1.4.18  Electronic Products and Services Support Managers Guide (Cont. 1) 
e-help Support System (EHSS) Guidelines 
Online 5081  (10-01-2013)
Roles in the Employee User Portal (EUP)

  1. Managers must ensure that employees have the appropriate EUP roles needed to perform the work on the e-help Desk:

    Figure 1.4.18-1

    Roles System Comments
    AASU ESRV Approve Suitability


    Only for Assistors trained on suitability

    AERA ESRV Enter and Revise e-file Application
    AESD ESRV Enter Suitability Status and supporting documentation


    Only for Assistors trained on suitability

    AUSD ESRV Update Suitability Status and supporting documentation


    Only for Assistors trained on suitability

    AVEA ESRV View e-file Application
    DEIS ESRV Enter and revise existing Disclosure Authorizations
    DRIS ESRV Generate DA Reports
    EVRP ESRV View EAR reports for tracking purposes
    ICMCU ESRV Update and maintain customer, contacts and addresses from the e-file Application
    MADM ESRV View and revise a TIN-Matching Application
    RURD ESRV Update registered user records
    TDAU ESRV Assist IVES Customers with their application links


    In OL 5081 Special Instructions notate: "e-help Desk Assistor and needs this role to support the IVES project."

    TDUS ESRV Enter and revise transcript requests. Also view transaction history.
    MEF BOE BUSINESS OBJECTS USER GROUP PROD (BUSINESS OBJECTS ENTERPRISE (BOE) SERVER FARM) Business Objects Enterprise (BOE) Allows user to pull report from the MeF riled returns. Needed to resolve From 8453 Binary Attachments.
    MEFHLP MEF Needed for testing returns.
    MEFHLP_PR MEF Needed for live returns.
    A2A MEF Automated System Enrollment (A2A System Enrollment)

  2. In addition to the above EUP roles, managers must ensure employees have these appropriate roles as well:

    Figure 1.4.18-2

    Roles System Comments
    (Site) Control– D Web CTDWA Control D Web Access


    In 5081 Special Instructions notate the specific ORG Code and RACF Security Group for site.

    OIRSC Control–D Web CTDWA Needed for Assistors working Form 1041 e-filed returns.


    In 5081 Special Instructions Notate: ORG Code: 36000–OG; RACF Security Group: B9INCOR

    EMS HELP DESK EMS Electronic Management System
    IDRS–(SITE) IDRS Integrated Data Retrieval System


    In 5081 Special Instruction notate the IDRS team number. If employee already has an active IDRS access then the security representative for the team can make the change on IDRS.  (10-01-2012)
Creating and Updating Interactions/Incidents

  1. EPSS assistors use EHSS as a tool for customer interaction and ticketing. EHSS allows EPSS to develop a complete view of a customer’s contact history with the Desk. e-help Desk policy requires that each contact with the customer be captured in a new or existing Interaction/Incident. This policy is necessary for the following reasons:

    • Efficient customer service can be provided.

    • The number of electronic products continues to grow.

    • Documented history for e-services must be established.

  2. Efficient customer service: Interactions/Incidents are as significant to contact management as audit trails are to tax case management. If resolutions are not successful, it would be inefficient to start over with the customer to resolve the issue. Attention must be given to the way we handle each contact (i.e., opening and documenting the Interaction/Incident with the caller on the line versus entering the data after the caller has hung up). We must work toward increased efficiency.

  3. Growth of electronic products: The implementation of e-services was a primary driver for the design of the e-help Desk. As e-services and e-file continue to grow, issue tracking will become increasingly important. Because of the many products that are now available, duplicate issues/contacts can be made to the e-help Desk that, if tracked, can be resolved simultaneously. For example: One customer can make separate contacts to resolve both an e-file issue and an e-services issue. If follow-up with the customer is required, both issues can be resolved with the same contact.

  4. Documented History for e-services and other new products: New products, specifically e-services, depend solely on information created from Interactions/Incidents. Documented history for e-services does not exist as it does for e-file. As customers call in with problems, the issues are captured in Interactions. The documented resolutions for the Interactions/Incidents are captured in the Solutions database.  (10-01-2012)
Managing Your Worklist

  1. Review your worklist at least once an hour. If there is an Interaction/Incident on your worklist, either work it or transfer it to a lead or an assistor.

