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Each year, more than 33,000 people receive business permit assistance over the phone from the Office of Regulatory and Management Assistance (ORMA). By 1993, increasing demand and decreasing funding combined to produce a serious customer service problem: only 16% of incoming calls were answered on the first try. The rest received a busy signal.

The overall goal of the project was to increase both operational efficiency and service quality. The project investigated the range of available advanced voice information and response technologies, and built and evaluated a prototype integrated voice response solution that would offer clients faster and more consistent service. The project evaluation assessed technical feasibility, cost-effectiveness, customer service implications, and compatibility within existing ORMA operations. It also produced indicators about how to improve the larger multi-agency system that New York State uses to disseminate business information to its citizens.

NOTE: The Office of Regulatory and Management Assistance (ORMA) became the Governor's Office of Regulatory Reform (GORR) in early 1995. GORR's mission differs from ORMA's in many respects, but permit assistance remains a key component of the office mission. More about GORR can be found at: For permit assistance, call 800-342-3464 or (for most out-of-state callers) 518-474-8275.