Recently, I came across a news of phasing out of government managed call center in Indian city, Jaipur, aimed at providing single-window facilities for civic issues like sanitation, water supply and road repair etc. The reason for phasing out of the call center is due to less number of calls and huge burden of cost for running the call center! Quite logical!
Jaipur: The much-hyped call centre, which was launched in August 2008 to provide singlewindow facilities for civic issues like sanitation, water supply and road repair etc, may be phased out soon. The centre seems to be economically unviable and a huge burden on the government. Moreover, the Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) has to dish out Rs 2.5 lakh every month for a few hundred calls.
During a review meeting chaired by directorate of local bodies (DLB), director Jogaram said in the last one month it was found that running the call centre was an expensive affair. “As the coordinator of the centre, we found that we need to make the centre costeffective. Therefore, we have decided to reduce staff strength by June 1, 2010, besides some other corrective measures,” Jogaram said. Source : Times Of India.
While, any intelligent IVR ( interactive voice response) system should have been enough for providing information as well as registering any request from its citizen, government agencies went ahead with implementation of call center! Most probably, IVR companies in India are not promoting features and functions of IVR systems in India!
Providing information about various government agencies like JDA ( Jaipur Development Authority) about water supply, sanitary problems, road repair etc. are routine job and any IVR could have been used without having to make recurring expenses.
IVR can also be used easily to automate registering of any kind of complaints along with caller ID as well as recording voices. These recorded voices could be emailed as voice mail attachment along with complaint ID number to concerned officials automatically. Status of complaints could be changed by concerned official and the status could be provided by caller on IVR without the complainant having to visit the office as well as interacting any official. This will not only increase efficiency of government employees, but also save resources and recurring expenditures.
Though in other parts of India, some government agencies are using IVR, but it is yet to become mainstream. With ever increasing telephone and mobile users in India, features and functions of IVR technology should exploited to provide public utility services.