  2. Follow-up to ensure that the Interaction/Incident has been worked. This can be done by leaving the Interaction/Incident on your worklist when it is reassigned so that you can monitor it.

  3. Once a week, you will receive the Weekly Aged Report. This will allow you to ensure open cases are being worked. In addition, this will help you identify employees needing assistance with their assigned cases. See IRM, Reviewing the Worklist, for assistor instructions.  (10-01-2013)
Monitoring email in EHSS

  1. Email is an additional channel for communicating with the e-help Desk and TSO. A mailbox has been created on EHSS and the email address provided to the following external customers, among others:

    • States

    • Software Developers

    • Small Tax Exempt Organizations (990N e-Postcard emails)

  2. Employees in Stakeholder Partnerships, Education and Communication (SPEC) are internal users. They send email inquiries on behalf of external customers.

  3. TSO assistors utilize the email function to resolve tax law or electronic filing questions and problems.

  4. When the customer sends an email, confirmation is sent advising them that their email has been received by the EPSS-help Desk. They are advised to look for an acknowledgement email containing an Interaction/Incident number in their email system within 30 minutes. The customer is advised that they will be contacted within 48 hours regarding their issue or question.


    The e-help Desk has an internal goal of responding to the customers' email within 2 hours of receipt.

  5. Appoint members of the workgroup to be responsible for reviewing the worklist and working email cases. Review the email worklist at least every hour to ensure that cases are being worked in a timely manner. Cases that result from email should be worked within two (2) hours of receipt.

  6. See IRM, Email Function, for assistor instructions.  (10-01-2013)
EHSS Solutions Board

  1. EPSS is responsible for managing the content of the solutions database. Each product that the e-help Desk and TSO supports has several associated solutions. Before solutions can be added to the database, they must be approved by their Policy Owner.

  2. To maintain the solution database, EPSS has established an EHSS Solutions Board. Board members are selected from the Andover, Atlanta, Austin, Cincinnati, Martinsburg and Ogden sites by the Solution Board lead. The Solution Board will issue a solicitation for Solution Board members as needed to fill vacancies. Interested assistors and Level 2 employees must submit a complete and properly signed Statement of Interest (SOI) form by the designated due date to be considered for a board position. Once selected, there is no limit on how long a member may remain on the board. Requests to withdraw from the board must be emailed to Solution Board Lead and the member’s team manager.

  3. The Board lead is an analyst from the EPSS staff. The Board lead coordinates with Policy Owners to ensure products supported by EPSS have accurate and valid solutions in EHSS.

  4. The responsibilities of the Board members include:

    • Attending conference calls as needed.

    • Working as a team member and independently.

    • Reviewing assigned Contribute Knowledge cases and providing recommendations.

    • Creating new solutions and revising existing solutions

    • Reviewing assigned solutions and recommending changes as needed.

    • Entering changes in the EHSS production database (if identified as an editor).

  5. The responsibilities of the Board lead include:

    • Selecting Solution Board members.

    • Leading bi-weekly conference calls and working with Board members during the solutions creation and revision process.

    • Working with Policy Owners to obtain final approval of new solutions.

    • Working with Policy Owners and Board members to certify each active solutions.

    • Monitoring the status of all solutions being developed and revised.

    • Returning or assigning Contribute Knowledge articles.

    • Providing quality control to ensure solutions have been input and updated correctly.

  6. New or revised solutions are necessary for various reasons:

    • A user determines that EHSS does not contain an appropriate solution or an existing one needs to be revised.

    • A Policy Owner makes program changes during the year.

    • A new product is added to those supported by EPSS.

    • An internal procedural change is made.

  7. The Policy Owner is responsible for writing the EPSS Communication when a solution changes requires immediate notice to the assistors.  (10-01-2013)
Solutions Due to Program Changes

  1. When changes are made to an existing product, the Policy Owner must notify the Solutions Board Lead. If a substantial number of changes are made a new e-help Solution Template may be required.

  2. After the solutions are worked by the Board members, the Board lead will submit the solution template, to the Policy Owner for final review and approval. When approved, a Board member will place the solution into production on the EHSS solution database.  (10-01-2013)
Solutions for New Policy Owners

  1. When a new product is added to EPSS, the Policy Owner will follow the procedures in the Customer Engagement Document and submit all necessary documents. See IRM,Customer Engagement for more information.

