The Navy is doing its best to make visits to personnel offices obsolete by freeing sailors to solve most pay and personnel problems through phone, email and chat, with an actual person available around the clock to help.
And officials say that soon sailors will be able to tap online aid through mobile devices without the need for common access card reader security.
These reforms are designed to help sailors who train and fight 24/7 get the same level of assistance online that they’d receive from their Personnel Support Detachment during regular business hours.
This new MyNavy Career Center service went live on Sept. 24 as an upgraded version of the Navy Personnel Command’s phone-based system. It’s been available for years but sailors could use it only 12 hours daily.
“The establishment of the MNCC contact center is a significant milestone in our plan to deliver an enhanced customer experience to sailors and their families,” Ann Stewart — the director of NPC’s Pay and Personnel Management section —told Navy Times.
“We are now available 24/7 to support sailors wherever they are. We are growing this new capability and are off to a great start, with very positive customer service response rates since our launch.”
The MNCC’s combined phone, chat and email support augments the self-service MyNavy portal website.
The MyNavy system replaced the Navy Knowledge Online website in 2017 and officials predict that in 2020 there will finally be a “one stop shop” for all of a sailor’s career needs — a move that could nudge the Personnel Support Detachments a step closer to shuttering.
Today, sailors can view much of their personnel records online, upload missing documents and submit change requests and forms for re-enlistment, retirement or separation, too.
But these functions require sailors to use common access cards — CACs — to authenticate a military identification before connecting their computers to the system.
The Navy continues to develop alternative forms of security and authentication similar to those used by most banks when customers share sensitive personal information.
Officials told Navy Times that the new mobile device access system should be ready by early 2019.
The Navy already has tiered levels of customer service support in place so that a sailor’s request can be quickly moved to higher echelons if extra assistance is needed.
Since it went live, the career center has averaged 1,142 contacts per day from phone calls, chat conversations and emails, but the volume is growing, according to Stewart.
“In Week I, the MNCC averaged 1,186 contacts per day,” she said. “In Week II, the MNCC averaged 1,581 contacts per day. That’s a 33 percent increase in volume in just one week.”
During those two weeks, customer service representatives processed and closed 12,056 requests, she added.
The contact center can be reached by phone at 833-330-6622 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark D. Faram is a former reporter for Navy Times. He was a senior writer covering personnel, cultural and historical issues. A nine-year active duty Navy veteran, Faram served from 1978 to 1987 as a Navy Diver and photographer.