Piloting Progress at DOI:

How a help desk can prioritize VIPs while delivering the white-glove treatment for all.


U.S. Department of Interior wanted a low-cost prototype to explore how CX could help their service desk better serve 350 VIPs and improve overall operations.

Our CX team used human-centered tactics to uncover needs of VIPs and create a “VIP Button” proof of concept designed to improve experience and workflows. 

DOI’s service desk has a complete prototype ready to deploy when resources and time allow. All without needing additional spend. 

The Help Desk and Desktop Support at the Department of Interior serves 300,000 internal and external users. Among these are 350 VIPs, including presidential appointees. This elite group of users requires specialized 24 x 7 technical support.  

The problem

Over time, VIPs had come to depend on just two designated VIP specialists at the Help Desk. They didn’t want to rely on the main Help Desk. To make matters worse, the majority of their calls were simply password resets, so the main Help Desk was more than qualified to address most calls. It was not only inefficient, but overly burdensome on select individuals, unnecessary, and, ultimately, unsustainable.

CX in Action

Our experts used customer experience and human-centered design principles to help DOI envision process improvements, solutions and innovations. The effort began with a kickoff to clarify goals and expectations, as well as any unmet needs, expected outcomes, success metrics, and overarching expectations for a project.   

Using quantitative data based on personas from Help Desk tickets, combined with qualitative data from interviews with VIPs, we created insightful personas. They revealed the deep, unmet needs faced by VIPs, as well as the extraordinary demands placed on them. This led to a pilot to determine which approaches, strategies, and workarounds would succeed in a broader CX engagement.

The Solution

The prototype solution was direct and simple: Give VIPs a button they could place by their computer and use whenever they needed the Help Desk. Pressing it would immediately place them at the top of the queue. VIPs receive the on-demand, white-glove service they require, while relieving pressure on an overburdened and under-resourced part of the Help Desk.  

The Results

Today, research from the prototype helps to make the flow from the main DOI Help Desk to the VIP Help Desk seamless. Technicians have a script that conveys the importance of a VIP call, and every Tier I request receives the end-to-end ticket ownership that VIPs value.  

Customers and service providers have a deeper understanding of each other’s needs. The VIP Button prototype is available for DOI to initiate at any time in the future! 


Customer Impact

0 Additional Staff Needed

The VIP button prototype effort helped while requiring no additional staff. 

14 Days from Idea to Proof of Concept

The team was able to create a workable solution to test and explore in record time. 

350 Customers’ Needs Addressed

Deeper understanding of critical customer needs help DOI plan for current and future challenges.