NR No. 23-41
Contact: Loree Levy/Aubrey Henry
SACRAMENTO – The California Employment Development Department (EDD) is highlighting its current and upcoming customer service improvements in recognition of National Customer Service Week, celebrated through October 6, 2023.
EDDNext is the Department's modernization effort to transform the customer and employee experience based on research and feedback.
“Our mission is to revolutionize the customer experience for millions of Californians who rely on EDD programs,” said EDD Director Nancy Farias. “We are modernizing EDD by updating policies and procedures and our IT systems so our customers can access our services when and how they want. Other improvements include automating and creating more self-service opportunities in multiple languages and modernizing our contact center to help Californians connect with us.”
Evolving the customer experience
As part of its commitment to superior customer service, EDD launched several early accomplishments:
- myEDD – a new, more secure, user-friendly online access to Unemployment Insurance, State Disability Insurance, Paid Family Leave, and Benefit Overpayment Services. myEDD replaced the previous Benefit Programs Online (BPO) and is informed and influenced by customer and stakeholder input. It features a more secure login verification process, like online banking, making password recovery easier. In the next few months, we will expand myEDD language access with versions in Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and Vietnamese, followed by Korean, Armenian, and Tagalog versions.
- Customer Experience (CX) Division – Demonstrating our commitment to improving customer service, EDD created a CX division. Working together with a User Experience team, they collect customer feedback and apply the best usability practices to the department’s modernization initiatives. The EDD’s CX division is also expanding a Voice of the Customer program to help the Department monitor and measure the success of its efforts.
- Forms Redesign – Our project aims to simplify the benefits application process by researching and analyzing common pain points for customers and staff. We have collaborated with stakeholders and identified opportunities to make improvements to form language, design, and accessibility for a modernized system.
- Special Claims Online Applications – a new online option to apply for unemployment benefits for those who have served in the U.S. military, worked for the federal government, or in another state in addition to California in the last 18 months. This enhancement speeds up processing time by avoiding delays associated with postal mail and delays resulting from incomplete applications since customers must correctly fill out an online application before it can be submitted.
- Text Message Claim Updates – a direct application of customer feedback that allows EDD to send individual text message updates for Disability Insurance (DI) and PFL claims. We can now proactively update customers about their claim status, including application confirmations and the status of medical certifications required for disability and PFL claims.
- How To Apply for Unemployment – a new guide developed using input from customers and community-based organizations to provide a user-friendly, step-by-step process for applying for unemployment benefits when needed.
In the months ahead, look for other improvements, including enhanced capabilities in contact center operations for our State Disability Insurance program, new electronic options for providing the EDD with additional information needed when determining eligibility for unemployment benefits instead of waiting for phone interviews, new online multilingual UI applications, and other opportunities for customers to provide valuable feedback to the Department.
“Transforming our customers' experience as they seek our assistance in some of the more challenging times requires a dedicated team,” Director Farias continued. “I want to thank our EDD staff and partners who are working tirelessly to enhance the systems we use and the engagements we offer workers, job seekers, employers, and businesses throughout the State.”
The EDD invites Californians to keep updated on modernization efforts and improvements through a bi-monthly newsletter called “Benefiting Californians” and the department’s EDDNext webpage.