NOVEMBER 4, 2016, VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) – The redesign of the Navy College website has proven an immediate hit with Sailors, and feedback about virtual capabilities, response times, and improved access has been overwhelmingly positive.
According to Ernest D’Antonio, Navy Voluntary Education (VOLED) director, the new virtual features are helping his team to meet their key goal of improving customer service.
“The chat feature is extremely popular, primarily due to a current average pick-up time of only one minute,” said D’Antonio. “For simple or quick questions, no one wants a long wait, and adding chat to the website and Virtual Education Center’s toolkit was a great solution.”
Petty Officer 1st Class Karen Collings, career counselor for the Naval Operation Support Center in Denver, said since the “Mile High” Reserve Navy is distant from the fleet’s resources, the new website is very helpful.
“It’s great to see a VOLED product that gives equal access for the Reserves,” said Collings. “As a command career counselor, I absolutely love the website and its 24/7 availability. The hardest part for a Sailor is always ‘Where do I start?’ and the new website is excellent for that.”
For Sue Sutter, VEC supervisor, the new technologies have made participating in VOLED significantly more efficient for their customers.
“One example of the technologies working together is that when a Sailor takes the WebTA training while in the MyEducation/WebTA portal, it automatically populates into the Sailor’s record in the Navy College Management Information System,” said Sutter. “There’s no waiting for someone to manually enter it into their record — it’s now instantly recorded and that shortens the initial TA qualification and application process significantly.”
According to Sutter, all requests for assistance or action through the Navy College Program website are assigned an “E-ticket” and can be tracked for follow-up and research. Instead of sending an email, service members submit a Help Request E-Ticket through the Assistance Center on the website. The member can also upload documents for VOLED personnel to review through the Help Request feature. The VOLED Process section of the website provides step-by-step instructions on what is required as well as tools to assist with education options. There is also a VOLED Wizard on the website which can guide members through the process according to their responses to specific questions.
“Another website addition that is saving Sailors a lot of time is the counseling self-service scheduling tool,” said D’Antonio. “The tool allows a Sailor to sign-up for a counseling appointment conducted virtually by a VEC counselor, or a Sailor may self-schedule a counseling appointment through one of the four CONUS Navy College Offices. Sailors can also access the website’s call-back feature to request a counselor call them back on the phone at the Sailor’s convenience. With that many options, there’s very little wasted time.”
“We are constantly refining our system and it’s working better every day,” added D’Antonio. “Last week there was a Navy-Marine Corps Internet outage at our Dam Neck, Virginia. VEC location, but we were able to continue to help Sailors through the call center and by VOLED personnel in the field, with our new chat and E-ticket service. To help improve service even more, we are also in the process of increasing our VEC staff.”
The URL for the new Navy College Program website is http://www.navycollege.navy.mil/.
The Navy’s Virtual Education Center hours are from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST Monday-Friday and may be reached by calling (877) 838-1659 or DSN 492-4684, or contacted via http://www.livehelpnow.net/lhn/TicketsVisitor.aspx?lhnid=30432/.