NASA saves on self-service call center

By taking its Shared Services Center website to the cloud, agency reduces center inquiries

NASA has put its Shared Services Center website into a secure government cloud to reduce call center inquiries and improve operational efficiencies.

NSSC is running live within RightNow Technologies’ Secure Government Cloud, which meets Federal Information Security Management Act and National Institute of Standards and Technology moderate security compliance levels, according to RightNow officials.

NASA Shared Services Center, located at the Stennis Space Center in southern Mississippi, offers financial management, human resources, information technology and procurement services to NASA and its centers.

The NSSC Customer Contact Center received, on average, more than 7,000 inquiries per month in fiscal year 2010. To cut expensive call center operation costs, NSSC turned its focus to providing improved “Tier-0” self-service, Patton Tidmore, customer satisfaction and communication lead for NSSC, wrote in a recent blog. Tier-0 means letting users find the information they need themselves by going to the NSSC website.

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NSSC officials realized they “could better serve its customers by saving them time on a phone call, and at the same time costs would be driven down through the reduction in call volume,” Tidmore wrote.

Users wanted a friendlier, interactive site that provided substantive knowledge articles and easy-to-find Frequently Asked Questions.

As a result, NSSC enhanced the center’s website and utilized cloud technology from RightNow. For example, users don’t know that widgets pull information from cloud technology when they visit the NSSC Information Center.

NSSC is using RightNow CX, a suite of customer experience applications that includes contact center software and a cloud platform.

NSSC has completed the first phase of its strategy, including the use of cloud technology. Phase two will provide capabilities such as e-authentication for users to track topics and items of interest to them, Tidmore wrote. Phase three will offer even “greater customer interaction.”

NASA is no stranger to cloud technology. The agency's Ames Research Center has developed Nebula, an open-source cloud computing environment hosted in a containerized data center, to create self-service provisioning for high-capacity computing, storage and network connectivity. Officials at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory are also using and exploring the benefits of cloud computing.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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