Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Public Affairs Division – Washington, DC
At The Frontline Against Violent Crime
For Immediate Release
February 14, 2008
Customer Service Enhancements at the Federal Firearms Licensing Center
One of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)’s busiest customer call centers, the Federal Firearms Licensing Center (FFLC) in Atlanta, Georgia, has implemented a new tool to enhance customer service. Serving about 108,000 licensed firearms dealers, pawnbrokers, importers, and manufacturers, in addition to thousands of nonlicensed members of the public, the FFLC has implemented a new Automated Call Distribution system (ACD) to upgrade its legacy phone system and deliver many state-of-the-art customer-service improvements.
The FFLC mail call center phone line, 1-866-662-2750 (toll-free), is the first number dialed by many licensees, ATF, and non-ATF offices for answers to questions pertaining to licensing and ATF in general. For many callers, FFLC is the first point of contact within the ATF. Callers are routed to the appropriate office.
A primary ACD enhancement gives callers the option of waiting in a queue to speak with a live customer service representative instead of being transferred into a voice mailbox, which is sometimes full and unable to accept new messages. The ACD system also efficiently redirects the more common types of calls not requiring a live response. For example, requests for application packets are some of the most frequent and repetitive calls received by the FFLC. The ACD system automatically refers these calls at the beginning of the call-flow process to the ATF Distribution Center in Virginia (1-703-455-7801) for a response, freeing customer service representatives to devote their time to answering more complex licensing questions.
Another important ACD enhancement is the systematic measurement of call volumes by date, time, length, and type. The system generates statistical reports that inform management how to allocate customer service representatives resources to best meet workload demands. Thanks to ACD, the FFLC now knows that the customer service representatives facilitate more than 3,400 calls per month. ACD also counts the number and length of abandoned calls and tracks customer wait times in the queue to establish performance benchmarks by which to plan and measure continued improvement.
Positive results were realized immediately upon implementation of the ACD system. There was a decrease in the number of complaint calls and calls automatically transferred to voicemail. Customers are happier because they have been given more control over the handling of their inquiries and have greater access to real-time assistance from a live person on the other end of the phone. The ACD system has been such a success that ATF plans to expand its use to other customer call centers in Enforcement Programs and Services, such as the Federal Explosives Licensing Center and the National Firearms Act and Imports Branches.
The FFLC hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST, Monday-Friday. If you contact us after business hours, the ACD system will allow you to leave a voice message.
More information on ATF and its programs can be found at www.atf.gov.