KINGSTON — The Registrar General's Department (RGD) has unveiled the latest in a series of services offered to the public, the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) utility.
The IVR, an automated technology feature which facilitates interaction between the RGD and its clients via landline and cellular telephones, was launched on Tuesday August 16 by RGD’s Director General, Dr. Patricia Holness, at the Courtleigh Hotel, New Kingston.
She said that the $200,000 facility, developed by technology solutions firm, Illuminat, will enable customers to determine the status of their applications, by interacting with the Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) telephone system which the RGD introduced in February 2010, and which provides access to over 100 employees.
Describing the IVR as “another significant achievement”, Dr. Holness pointed out that it features a main menu, which will give customers five options from which to select, when checking on applications including birth, marriage and death certificates. She explained that it requires customers to insert their 11 or 12-digit application tracking system (ATS) receipt number, which is assigned to each application.
“One of the advantages of this system is the availability of the service, which is accessible 24 hours per day. The RGD’s customer base is worldwide, and so this will give persons the opportunity to gain access to the ATS, at their convenience,” she advised.
She assured that the system’s introduction would not result in a reduction in the number of RGD's customer service representatives.
She added that the system is user friendly, and should not create any problems, once the necessary steps are taken. However, if assistance is required the call will be routed to a customer service representative.
The IVR is expected to significantly enhance the RGD's ability to handle its high volume of daily calls which, she disclosed, averages over 2,000. A pilot test was successfully conducted, with over 8,000 customers accessing the system.
Acting Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Eva Lewis-Fuller who represented portfolio Minister, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, said he is “very excited” about the development, and congratulated the RGD for “a step in the right direction."
“The RGD has been continuously seeking innovative ways in which to better satisfy its many customers, and this is an important tool which, I believe, will make significant inroads in achieving this objective,” the Minister’s message said.
By DOUGLAS McINTOSH, JIS Reporter