Paragraph and Subject                      Date   Trans. No.


Chapter 0-0300 Customer Service


     Table of Contents . . . . . . .       08/15     15-04    

  1  Purpose and Scope . . . . . . .       08/15     15-04

  2  DEEOIC Standards for

       Customer Service  . . . . . .       08/15     15-04    

  3  Telephone Communications. . . .       08/15     15-04    

  4  Written Communications  . . . .       08/15     15-04    


1.      Purpose and Scope.  This chapter describes the commitment of the Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOIC) to serving its internal and external customers with excellence. 


a.   Internal Customers.  These include but are not limited to National Office staff, District Office staff, and Resource Center employees.


b.   External Customers.  These include, but are not limited to, claimants, authorized representatives, attorneys, advocacy groups, congressional officials, contractors, and other external agents who have a vested interest in the claims process.


2.   DEEOIC Standards for Customer Service.  The highest level of customer service is expected in all dealings with individuals conducting business with and within the DEEOIC.  All staff are expected to be courteous, professional, flexible, honest and helpful.  The program's Operational Plan includes standards for the performance, responsiveness and timeliness of customer service.  DEEOIC's Customer Service Goals include the following:


a.   Customers.  DEEOIC customers are satisfied with our services;


b.   Services.  DEEOIC services are delivered to customers in a timely and accurate manner; and


c.   Planning and Development.  Customer needs are integrated into program planning and product development.


3.   Telephone Communications.  DEEOIC staff speak to claimants, authorized representatives, health care providers, employer organizations, resource center personnel, governmental organizations, and others on a daily basis. 


a.   Telephone Skills.  Effective telephone skills are one of the keys to providing accurate, courteous, and timely information to callers.  These skills include, but are not limited to, the following:


(1)  Answer the telephone promptly;


(2)  Identify the caller’s needs;


(3)  Handle inquiries in a professional and pleasant (non-defensive) manner;


(4)  Provide prompt, informative responses;


(5)  Keep conversations brief but provide accurate, courteous, and timely information; and


(6)  Give callers an accurate estimate of when a return call will be attempted, if necessary.


b.   Inquiries Directed to Resource Centers.  Resource Centers (RCs) are situated in key geographic locations throughout the United States to provide assistance and information to the DEEOIC claimant community and other interested parties.  The RCs play a limited but valuable role in the claims process and their duties include the following:


(1) Provide information on claims process and program procedures to the DEEOIC claimant community;


(2)    Assist claimants in the completion of the necessary claim forms;


(3)    Take initial employment verification steps for all new EEOICPA claims filed with the RC;


(4)    Conduct occupational history development for certain employees;


(5) Provide case-specific information and clarification to claimants and authorized representatives; 


(6) Educate and assist the claimants regarding impairment and wage-loss benefits on cases with positive causation determinations; and


(7)    Provide medical bill payment assistance to claimants.


(8)    For more information about the RCs, see EEOICPA PM 2-0200.


c.   Documenting Phone Calls.  The Phone Calls Screen in the Energy Compensation System (ECS) allows the ECS user to memorialize telephone conversations.  The Phone Calls screen in ECS also provides a mechanism by which incoming and outgoing telephone contact on a given case file is tracked and maintained. 


(1)    The person who answers the phone must create the phone record in ECS, unless the call is immediately transferred to another person and that person picks up the phone and speaks with the caller.  The second person then becomes responsible for creating the phone message record in ECS. A copy of the phone call note from ECS must be bronzed into the OWCP Imaging System (OIS).


(2) The person transferring the call must ensure that the call is picked up so that the caller is not inadvertently dropped or transferred to a voicemail message.


(3)  Callers may be transferred to voicemail only with the caller’s explicit knowledge and consent.


4.   Written Communications.  DEEOIC staff must use good writing skills in all correspondence.  Letters must be clear, concise, instructional, accurate, and tailored.  Specific skills include:


a.   Considering the Reader.  Use language that the reader can understand and customize the correspondence accordingly, specifically for that reader.  Avoid using abbreviations in the body of the correspondence, unless they have been written out at the beginning of the correspondence;


b.   Checking for Errors.  Review correspondence before issuance to eliminate grammatical, spelling, template or other technical errors;


c.   Choosing the Mode of Expression.  Use natural and non-adversarial wording.  To the extent possible, write politely, conversationally and employ commonly used words;


d.   Making Documents Visually Appealing.  Present text in a way that highlights the main points to be communicated.  Use bullets or numbered lists when providing instructions or identifying deficiencies.  Avoid lengthy narrative explanations or too much usage of underlining or bolding of the text in the correspondence; and


e.   Tailoring the Letter to the Issue at Hand.  Do not use lengthy, “laundry list” template letters when only certain information is being requested or provided.  Identify what evidence has been submitted and the additional information that is needed in order to proceed with the adjudication of the claim in a timely manner.