Certain times of the year will try call center answering services more than others, and it's hard to imagine a more fret-inducing period than the months leading up to taxes. It shouldn't be too surprising, then, that various circumstances have led to a decrease in calls to IRS customer service as taxpayers seek other means of support. A recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has revealed this information, and brings up questions of how best to improve.
Reportedly, it took an average time of 17 minutes for callers to reach a live operator on the IRS' support line. Only 68 percent of people calling in (out of a total of around 98 million callers) actually managed to reach someone and receive service. And phone service was not the only area in which the IRS fell behind: 40 percent of mail sent in went unanswered for over 45 days. These trends appear to have worsened since 2011.
"While IRS plans to continue to pursue efficiency gains," the report states, "its strategy for future years does not specifically address how it plans to reverse these negative trends. Reversing the declines in telephone and correspondence services may require IRS to consider difficult tradeoffs, such as reassessing which phone calls IRS should answer with a live assistor and which it should not because automated services are available." It is another case that seems to point towards a system that combines a live answering service and other forms of support.
The report has prompted a response from the IRS in which it said it would endeavor to improve these services.
A strong phone answering service is crucial for any entity, be it a company or a government agency. The larger the system, the more urgent it is that callers can access a call center employee, so that service can be provided quickly and effectively.