Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Call Waiting a Key State Agency Reforms Customer Service

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Call Waiting a Key State Agency Reforms Customer Service

Article excerpt

Little things count. Something as simple as answering phone calls promptly can make a big difference in the ability of a big organization to deal appropriately with its customers and clients.

The state Department of Human Services has learned that lesson.

Things are changing for the better at the agency,which has an expansive reach. It oversees the program for medical and cash assistance, home heating aid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (formerly food stamps), child development, child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health and substance abuse.

The department had been heavily criticized for phones unanswered, calls dropped, emails ignored and other lapses in handling requests from individuals and organizations. After the anti-hunger group Just Harvest conducted a survey in 2013, it called for an overhaul of the department's phone system. The group has seen improvement by the state.

Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas said that in January 2015 only 44. …

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