Website Design

What happened with the TSP website migration?


The latest Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) monthly meeting offered answers about what went wrong with the launch of the new TSP website in June. He also provided details on how the experience for TSP participants has improved since the migration.

What exactly has been done with the deployment of the new TSP website?

It is important to note that the changes to the TSP website launched in June were more than just a refresh of the website and included a redesign of almost everything behind the TSP platform and its underlying technology. underlying. The principle behind the changes was to ensure that the TSP system was positioned for future changes.

It included the replacement of FRTIB’s core record keeping system, the redesign of the TSP customer service contact center technology, the redesign of “My Account” and the TSP Agency/Payroll portal, and the introduction of more online services, functionalities and security standards.

TSP Website Issues Update

Accenture Federal Services (AFS) provided a report to the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB), the agency that oversees the operation of the TSP, on the operation of the TSP website since the June rollout of the new platform and new features.

AFS issued an apology to TSP board members and plan participants and admitted that the deployment issues had tarnished the TSP brand. AFS also said it was not up to their standards and that TSP participants did not deserve the problems they were having.

What went wrong?

This is the question that TSP participants probably want to know the most. As Owen Davies, Client Account Manager at AFS, explained to FRTIB board members, this was primarily the result of two things:

  1. Unexpected call volume – AFS was anticipating call volumes to the TSP customer support line that were twice as high as the previous day of highest FRTIB call volume, but the volume of calls that ended up coming in was six times more.
  2. New Account Setup Process – in the “spirit of security,” all TSP participants were required to create a new online account to prevent fraud, but this process “was cumbersome, contained previously undetected errors, and led to unexpected account access issues.”

Davies said all of their past experience and data tells them they’ll be at an “acceptable volume” of calls with the 2X assumption and in their ability to handle them with the staff they have. But, as he put it very succinctly, “we were wrong”. The volume of calls that eventually came in was so high that the company didn’t have the staff to handle it.

Regarding the new online account creation process, AFS said it was done with a “security and fraud prevention mindset”, explaining that legacy credentials of another platform’s user is conducive to security issues. However, the company said the process was too complex and cumbersome, which only added fuel to the fire with the already high call center volumes when many users were confused by the process and had to call customer support for help.

The good news, however, is that the company said it started working on both of those things immediately and it was resolved within two weeks, although as Davies admitted the “damage was done.” “.

Other factors

Other contributing factors helped create a perfect storm, which further compounded the poor performance with the rollout of the new website:

  • Prolonged blackout period – prior to the launch of the new TSP website, TSP participants could not transact on their accounts, resulting in pent-up demand
  • Stock market conditions – this likely led to increased interest among TSP participants to pay more attention to their accounts
  • Redesign – everything about the user experience has been changed, causing confusion among TSP participants on how to perform actions or find things in the new site layout
  • Long wait times on hold – people who called the customer support number were obviously on hold for a long time, so they got frustrated, hung up, then called back, which had the net effect of d further increase call volumes

Current performance of the TSP website

Despite the issues, the good news is that the issues have improved significantly. Here are some of the latest performance metrics:

  • 2.08 million TSP participants have created their account online
  • Call volume has fallen to around 21,000 calls per day, still above average, but is expected to continue to decline
  • Average hold time dropped to 24 seconds
  • Average call duration is just under 11 minutes
  • Telephone customer satisfaction reaches 82%; the target is 90% and AFS is still working to achieve it
  • 81% of calls are answered in less than 20 seconds; objective is 80% and AFS is confident that it can maintain this objective

A few other metrics worth noting are that approximately 200,000 TSP account logins occur every day, there have been over 305,000 downloads of the new TSP mobile app since launch, and 1,678 mutual fund window accounts have been funded so far.

And after?

Here are the future improvements that AFS is currently working on:

  • Improving online self-service for deposits, withdrawals and loans
  • Increase historical information available to attendees through My Account
  • Expand Virtual Assistant (VA) functionality to provide easy access to account information
  • Improved “My Account” access to in-progress item status and attendee custom actions
  • Focus on interactive voice response (IVR) navigation to get attendees to the right agent the first time
  • Pursue additional refresher training for existing call center agents – they are currently overstaffed to focus on customer service
  • Promote expanded use of online channels
  • Address operational items that impact member services

Ultimately, based on information presented at the monthly TSP meeting, federal employees and retirees who use the TSP should continue to have a better experience interacting with their online accounts and calling customer service at the future.

© 2022 Ian Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without the express written consent of Ian Smith.

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