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Industry Research : Half of the 16 Million Canadians Calling Government Call Centres Can't Get Through


Half of the 16 million Canadians who tried to reach an actual agent when contacting a government call centre in 2017-18 could not get through, says a report released Tuesday by the Office of the Auditor General of Canada.

The report found millions of callers to three call centres — Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada — could not reach an agent during the 2017-18 analysis period.

Callers were either redirected to an automated system or website, or told to call back later, the report said. Some simply hung up.

The auditor general found that 6.9 million callers weren't able to talk to a live person and over 1.3 million terminated their calls early.

Callers who did get through to a person had to wait 30 minutes or longer, exceeding some call centre wait times.

Needs of clients not always met, report says

Veterans Affairs call centres were also scrutinized, and the auditor found callers typically were able to reach an agent.

But the auditor still slammed the department for its wait times and for cancelling teletypewriter services for the hearing impaired "without first consulting with or telling veterans."

Many of the government's call centres did not have customer service-focused delivery models, the auditor general found.

"We found that Veterans Affairs Canada and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada did not always consider the needs of their clients when making decisions about call centre services," the report stated.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada didn't have wait time targets; the report found that department had the longest average wait times of the call centres it examined.

"Without service standards, callers could not know what level of service they could expect from call centres, and the departments had no public commitments to meet," the report said.

Where standards existed, many weren't based on feedback from callers, the auditor found.

'Aging systems' plaguing call centres

The report also found plans to modernize federal call centres are behind schedule.

Five years after the federal government began modernizing over 221 centres, only eight have been completed.

The report found Shared Services Canada hadn't even finalized its plan for the remaining 213 call centres ahead of the 2020 deadline.

The report warns that upgrading the remaining call centres could take years, and centres could be plagued by "service interruptions or outages because of their aging systems."

Shared Services underestimated the cost and amount of work needed to modernize call centres, the auditor also found.

Call centre problems a relic of the Harper era?

At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Jean-Yves Duclos acknowledged the government still has much work to do.

But Duclos slammed the previous government under Stephen Harper, accusing the Conservatives of neglecting the call centre system.

"Our government has done away with the negligence of the past government and will continue to improve services to all Canadians," Duclos said.

Michelle Rempel, an Alberta Conservative MP, rejected the government's attempts to attribute the problems to the Harper era.

Rempel said the Liberals should be taking responsibility for the problems with call centres and other issues the auditor general highlighted in the report.

"I cannot believe that six weeks left in Parliament after four years (in government) and they are coming out here and saying it is Stephen Harper's fault," Rempel said. "That's just patently ridiculous."

In a joint statement, Duclos and other ministers acknowledged the problems identified by the auditor general and said the government is taking steps:

- Employment and Social Development Canada is overhauling old technology and installing a new phone system.

- Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship will hire more call centre agents, expand their hours of operation, offer a call-back option and install a chat bot on social media channels to respond to questions.

- Veterans Affairs will restore the teletypewriter service for hearing-impaired clients.

Overall, the federal departments under scrutiny agreed with the recommendations in the auditor general's report.

The only department that isn't fully complying with the auditor's recommendations is Employment and Social Development Canada, which handles calls about Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security.

The department told auditors it will not track those who hang up before the 10 minute standard waiting time has passed.

Jean Goulet, a member of the AG's audit team, said all hang-ups should be counted.

"On that specific point we have a different view," Goulet said during a news conference. "Our view is based on industry standards."


Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent

Today's Tip of the Day - SWAT Team

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Monday, May 20, 2019

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2021 Buyers Guide Customer Relationship Management

Alliance Infotech Pvt Ltd

alliance Infotech (P) Ltd. is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company and OEM having more than a decade of experience in CRM and Computer Telephony (CT) software solutions. Our CT products are sold in Telecom, Police, Media, Bank, Corporate, Defense and Contact-Centers. We have established technical relationship with leading component providers as a Digium Select partner, Sangoma, Microsoft Certified Partner and Dialogic amongst others.


