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Archived from our former blog, The Beacon.

Customer Service Week: USCIS Making Progress and Looking to do More

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The International Customer Association launched Customer Service Week in 1988 to recognize the importance of customer service and to honor people who provide the best examples of great service. In 1992 Congress proclaimed Customer Service Week a nationally recognized event.

During Customer Service Week, we at USCIS celebrate the achievements of customer service staff and thank them for the work that makes a difference to our customers as they encounter the complex world of immigration benefits.

Looking back, our predecessor, The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) was one of the first to initiate a prototype centralized telephone center in 1985. The prototype proved successful and evolved into today’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) National Customer Service Center (NCSC), which now receives nearly 16 million calls a year and handles telephone inquiries from throughout the United States.

Since then, USCIS has continually sought ways to improve the customer experience, which has admittedly had its ups-and-downs through the years.

Last year, we launched a redesigned website as well as a completely new Spanish-language version of the site. USCIS.gov and USCIS.gov español both provide case status online and have consistently scored above the government website average in online user surveys. In fact, the Spanish-language website recently tied for first place with NASA’s home page.

We have also contracted with an independent agency to monitor customer performance at our field offices and the NCSC. They conduct monthly telephone surveys, in-person interviews, and online surveys once every three months. In addition, USCIS conducts focus groups four times a year to gather in-depth customer feedback and suggestions for service improvement.

Through these four survey methods, we have been able to improve the information provided by the NCSC’s Interactive Voice Response System and on our website. Overall, statistics shows that our customer satisfaction rating has steadily improved from 63% in 2000 to 83.3% in 2010.

We hope to continue this positive trend and we welcome your comments and suggestions as to how we can best improve our customer service to meet your needs.