  2. After new solutions are created, reviewed and approved, the Policy Owner will submit to the Board lead.

  3. It is difficult to determine what types of calls will be received for new products; therefore, new solutions will be created as needed by following the procedures in IRM, Contribute Knowledge.  (10-01-2012)
Aspect Telephone System Guidelines

  1. EPSS-help Desk uses the Aspect 9.3 application and software which provides monitoring capabilities, data base records, and management information. The Aspect TeleSet Supervisor key provides managers access to expanded features such as:

    1. Leaving messages for employees (each site should have its own policies based on voice port availability)

    2. Monitoring agents (listening in on calls in progress)

    3. Notifying agents (notifying an agent whom you are monitoring to call you)

    4. Monitoring trunks (monitoring conversations on specific trunks)

    5. Monitoring specific Aspect application groupings

    6. Determining the availability of agents

  2. The manager and the lead should be given permissions on Aspect to access abilities using the Supervisor button. Using the Supervisor button allows you to monitor telephone calls and trunk lines.

  3. Sign on under your Administrative extension to allow assistors to transfer calls to you when necessary.

  4. The Exam Managers Resource Guide has a complete description of Aspect Telephone System features in Section 3, Systems Used in Exam. You can access the Resource Guide on the W&I Compliance Examination Discretionary Programs web site at http://win.web.irs.gov/compliance/compliance_exam.htm. You may wish to print and keep this reference handy.  (10-01-2013)
ASPECT Assistance

  1. The system administrator/telephone analyst (SA/TA) is a valuable resource person regarding the features of the ASPECT system.

  2. Managers must coordinate with their SA/TA on any activity limiting the site's ability to deliver its commitment for scheduled ACD time.

  3. The SA/TA provides assistance on the following:

    • Information about system operations and call routing

    • Explanation of various ASPECT reports

    • Identification of data availability and creating reports

    • Assessment of current call site performance

    • Networking information

    • Monitoring procedures

    • Assistance with Enterprise Telephone Data (ETD)

    • ASPECT equipment repair

    • Database changes  (09-05-2008)
Aspect Supervisor Features

  1. Supervisors use the Aspect TeleSet to perform the following tasks:

    1. Monitoring – Monitor a live conversation for review purposes.

    2. Notifying – Alert an employee to a problem during a live conversation.

    3. Making an agent available – Force a user into the AVAILABLE state.

    4. Performing Side-by side-monitoring– Utilize a second telephone jack on the employee's TeleSet.

  2. To monitor a call through Aspect, sign on to your TeleSet and perform the following steps:

    1. Press "SUPERVISOR" key.

    2. Enter the extension of the assistor to be monitored.

    3. Press "ENTER." The display on TeleSet LCD will show: "Monitoring Extension 5555 NOTIFY."

    4. Press the "RELEASE" key to end the monitoring session.


    Contact Recording is the preferred method of telephone monitoring. Conduct this type of monitoring only when Contact Recording is unavailable.

  3. To notify an employee during a live review, press the "NOTIFY" soft key. This sends a message to the user's TeleSet display instructing them to call you and provides your extension. Do not interrupt a call unless the employee is:

    • Advising the taxpayer/caller incorrectly

    • Providing discourteous service

    • Unable to answer the question

    • Threatened by a caller

  4. To make an agent available, the agent must be in IDLE state, or in WRAP-UP after pressing the DONE soft key. To make the agent AVAILABLE, press SUPERVISOR, enter 0 and the user's extension, then press ENTER.


    Be sure the agent is present and at their desk before forcing them into AVAILABLE.

  5. Side-by-side monitoring, also known as "double jacking," is used to review telephone calls for training purposes. It can be used to improve work processes or as coaching conducted as part of a performance improvement plan. It is an excellent introduction to the job for new assistors working with experienced employees.


    Side-by-side monitoring is non–evaluative and not formally documented. It may be delegated to leads or experienced Assistors.  (10-01-2013)
Aspect Changes, Updates or Deletions

  1. The manager provides a key role in maintaining the accuracy of the Aspect database. Managers should remain in contact with their respective EPSS telephone systems analyst (SA)or headquarters analyst telephone analyst (TA)for any changes needed. Changes include but are not limited to:

    • Adding new extensions for new employees

    • Adding new extensions for current employees (adding agent groups)

    • Changing Team Numbers

    • Deleting obsolete extensions

    • Resetting passwords


      The telephone SA/TA will not always be local to the site, in some instances the SA/TA will be remote.

