Public call centers rate well

AMS page on call center study

Despite some marketplace perceptions, government call centers rate well when compared with those in the private sector and actually exceed them on several key quality-of-service marks, according to a recent survey conducted by Purdue University.

Public-sector centers score 10 percent higher than business-to-business and 30 percent higher than business-to- consumer centers when measured for caller satisfaction, the study shows.

On average, government centers are on par with business-to-business centers in completing service for a customer on that critical first call, and beat business-to-consumer centers "hands down."

"Up until this study, there's been very little data at the government level to measure just how well call centers were doing," said Jeff Ackerson, senior principal and customer relationship management expert at American Management Systems Inc.'s Center for Advanced Technology. "The surprising conclusion is that there are so many similarities between the government and private-sector centers."

AMS, the sponsor of the study, worked with Purdue to analyze the results.

The study shows major differences among federal, state and local government centers. Although federal and state call center service levels are neck and neck with business-to-business and business-to-consumer centers, local municipalities' centers do poorly. On the other hand, those local centers handle the highest number of calls per agent per shift, at an average of 63 calls per eight-hour shift. n

Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached at hullite@mindspring.com.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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