The Re-engineering Government (Re-Gov) Programme of ICTA has initiated a number of eServices and enabling projects to increase the efficiency of the citizen service and information delivery mechanism of the government. It is common knowledge that obtaining the correct and relevant information which is related to the citizen services provided by various government organizations is a difficult and unpleasant task. In order to address this situation, the Re-Gov Programme initiated the Government Information Centre (GIC) Project to provide such information in all 3 languages through a call centre.
In order to provide the same information given through the call centre over the web, a parallel project was initiated to design the GIC website (www.gic.gov.lk).
The call centre which is operational on 12 hours x 7 days basis is highly utilized. On average it receives over 2,500 calls daily.
However, it became obvious that if the same information can be provided over the web, such information can be accessed by citizen 24 hours x 7 without any limitations. This idea gave the birth to GIC website www.gic.gov.lk which has already won 2 international awards.
- To organize and present the information in the GIC web in a citizen-friendly, intention-based manner.
- To organize departmental services in a logical manner where it would easily respond to citizen inquiries.
- This should also provide user friendly mechanisms for uploading information to the website by various government organizations.
- Improve the collaborative nature of the website by providing information as RSS feeds which could be consumed by other online applications and websites.
- Facilitate citizens with downloadable forms in relation to citizen services provided by government organizations.
- To provide a facility for the citizens to make complain or grievance in relation to government services.
- Facilitate directing complains to relevant government organizations and system should also facilitate maintaining feedbacks in relation to the complain number.
- Provide the location information about key government service providers at the village level by consuming the web services/RSS feeds provided by various government organizations.
The Presidential Secretariat has taken over the ownership of the Call Center project (GIC – 1919) since April 2009; however ICTA still owns and manages the GIC website.
Main features of GIC
- One number to obtain all government information
- One number regardless of the telecom network
- Open 8am – 8pm
- Open 365 days a year
- 30 lines open for incoming calls
- Trilingual (Sinhala, Tamil, English) – select the preferred language
- Call when citizens are free
- Treat cordially, greet at the beginning and at the end of the call
- Always address citizens respectfully ( “sir” and “madam’)
- Be extremely polite, never argue, never talk back
- Provide info using a database – consistent responses
- If the info is not available call back in 24 hours to obtain the information
Policy Level Governance
A Project Steering Committee headed by the Additional Secretary to the President make all policy decisions related to the GIC call center as well as the website.
Operational Level Governance
Operational actions are carried out by the ICTA “GIC - Team”. The “GIC Team” meets regularly and discusses the ways to further improve the mechanism for providing information trough web.
The “GIC - Team” with the web development team reviews the technical aspects of the website for ensuring the high quality of the website in conformity to “Government Web Standards”.
- A Content Management System (Joomla - CMS) is used to manage and organize the information
- Provide training to the GIC coordinators on updating content
- Information is updated by the GIC coordinators of the respective organizations regularly
- Status of content updating process is maintained in a Google document
- ICTA monitors and coordinates the content uploading, maintenance, enhancements and modifications.
Hours of Operation
The hours of operation will be from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm for a total of 12 hours per day, 7 days a week 365 days a year.
||No of Agents||Team
|Weekdays||(8.00 am – 8.00 pm)||4 occupied seats||1||1||1|
|Weekdays||(8.00 am - 6.00 pm)||16 occupied seats|
|Weekends||(8.00 am – 8.00 pm)||3 occupied seats||1||1||1|
|Weekends||(8.00 am - 6.00 pm)||4 occupied seats|
|Public Holidays||(8.00 am – 8.00 pm)||3 occupied seats||1||1||1|
|Public Holidays||(8.00 am - 6.00 pm)||4 occupied seats|
With the above shift structure, on weekdays the day-to-day operations team consists of 18 members excluding operation manager.