  2. E-help managers should communicate changes to the SA immediately. Changes should be submitted to the SA by using the "EPSS Aspect Change Form" located on the e-help Share Point. Complete all required fields, indicate "A" to add a new extension, "M" to modify an existing extension, or "D" to delete an existing extension, and "T" for team changes. Submit via the email button located on the form, this will send the form to all telephone system analysts. Changes should be submitted monthly for update/review of the Aspect database. If you do not have any changes indicate "No Changes" on the form.

  3. TSO managers should communicate changes via email with the headquarters analyst TA immediately.

  4. The site SA communicates the changes to JOC thru the WPTQ analyst. Be sure to allow enough time for the SA to communicate this information to the JOC. The JOC time-lines are as follows:

    • 1 - 5 Changes – Request completed within 1 business day

    • 5 - 25 Changes – Request completed within 5 business days

    • 25 - 100 Changes – Request completed within 10 business days


    Any expedite requests must be notated on the change form with an explanation so the SA can coordinate the request with the PM analyst.  (10-01-2013)
Staffing Requirements

  1. Weekly call demand projections are developed by the WPTQ staff analysts for e-help and TSO at an Enterprise level during the Work Planning phase for the fiscal year. The telephone system analyst will use the following factors to segment work to the various sites. Required staffing for each site is determined by taking into consideration such factors as:

    • Historical call volumes and handle times (year over year)

    • Abandon rate (15%)

    • Slippage assumptions (5%)


    Adjustments can be made to these projections to allow for seasonal changes, as well as holidays and other factors that affect call demand.”

  2. In generating staffing requirements for EPSS, the WPTQ analyst considers the requirements from an enterprise perspective. The adherence of each individual site to the schedule is important and impacts the performance of the e-help Desk Operation and TSO.

  3. The system administrator/telephone analyst creates a projected forecast for each site. The projected site forecast is a half-hourly tool which is a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet providing staffing requirements.

  4. Management uses the half-hourly forecast to create individual phone schedules.

    1. Review the tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet that shows the applicable Agent Group for each site. This shows the number of assistors required for the applicable scheduling period.

    2. Assign this number of assistors to the telephones.


      Requirements for each half-hour do not take into account scheduled off-phone activity (i.e., breaks, lunch, etc.).

  5. Agent Groups are the skilled groups of assistors that provide service to the customer. Applications are the services that we provide. The JOC uses an Intelligent Call Router to distribute calls to appropriate skill groups (agent groups) to provide services (applications) to the customer.


    Agent Groups should not be confused with Applications. Also, Application numbers and Agent Group numbers and descriptions do not correspond one-for-one.

  6. The e-help Desk should always keep AG 709, EH – Lead/Manager, staffed. If a customer requests to elevate an issue, someone should be available in this Agent Group to address the customer's concern.  (10-01-2013)

  1. Adherence is used to identify whether the number of agents required by the e-help operation and TSO operation are available for the time periods specified in the schedule. It is also used to identify whether the call site meets the overall telephone schedule provided to them. Adherence is measured by the number of ready assistors signed on to the Aspect system, either taking a call or involved in the completion of a call. Assistors in IDLE status are not included when adherence is determined.

  2. Managers are responsible for ensuring the required number of assistors are signed on the telephones to meet adherence.

    1. Assistors should sign on when their tour of duty (TOD) begins and remain signed on until their TOD ends.

    2. Assistors that must be temporarily away from their work areas are required to use the correct idle reason code.


      If ... Then ...
      An employee is in an all-day training session They will not sign on at all.
      An employee is assigned to non-phone duty at their workstations e-help assistors will sign on using their administrative extension and log into Agent Group 707 (Extension Routing/Inventory).
      An employee is assigned to non-phone duties after signing on at the beginning of their TOD which will result in an absence from their workstation for remainder of their TOD They will sign off the telephone.

  3. The telephone schedule allows the team manager to monitor and maintain team adherence. An individual schedule should be given to all assistors so that they know when they are required to be on the telephones.

