Center New Orleans Customer Support Center is the largest help desk in terms of volume and number of service tickets resolved within the Navy’s Global Distance Support Center (GDSC). The New Orleans center boasts a 97 percent customer satisfaction rating which exceeds private industry standards by 11 percent.
In 2006, it earned two of four awards given at the Government Customer Support Conference and Expo in a competition with other federal, state and local government agencies, taking home awards in both the Teamwork and Overall Excellence categories.
To streamline processes and reduce investments, the GDSC is developing a strategy to consolidate more than 400 help desks and call centers worldwide that provide vital services to a variety of customers including: Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), SPAWAR, Naval Air Systems Command, Naval Supply Systems Command, Naval Education and Training Professional Development and Technology Center, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Navy Personnel Command, Navy Reserve Force and Navy Recruiting Command. The NMCI Help Desk is not part of the GDSC.
Mr. Jamie Passaro, director of customer services for SCC New Orleans, was recently named as the technical lead for Global Distance Support (as it relates to all Navy help desks) by the NAVSEA Distance Support program manager.
As director of customer services, Passaro oversees all New Orleans support activities, including the Customer Support Center, Navy Distance Support and the Navy's Global Distance Support initiative. In fact, Passaro is a charter member of the Customer Service Working Group that began the consolidation about 10 years ago.
With SSC New Orleans' excellent customer service track record and Passaro's extensive experience, he is the perfect choice to be the technical lead for such a large project.
The designation of a technical lead builds on the Navy Distance Support Governance Board's Customer Service Working Group initiative to identify and consolidate all Navy call centers, help desks, support centers and functions, while at the same ensuring best support to Navy customers.
It's a tall order, but one that Passaro is ready to meet.
"My major responsibility will be to identify any commonalities and redundancies among the various Navy help desks and call centers to work toward a consolidation of information technology and infrastructure [that will] include hardware and software, networks, and, in some cases, toward a physical consolidation also," he said.
A survey will be issued to all Navy commands that own or manage a call center, help desk, support center or customer support function. The survey, authorized by the Distance Support Governance Board, will be used to conduct a business case analysis to identify those support centers ideal for consolidation. Completion of the survey is mandatory and will aid in the technical evaluation.
The Governance Board has identified four pillars of customer support: Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education (MPT&E) and Medical; Maintenance; Logistics; and Warfighting. Each of the help desks that comprise the GDSC specializes in providing support to one or more of these customer bases.
The SSC New Orleans Customer Support Center specializes in quality of life applications such as the Navy Standard Integrated Personnel System (NSIPS), the New Reserve Order Writing System (NROWS), the Job Advertising and Selection System (JASS) and the Medical Readiness Reporting System (MRRS). It also fields pay issues and Navy Reserve Force applications. Passaro is dual-hatted as the functional lead for the MPT&E pillar.
Supporting Passaro is Mr. Jack Walbridge, Customer Support Center manager, who ensures that customer satisfaction is the No. 1 goal for the center, a role he has been performing since 1998.
At its height, the center grew to 55 employees supporting 34 programs. Since Hurricane Katrina, the Help Desk has been staffed with 34 employees supporting 13 programs. The reduction is due in part to the retirement and consolidation of numerous legacy applications.
The communications network manager, Mr. Jerry Hopstetter, also works as the center's technical manager. He is responsible for fulfilling all of the center's technical needs as well as managing the design, implementation and maintenance of the Remedy Customer Support Service Request System. Remedy is an automated tool that tracks customer service requests from cradle to grave.
In addition to the task of consolidating existing helps desks and telephone service functions across the Navy, the working group is tasked to align customer relationship management tools and business processes across all enterprises; integrate core functional call centers into a virtually connected call center structure; and collect appropriate metrics for enterprise leadership and functional area leads, who provide support to the various customer bases.
Passaro is eager to begin work. "Our persistence, drive and ultimately our successes have not been by mistake," he said. "Going up the mountain has been a challenge. However, we have always faced that challenge knowing the view is better from the top."
Maria LoVasco Tolleson is the SSC New Orleans public affairs officer.