Zoho CRM Suite
Zoho CRM is a world leading cloud based customer relationship management suite covering all CRM functionalities a modern company needs :
- Multi Channel Lead Management
- Sales Force Automation
- Quotation & Order Management
- Full 'Lead to Order' process
- After Sales Services
- Social Media Management
- Mass E-mailing & Marketing Automation

& several other capabilities

Commence Corporation

Commence CRM
Comprehensive solution for automating sales, marketing, customer service ticketing and project management.
PH: 732-380-9100

eGain Corporation

eGain Solve™
eGain Solve™ is the industry’s leading cloud solution for omnichannel customer service and engagement. As the industry’s only unified customer engagement and knowledge management software suite, eGain Solve helps businesses design and deliver smart, connected customer journeys across social, mobile, web, and contact centers. The suite consists of modular, best-of-breed applications built on a unique customer engagement hub platform, eGain CEH™ Platform, that combines 360-degree customer context, intelligent process guidance, and actionable knowledge to enhance every customer interaction. The web-services-based architecture of the platform enables rapid innovation and extension of customer engagement capabilities.


FinCRM - CRM Software
FinCRM holds expertise in providing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and Full Stack Office Management solutions. The company possesses prowess in developing tailored CRM software solutions with integration of advanced features to empower your workforce and lead to the pathway of lucrative business opportunities. It also offers CRM integrated Office Management Software to streamline your internal operations, improve marketing proficiency, and upsurge productivity.

FinCRM is developed to serve several industries, including insurance, bank, NBFC, education, e-commerce, auto dealership, and more. The software is developed in such a way that any industry player can customize it...
(read more)
PH: 9962646830

MFE International

Creatio(formerly bpm'online) Process-driven unified CRM
Unified Marketing, Sales, Service CRM built on a business process management (BPM) platform. Award winning CRM .Recognised by Gartner, Forrester, OVUM, Nucleus research as leading marketing automation, sales automation, customer engagement, business process automation and dynamic case management software.
A new process-driven CRM and not the traditional CRM type.
PH: 96386615

NetHunt CRM

NetHunt CRM
NetHunt CRM blends entirely with Gmail, placing the full-featured CRM right next to your emails. Everything you need is now available in Gmail inbox: customer profiles, deals and opportunities, data filters and views, team collaboration, email tracking, bulk email campaigns, and much more! Simple setup process, intuitive UI, and personal guidance of customer success allow quick integration.

Core Functionality:
- one-click lead capturing;
- pipeline and deals stage management;
- unmatched integration with G Suite apps;
- integration with Linkedin and other apps via Zapier;
- automated contact sync;
- bulk email campaigns, open and clicks tracking;
- dashboard, performance reporting, and tasks;
- full customisation.


A complete contact centre technology offering including a flexible and highly configurable CRM solution which can be multi-tenanted, relational and visually configured. CRM entities are fully embedded in a sophisticated dynamic call scripting drag & drop solution which allows for complex process flows and integration to external systems for the delivery of an integrated intelligent agent desktop solution. The solution can be integrated to telephony for both inbound and outbound using the Noetica Voice Platform which is a fully featured contact centre telephony platform.
PH: +44 345 0181 070


Customer Relationship Management enables you to focus on your organization’s relationships with individual people – whether those are customers, service users, colleagues, or suppliers.

CRM is a hybrid business solution that can increase sales and marketing efficiency many other key customer relationship matters. CRM platform enables you to focus on your organization’s relationships with individual people – whether those are customers, service users, colleagues, or suppliers.

Benefits :
- Help to see 360 degrees of customer view perspective
- Analysis to measure performance and gain new target and business insight
- Tracking and scheduling are centralized in one database
- Help to stay abreast and stay close each other, increase productivity.
PH: 0217991445


Trendzact CRM
Trendzact’s CRM case management platform specializes in contact engagement centers with complex workflows or integrations. Our features, full customization, scalability, native on-demand AI and flat-fee pricing sets us apart from the competition.
PH: 3854343250

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