U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
FMCSA’s Office of Registration and Safety Information operates the Agency’s motor carrier registration, licensing, insurance and vetting functions. In addition to registering for a DOT number to operate in interstate commerce, carriers must obtain operating authority to be “for-hire” carriers, which involves obtaining insurance coverage and being vetted to make sure that they are “fit, willing, and able” to operate in compliance with FMCSA regulations. In support of the receipt, vetting, and maintenance of carrier operating authority, FMCSA relies heavily on their customer service programs and continually seeks improvements and efficiencies in these programs.
Why This Matters To You
In 2012, the Office of Registration and Safety Information reviewed and processed more than 45,000 carrier applications for operating authority, vetted more than 2,200 new household goods and pas- senger carriers, updated and/or corrected more than 15,000 application records, processed more than 13,000 carrier reinstatements and mailed more than 200,000 decision letters. The office manages a call center which fields over 300,000 calls per year from motor carriers and industry stakeholders, and serves as the main point of contact for FMCSA HQ.
Continual improvements in customer contact management and customer case management is required to improve overall customer service and information sharing. These and other customer service improvements will contribute to FMCSA’s goals of raising the bar for those who wish to enter the motor carrier industry and adopt- ing effective and efficient methods for the agency to identify unsafe and “reincarnated carriers”, the practice of unsafe carriers ceasing operations under one name, then starting up as a new carrier under another name, or with a family member listed as the owner.
How We Helped
FMCSA turned to Phase One and its knowledge of motor carrier operations and of other customer service initiatives within the Department to help improve customer service processes and systems. Phase One convenes and coordinates the Contact and Customer Service Strategy Working Group (CCSSWG) which was chartered to harness the experience of subject matter experts within the Office. The working group assessed the current state of customer service in the Office of Registration and Safety Information, interviewed staff about their functions and concerns, col- lected metrics and SOPs, updated contact lists and FAQs, and conducted a survey of customer service interactions.
After assessing the customer service capabilities and challenges, Phase One helped develop a prioritized list of improvements, followed by the creation of action plans. The CCSSWG is now working with subject matter experts to update call center bottle- necks and contact methods, investigate problems, streamline and document business practices and find ways to improve efficiency and reduce paper use by encouraging electronic communications and processes.