When you have an IT problem preventing you from working effectively, the last thing you want is a robotic voice talking to you. At the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), our internal Enterprise Service Desk puts empathy and professionalism into practice with every issue ticket to get VA staff back to serving Veterans. This year, the Enterprise Service Desk’s customer satisfaction score was 83, up from 79 in 2019 based on the annual Customer Satisfaction Survey using the American Customer Satisfaction Index methodology. These scores are the highest for the Office of Information and Technology since our measurement began in 2010. Amid a worldwide pandemic, VA did not retreat from challenges — it leaped to meet them with innovation and empathy. The Enterprise Service Desk’s high scores reflect their embodiment of our guiding principles of transparency, accountability, innovation, and teamwork.
“The Enterprise Service Desk’s caring professionalism and eagerness to truly learn from the criticism are what have earned our high marks,” described Tim Jones, Director for the Enterprise Service Desk team. “Rather than just throwing our hands up at criticism, we honestly seek to change our processes and technology to meet our customers’ needs better.”
The pandemic and the subsequent spike in new teleworkers at VA initially led to increased wait times for those calling the Enterprise Service Desk. After finding that many were experiencing issues accessing VA’s network as a new teleworker, such as gateway errors or Personal Identity Verification (PIV) card configuration, the service desk team leveraged assistance from across the Office of Information and Technology to quickly triage emerging issues and explore novel solutions. Customer Satisfaction Survey feedback overwhelmingly praised the team’s professionalism and rapid support, as well as novel solutions to common problems.
One example is issues with PIV cards, which can completely prevent a VA employee from accessing the systems required to effectively conduct their job — especially in a remote environment. To mitigate this potential work stoppage for VA employees experiencing issues with their PIV, the Enterprise Service Desk looked to private industry for readymade solutions. Partnering with ID.me, VA established a new Self-Service Portal that empowers registered VA staff to securely request a 24-hour PIV exemption without calling the Service Desk. This gives the Enterprise Service Desk time to focus on researching and resolving these tickets, while also giving VA staff another reliable path back to work supporting Veterans.
While the Enterprise Service Desk is proud of the level and quality of service provided in 2020, continuous improvement is the team’s definition of success, and they are currently enhancing automated systems that support onboarding efforts and expanding options on the 24x7 IT support chat. VA and the Office of Information and Technology celebrate their success over the past year and look forward to what comes next in VA’s Digital Transformation to a world-class organization that enables a seamless, unified Veteran experience through the delivery of state-of-the-art technology.
Are you interested in modernizing and transforming VA service delivery to benefit Veterans? Please contact VA’s Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer at 512-326-6600, Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Central Standard Time or by submitting a resume to VACareers@va.gov.