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Excellence in Practice Award Winners

Excellence in Practice Awards 2017 – THE ELITE:  Quantico Travel Support Branch Tier 2 Help Desk

The Elite Award recognizes a local help desk team whose superior efforts resulted in continuous improvement and outstanding customer care. This year's recipient is the Quantico Travel Support Branch Tier 2 Help Desk.

The Quantico Travel Support Branch serves as the Lead Defense Travel Administrator and the DTS Tier 2 Help Desk for Marine Corps Base Quantico o and the National Capital Region. The staff of seven analysts provides help desk support, permission management, classroom training and troubleshooting support to a population of over 22,000 travelers and administrators.   Telephone, email and walk-­‐in support is available to all travelers and administrators during business hours. The team also serves as the HL3 Agency Program Coordinators for the Marine  Corps  Combat  Development  Command's  Government  Travel  Charge  Card  (GTCC)  Program.

The Quantico Travel Support Branch focuses on excellent customer service. They actively work reports and contact organizations to provide training when errors are discovered. For example, they run the approved status report to check for TDYs that meet the flat rate per diem requirements, then look at the authorizations to verify that the flat rate is computed correctly so travelers are not overpaid in scheduled partial payments. If they discover something was approved incorrectly, the team reaches out to the organization to explain the error, provide the JTR reference, and assist with the authorization.

The Quantico Travel Support Branch sees communication as a key to effective and efficient customer service. They established an email distribution list to widely disseminate  important  information  on  upcoming  releases  or  new  program information (Integrated Lodging Program Pilot expansion, for example) along with links for further information  or  attachments.   The  team  takes  advantage  of  any  DTMO-­‐provided  communication  toolkits  for  major changes and requests that the Quantico Sentry publish newsle8er articles. They also manage a website that is kept up-to-date with important travel information.

The Quantico Travel Support Branch created a lengthy internal troubleshooting guide that analysts can refer to when providing assistance. It is kept up to date with  fixes  and  workarounds  that  travelers  and  administrators  may  encounter. It also serves as a good refresher when correcting issues that may not occur on a regular basis. They have also created how-to guides that they provide to both travelers and administrators.

An important part of any successful travel program is training. The Quantico Travel Support Branch offers classroom training several times a month, one-on-one deskside training, and small group or all-hands training on-site.  The team holds an average of six classes per month with additional classes added based on demand. Attendees that require additional training or have more questions are given the opportunity for one-on-one deskside training immediately following class or at a later time. They review training materials and  the  training  curriculum  at  least  monthly,  and update it whenever policy changes  occur.

The Quantico Travel Support Branch received over 26,000 requests for assistance during calendar year 2016. Of   these requests, less than 1% had to be escalated to the Travel Assistance Center; 99% of all requests were satisfactorily assisted during the initial request for assistance. Each traveler receives not only the answer to their question, but also a thorough review of their en1re travel document for other potential issues. Travelers and administrators that called about more complex issues were provided with feedback during each step of the resolution. They were contacted one last time when resolution was complete and no further action was required to close the loop.



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