By JC Kreidel & Lt. Cmdr. Elise Chapdelaine, NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic
NORFOLK (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Mid-Atlantic launched a new, enhanced Customer Service Center (CSC) responding to facilities-related issues with a ribbon cutting marking its ceremonial opening May 1.
NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic Commanding Officer Capt. Dean VanderLey was joined by NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic Public Works Director Jean Dumlao in cutting the ribbon outside the center, as did CSC manager Timothy Walton and Jessica Sartorius, CSC program analyst leader.
The CSC serves the focal point between the 13 NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic Public Works Departments and the fleet installations they support across the entire Mid-Atlantic region. It is part of an intensive three-year customer service initiative to improve products and services, a drive lauded by VanderLey.
"As we stood this up, we really tried to look at how this is done in industry, what the best practices were and how we could really set ourselves up as a world-class customer service organization," said VanderLey who went on to emphasize that the CSC is well-positioned to take the pulse of what the Fleet needs and where to improve. "The goal is to have a good feedback loop. The lessons the CSC is learning everyday on the phones as we talk to the different customers is something we can feedback into the organization and make NAVFAC even better."
While NAVFAC has long hosted a call line-the number remains 757-341-1700-it is the depth and breadth of the service that is changing. In the past, customers could report emergency issues during normal working hours, but with a smaller staff, after-hours calls were routed as auxiliary duty of 24-hour utility repair desks. Wanting to do more for its customers, NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic took cues from industry, working to create a system that better manages the way it interacts with customers. That meant increasing staff and developing a new one-stop-shopping site.
The CSC site, until recently, was the back side of a shops building that fell into disrepair. Public Works Department Norfolk's in-house project team, completely renovated the space, creating independent agent areas, premier communication connections and training rooms, shaping a facility similar to commercial call centers.
Agents now take calls without shifting calls to an alternative group or directing callers to another point of contact to call. The focus is on efficiency and a better customer experience. As a more robust and fully independent entity, the CSC coordinates everything behind the scenes for facility emergencies. It's seamless to the customer - all the caller knows is NAVFAC is responding to their emergency quickly.
To ensure success, the CSC has also put a premium on standardized training, emphasizing customer service and fostering agent independence to deliver consistent and beneficial interactions. Better tools were likewise developed to help the agents address the unique missions and concerns of the wide-ranging customers NAVFAC support across the region. These tools will ensure the agents work as integrated liaisons between callers and their local supporting Public Works Department.
The new CSC is equipped with system to allow for calls to be recorded and monitored for training purposes, and to collect metrics on wait times, call throughput and agent professionalism, just like industry giant Amazon. The intent is to use these capabilities to continue to identify and work towards even more improvements.
"Part of our process was to study successful businesses and how they keep customers happy. We set out to borrow from their example, apply what we could, and work to simply do a better job supporting the Fleet," said VanderLey. "This is exactly how NAVFAC has embraced the CNO's focus on high-velocity learning: We saw a problem in real time, solved it using scientific methods, taught our professional crew how to keep addressing service and now we transition into encouraging others to follow our lead. We will be relentless in our drive to reach 100% customer satisfaction."
It's important to note that the CSC is used principally for those requests deemed facility emergencies-situations that require immediate action to prevent loss or damage to government property, restore essential services that have been disrupted, eliminate hazard to personnel and restore essential mission operational capability. While the CSC is always available to respond to facility emergencies, locally required processes for ISIC reporting and funding authorization must still be observed.
Facility related requests and repairs that do not qualify as an emergency but are needed to maintain the facility condition should be emailed to: NAVFACMID-LANTSERVICEDESK@NAVY.MIL.
Call 757-341-1700 with your facilities-related needs. For more information about the Customer Service Center as a whole, contact manager Tim Walton at firstname.lastname@example.org.