A call centre that will ensure telephone calls made to the Immigration Department get answered quickly will become operational by October.
Chief Immigration Officer Franz Manderson spoke about the benefits of the call centre to members of the Cayman Islands Society of Human Resource Professionals at their Annual General Meeting last week.
‘While we experienced delays in establishing the centre, we are now well on our way to making the call centre a reality,’ he said.
Mr. Manderson said a site for the centre had already been identified, furniture and computers had been purchased and installed, and an automated call distribution system with voice activation had been installed by Cable & Wireless and was in the final stages of testing.
The system also utilises a television that will be used to display information to call centre staff such as the number of calls waiting to be answered.
Mr. Manderson said seven staff members had been identified to work in the call centre.
‘Some staff will work in the centre on a permanent basis, while other staff will rotate between their duties in the office and the call centre,’ he said.
Mr. Manderson said it was important to select the right staff for the job, ones with the knowledge to answer questions from the public.
‘We need to get the right people in the centre; otherwise the calls will just be transferred to other people in the Department.’
Training for the call centre staff is expected to commence this week.
‘The training will be in two stages,’ Mr. Manderson said. ‘Cable & Wireless will provide technical training and a local company will provide Customer Service Training.’
The training process is anticipated to take about two weeks. A soft opening for the centre will follow the training period to allow Cable & Wireless a chance to complete testing, he said.
‘Barring any unforeseen problems – like another hurricane – we plan to have the Centre fully operational in October.’
Mr. Manderson said the Immigration Department was also making progress in the redevelopment of its website.
‘We expect that the new site will be more user-friendly, contain much more information such as statistics and other information on the activities of the Immigration Department, Board policies, and offer expanded access for personal employers to check the status of their work permit applications,’ he said, adding that only businesses have that capability currently.
Mr. Manderson said Computer Services had been unable to provide the Immigration Department with a firm date for the completion of the new website.
‘However, we believe that it will be sooner rather than later.’
Yet another technological improvement planned for the Immigration Department is the installation of a document imaging system, which will decrease it reliance on physical files.
‘Anyone who has visited Immigration has seen mountains of files,’ he said. ‘We hope that will go away soon.’
Mr. Manderson said the new system was being introduced to reduce delays and complaints of misplaced files.
‘We have met with an organisation with experience in managing such a large project and hope to meet with potential suppliers very soon,’ he said. ‘We plan to have the project substantially completed by the end of June 2007.’