PUTRAJAYA: Pick up the telephone within the third ring - that is the Government’s order to its staff manning enquiry hotlines.
That’s 10 seconds - in terms of waiting time for the caller.
”If the calls are not answered (by then), these must be connected to a message box,” said Malaysian Administrative, Modernisation and Management Unit (Mampu) director-general Datuk Normah Md Yusof.
Reminding this in a circular issued earlier this week, she said the implementation of the helpdesk system in 2005 had yet to meet the objectives of improving the delivery system.
With complaints being received on the system’s shortcomings, Mampu, the agency tasked to improve the Government’s public delivery system, has come out with fresh guidelines to better serve and monitor public complaints.
From now, helpdesk staff will have to record all incoming letters, e-mail, calls and even SMSes on complaints and enquiries received from the public.
Acknowledgements must be sent within 72 hours of a complaint or enquiry being received.
“If the matter needs to be referred first to an officer or a division, the public must be informed of this not more than seven days after the acknowledgment letter is sent.
“They must also be told how much longer it will take and how to contact the officer,” Normah said.
Telephone hotline numbers, e-mail addresses and other hotline information must also be freely distributed.
To ensure that helpdesk staff were ready for the tasks, she said they would be trained in communication skills, effective customer relations and self-development aspects.
Normah, who took over as Mampu chief on June 1, said the helpdesk, which could be in a physical or electronic form, must be manned by the right staff in terms of experience and knowledge.