January 24, 2013
CFIB Awards C- Grade to CRA Call Centre Business Helpline
By Arvind Arora
Providing quick, relevant and factually correct information to callers is one of the most vital aspects related to the overall customer interaction process. While almost all the enterprises that directly deal with its customers acknowledge this fact, some still have some work to do.
Canadian Federation of Independent Business or ‘CFIB’ has awarded a disappointing ‘C-’ to the Canada Revenue Agency or ‘CRA’ on the third day of Canada’s Red Tape Awareness Week. The company received such a dismal assessment largely due to the low levels of its service standards, and the deteriorating professionalism within its agents, though their accountability has been reported to have gotten better.
“It’s not easy to comply with a complicated tax code, especially when the CRA Helpline provides you with wrong information, or when you can’t get through to a CRA agent in the first place,” commented Corinne Pohlmann, vice president at CFIB for national affairs. “As job creators and taxpayers, small business owners deserve accurate information and better service from the CRA Helpline.”
With an aim to analyze the quality and precision within the business responses offered by CRA agents, 145 calls were made by CFIB to the CRA Call Centre Business Helpline in the months of June and July 2012.
During the assessment, it was revealed that almost every CRA agent provided his or her name, location and ID number on their own. At the same time, a range of other issues were encountered in the process; as a quarter of the total calls got a busy signal, while around one fifth of them resulted in being offered incorrect or incomplete information by the CRA agents. Finally, around 61 percent of the calls made to the call centers of CRA were able to successfully and satisfactorily receive the information they intended to access.
The Canadian government, though, plans to take necessary steps to ensure the accountability of CRA to the taxpayers can be enhanced in an effective manner. Gail Shea, Canada’s Minister of National Revenue recently said that the status of a pilot project will soon be converted to permanent, under which it is a must for the CRA agents to provide their ID numbers to the callers. Further, these agents will also be specially trained to offer accurate and relevantly correct information to the callers in a more efficient manner.
“While it’s encouraging to see greater accountability at the CRA Helpline, it clearly needs a lot of work to improve customer service,” added Pohlmann. “In recent years, CFIB has had the opportunity to work closely with CRA to improve their service to small business. There has been a lot of progress, and CFIB sincerely hopes this cooperation will continue.”
In October 2012, CFIB entered a partnership with Canadian owned Payworks to enable the CFIB members across Canada available exclusively discounted pricing on payroll services, making Payworks the newest member of CFIB’s Privilege Programs group of partners.
Edited by Carlos Olivera