In April of 2018, the Executive Director of the Agency reached out to our stakeholders and to the public to acknowledge that the customer service the Agency was providing was unacceptable, and that we were working diligently to find sustainable solutions to resolve these issues. Since that time, the Agency has made great strides to improve the level of service by employing a holistic approach, including a combination of technological improvements, additional staff, and enhanced process efficiencies.
We hosted a great Facebook LIVE on this important topic. Check out the full video here:
The Agency has had to adapt to the expanded needs of an ever-increasing number of license holders. Our contact center team handles about 16,000 phone calls, 4,000 emails, and 150 walk-ins, each month; that’s roughly 20,000 customers served every month. In June of 2018, the Agency implemented a Call Routing System, or call tree, and added a Courtesy Callback feature at the end of August of that year. Both of these features helped to reduce the call waiting times and increase the number of persons the contact center team can assist daily. Over the past eight months, the RCS Division has trained and added ten new Customer Service Representatives to directly address caller responsiveness, overall doubling the number of staff dedicated to answering your phone calls and emails.
Over the last nine months, the Agency has added more online self-service tools targeted to reduce or eliminate several of the most frequent reasons applicants and license holders call us. In November, we automated the Certified License History request process; and in February, the Agency launched the Real Estate Application Status Tracker. This tool provides an easy way for anyone to track the status of initial applications, reducing delays and confusion about where the application is in the process. This tool is currently available on both the TREC and TALCB websites for initial applicants.
In April, the online Continuing Education (CE) display tool was launched. The tool allows sales agents and brokers to get real-time information regarding CE courses they need to renew their license. These new online tools have addressed some of the most common questions the RCS Division received in the past. Soon, the Agency will include more license types in these tools to assist a broader range of customers.
The Agency has been able to maintain telephone call hold times averaging under three minutes for the past two months, and the majority of our emails are responded to within one business day. We commit to continue on the path of improving these results by making personnel adjustments and technological enhancements, so all of our customers can obtain answers to their questions in a very timely manner. To improve these results even further, we focus on more refresher training with our staff to ensure they are up to date with all changes in licensing requirements, and utilizing the most efficient methods for assisting customers. The Agency is also implementing cross-divisional training that will ultimately help reduce license application turnaround times as we continue to explore ways to improve processing.
As our customers and stakeholders, the feedback you provide is essential to our understanding of how to best implement corrective action when we fall short. We ask that you continue to provide feedback, and know that we also appreciate when you let us know we are on the right track. All of these comments will help us to ensure that your experience with our Agency is exceptional. That is our stated goal, and we thank you for helping us to reach it!