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The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) receives a wide variety of customer enquiries reflecting the broad range of functions that it carries out.

These functions include primary sector productivity, fisheries management, aquaculture, border biosecurity, food safety, climate change, forestry and animal welfare.

It was sometimes difficult for MPI's external call centre to identify the most appropriate person or team to direct enquiries to. Staff also saw that a number of incoming calls were either being dropped or transferred multiple times within the agency before getting to the right person.

So, to make it easier to do business with them, MPI decided to establish an in-house contact centre to complement its external call centre.

The in-house contact centre is made up of a small team (three people) dedicated to knowing who does what across the entire Ministry. They also deal with all general email enquiries and answer MPI's Food Safety Consumer Helpline.

Now, if staff or the external call centre is not sure about a call, they can send it to the in-house contact centre for resolution.

Manager of the Channels team at MPI, Stephen Moore, says the new contact centre is already making a big difference.

"Now internal staff and the external call centre have one place to send queries to. As a result we have many more satisfied customers as shown through email surveys, with less complaints logged."

"Excellent. No problems whatsoever. Absolutely fantastic. Thank you for your help." [Email survey response - 06/06/2013]

The new in-house contact centre might be small but it's very effective, answering around 900 telephone calls and 1400 emails a month. And it's making a difference in a number of ways: 

  • It's become the 'go to' place for internal staff queries as they know a lot about what goes on at MPI
  • Staff spend less time trying to track down the right person to satisfactorily deal with incoming queries.

Most importantly, fewer calls are dropped and customer satisfaction is higher.

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