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Listening Session - Information and Customer Service
USCIS National Stakeholder Listening Session
Information and Customer Service (ICS)
Remarks from Meddie Brown, Associate Director of the Customer Service Directorate:
Our Call Centers are divided into two tiers. Tier 1 operators are contractors. USCIS provides scripted content that is general in nature and that can be found on the website. Tier 2 is staffed by USCIS Immigration Services Officers who have access to USCIS systems and can answer case specific questions.
We have several quality assurance processes that we use to monitor the accuracy of information provided by the Call Centers. For example, Tier 1 operators have two calls per day monitored. We also keep track of all phone numbers that call our centers and call a sample of these numbers back to ask individuals about their satisfaction regarding the quality of information provided.
We have a Customer Assistance Office that responds to written correspondence. They have points of contact in the field that they can reach out to and ask questions. They receive approximately 800-1,000 pieces of mail per month.
A pilot program currently allows customers to sign up to receive text message alerts to inform them that there’s been a change to their case status.
In May, we will be launching the following customer service enhancements:
Tailored online case status results
- Currently only 7 generic steps are reflected in Case Status Online tool and these are used for all form types
- Enhancement will show specific processing steps based on form type
- This will be implemented for over 40 form types
Email updates in Spanish
- Enhancement will include the option to receive email updates in English or Spanish
This will be available for both customers and representatives
- This enhancement continues to move us in the direction of providing our Spanish speaking customers with the same experience whether they contact us via the 1-800 number or the web.
Change of Address Online in Spanish
- Currently only able to be view the screens in English
- Enhancement will give customers and representatives the option to review the Change of Address screens in English or Spanish
- Customers will continue to be required to update address information in English
Service Request Management Tool (SRMT) online for Forms I-90 and N-400
- Currently customers contact the 1-800 number to make a service request, which is then sent via SRMT to the Field Office or Service Center
- Enhancement will allow customers and representatives the opportunity to use SRMT directly to submit a request directly to the Field Office or Service Center responsible for the case without calling the 1-800 number
- Will be accessible through www.uscis.gov
- This service will be piloted for customers whose case is Outside Normal Processing Times for the Forms I-90 and N-400
- We plan to offer this online service for all form types currently handled by the call centers
Comments and Questions from Stakeholders:
- What is the timeline for extending SRMT to other forms? How long is the pilot?
- The pilot will be approximately 6-8 months.
- How will USCIS disseminate information about the May implementations?
- We will coordinate with the Office of Communications and Office of Public Engagement to do the necessary outreach. The media launch will be in both English and Spanish.
Current Capacity and Resources
- How can customers access Tier 2 operators?
- Tier 1 operators are responsible for providing general scripted information. If the question is outside the scope of the script, then the Tier 1 operator will make a determination whether to transfer the call to Tier 2.
- How many individuals are in the Tier 2 system?
- There are approximately 150 Immigration Services Officers staffing two Tier 2 call centers.
- Call Centers do not seem to be able to provide information on asylum cases.
- Our call centers do not have access to asylum systems. This is something we need to take a look at.
- Will a confirmation be provided when a change of address is made online?
- After a customer has done a change of address online, he/she will receive notification from their local office to confirm the change of address.
- How does the call center deal with cases where the background check is pending, and particularly when it has been pending for a lengthy period of time?
- We have worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to reduce the time it takes for a background check to be completed. However, we must practice due diligence and some cases will need further vetting, which causes processing delays.
- Many customers are not computer savvy or do not have access to a computer. This can lead customers to individuals who may take advantage of them by, for example, charging high fees. It would be useful for customers to be able to access information on your website in
- We will continue to work with community-based organizations, AILA, etc. in order to get information out to customers, especially those who cannot access the needed information by computer.