service have a new tool at their disposal to assess better ways of doing business online.

Witness Systems unveiled eQuality Discover last week at the Comdex trade show in Las Vegas. The company views the new tool as an great opportunity for any government agency seeking to improve customer service through its Web site, said Anne Patton, Witness' senior public relations manager.

The eQuality Discover tool captures a selected view of a customer's interaction with the site and allows an administrator to play back the session to see exactly where a breakdown occurred or where a user's needs were met, Patton said. The tool can be configured to specific conditions or business rules to trigger the recording, such as when a Web user hits the "Call me" button, she said.

Witness Systems' government customers include the U.S. Mint and the Oregon Department of Revenue, but those clients are using the company's voice and data recording tools for their call centers.

The company sees potential for eQuality Discover as governments increasingly use Web sites to ensure the satisfaction of customers — the public as well as employees. The tool would allow agencies to pinpoint what parts of the site are working and what areas need improvement, Patton said.

Evaluations of a session, like "little report cards," can also be sent to supervisors to help them evaluate what work needs to be done or to assign someone to aid a customer, she said.

The Java-based product costs $65,000 for one Web site address and can be deployed independently of an operating system, Web server and database environment, said Angela Newell, product manager for eQuality Discover, adding that it can deployed within 45 days.

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