Basic responsibilities for each are below:
|CSR (Agents)||Receive inbound calls, update CRM|
|QC||Ensuring Quality, customer satisfaction and handling of all call related complains|
|Team leader||Looking into operations, quality & MIS|
|Process Manager||Overall smooth operation, compliance with reporting, training and other requirements, coordinating with relevant government departments and the PRESIDENTIAL SECRETARIAT, the recommendations to the PRESIDENTIAL SECRETARIAT for improving the service|
Process/Call Flows and Escalations
The work-flow or call floor details how calls will be handled, how and when calls will be escalated, and time periods for each step.
- Step 1: Customer calls the inbound call center
- Step 2: An agent answers the call within 3 rings, maximum if there is no waiting time
- Step 3: The agent greets the customer, and asks for his query. The citizen requests information
- Step 4: The agent accesses available knowledge (in the Knowledgebase) and answers the citizen query
- Step 5: The agent updates the CRM to reflect the call details. Essential details to capture in the CRM include date and time of call, agent name, type (category/topic and/or subtopic) of information/service requested by the citizen, availability of requested information (resolution status of the call), duration of call and the citizens preferred language (for majority of the call, if the citizen used more than one language to communicate during the call). Only if the if the customer is willing to provide it, his/her name, telephone number and/or location called from, and other identification information should also be captured
- Step 6: Is the query resolved (i.e. the citizen is satisfied)? If YES, the call ends. If NO, the process moves to step 7
- Step 7: When the citizen query is not resolved, the agent requests the customer to call back within 72 hours, provides the customer with a unique ID to track the request, and escalates the call immediately to the Team Leader (Agent --> Team Leader is Level 1 Escalation)
- Step 8: The Team Leader researches the required information, and if possible provides the information to the Agent (by updating the CRM and Knowledgebase). If such an internal resolution is possible by the Team Leader, it should be done within 24 hours. But often the Team Leader will need to contact a specified contact at the relevant government department in order to obtain further information. This Team Leader --> Govt Body is Level 2 escalation, and should be done within of 24 hours of the Team Leader getting the Level 1 escalation (in other words, if the Team Leader is unable to resolve within 24 hours, he/she immediately does a Level 2 escalation to the Government body in question).
- Step 9: The contact person within the government body will be instructed by the PRESIDENTIAL SECRETARIAT to resolve issues escalated to him/her within 48 hours of receiving the call (i.e. the Level 2 escalation) by the Team Leader. If a resolution is found, he/she will contact the Team Leader and provide the information. If an immediate resolution is not found, the Team Leader will still be notified. Upon being contacted by the government department, the Team Leader will immediately update the Knowledgebase (with the new information) and the CRM (with the status on availability/non availability of a resolution) so that the information is available to all agents from this point onwards for use, and also to be given if and when the citizen calls back.
- Step 10: (If and) When the customer calls back, the required information is provided to the citizen. In the even the TL was unable to find an answer (even after contacting to the relevant government department), the lack of information is communicated to the citizen, with a promise to investigate for future (and maybe directing the citizen to directly contact the relevant government body). The agent taking the customer call updates the CRM.
- Step 11: Issues which are not resolved at Level 1 or Level 2 escalation will be escalated to the Steering Committee and the PRESIDENTIAL SECRETARIAT at the end of each month (L1 and L2 unresolved --> Steering Committee + The PRESIDENTIAL SECRETARIAT is Level 3 escalation). The Steering Committee and the PRESIDENTIAL SECRETARIAT will periodically (monthly) review Level 3 escalations and make decisions (such as adding new services to the GIC).
- The ICTA will prepare detailed scripts to handle various types of calls that will be received by the call center, and the meet above mentioned call flow pattern. These will contain the appropriate responses to be made by a customer service agents and supervisors. The scripts need to emphasize polite and efficient service. The scripts should be able to handle all situations/conversations arising from the call/process flow specified above.
- The scripts will be used extensively during the period of training to ensure that all call center agents follow a same high level of customer service
- The script will be updated and/or provide new scripts as and when needed, subject to the PRESIDENTIAL SECRETARIAT approval.
- Call scripts, and subsequent changes, will be approved by the PRESIDENTIAL SECRETARIAT from time to time as necessary.