  4. Individual adherence impacts the entire enterprise adherence. Recognize employees with good adherence. Promptly address employees with adherence problems.

  5. When an employee is not meeting their assigned telephone schedule, take the following steps:

    1. Remember to look at each situation individually.

    2. Address the problem directly with the employee.

    3. Use results of your personal observations to validate your assessment.

    4. Offer guidance as to how to correct the problem.

  6. If the problem continues, take these steps:

    1. Prepare a written assessment of the problem.

    2. Describe exactly how the employee is failing to meet a specific Critical Job Element (CJE) or conduct expectation.

    3. Refer to prior verbal discussions in the documentation.

    4. Offer guidance as to how to correct the problem.

  7. A determination to counsel verbally or with documentation should be made on a case-by-case basis. Factors to consider include whether or not the employee has displayed the behavior before and whether or not you observed the behavior. Failure to adhere to the schedule may be either a performance problem or a conduct problem. Contact your department manager or Labor Relations specialist for guidance.  (09-23-2011)
Availability and Efficiency

  1. Regardless of the type of equipment in your area, there is data to assist you in evaluating the service being given to customers and to determine the availability and efficiency of the telephone staff.

  2. Managers and systems analysts (SA) must determine if the staff is available as scheduled.

  3. Managers must ensure their employees are signed on to the telephone system and taking calls when scheduled. This reduces shrinkage.

  4. Shrinkage is a combination of one or more issues, such as:

    • Extended read and meet times

    • Tardiness

    • Leaving early

    • Higher than expected attrition for day (e.g., sick leave)

    • Scheduled breaks not being followed

    • Unauthorized breaks

    • Extended breaks or lunch periods

    • Unanticipated workload

  5. The sites must make daily real-time adjustments to the schedules based on the actual demand and actual staffing.

  6. Use the available resources to assist you in scheduling to meet peak staffing requirements.

  7. Use available data to assist in monitoring and analyzing efficiency. This includes

    • Idle and Sign on Times

    • Average Handle Time (AHT)

    • Average Wrap Time  (10-01-2012)
Average Handle Time

  1. Average Handle Time (AHT) impacts scheduling assumptions. Unnecessary talk time compromises program goals and increases the amount of abandoned calls. It could be an indicator that additional training in conversation control is needed.

  2. Identify Assistors who may be using excessively long or short times in handling calls. Monitor a few of their calls to identify problems such as:

    • Training deficiency

    • Failing to keep call brief while maintaining standards of courtesy and full service

    • Placing a call on hold during the research process when it is inappropriate, instead of arranging for a call back

    • Answering a large volume of unusually complex questions

    • Failing to provide a complete or accurate response  (09-23-2011)
Average Wrap Time

  1. Wrap is used to complete a call after the customer has been released. Wrap should only be used to complete actions related to the previous call. As most systems are updated while on-line or on hold with the caller, use of wrap time should be minimal except in rare instances.

  2. Use wrap time or use reported wrap time to gauge if your staff is coping effectively in a telephone environment. This will assist you in determining the amount of time your staff is unavailable for calls.

  3. Possible reasons for high percentages of wrap time are:

    1. Level of training

    2. Extensive research for call backs

    3. Excessive requirements in reporting call backs

    4. Minor illness (e.g., headache) which caused the Assistor to take short rest periods between calls

    5. Excessive conversation among Assistors

    6. Excessive research  (03-13-2013)
Idle Reason Codes

  1. "Idle" is an Aspect status that assistors must use when not in "Available" or "Wrap-Up."

  2. When assistors are not available for incoming calls (e.g., meetings ,read time, lunch, working paper, part-day training), they should go into idle and indicate their status by using one of the reason codes below.

    Figure 1.4.18-3

    Reason Code Status Explanation
    1 Temporarily Off the Phone This code indicates that the employee will be unavailable for telephone work for a period of time not specified by other reason codes. Examples are individual meetings with a manager, counselling meetings, NTEU official duties, Form 3081 preparation, and rest room breaks.
    2 Inventory, First Available This code indicates that the employee will be available for telephone work, if necessary, but their work assignment is working Interactions/Incidents off their EHSS worklist, or recording Interactions/Incidents after a system downtime.
    3   Reserved and will not be used at the present time.
    4 Training, Partly Available This code indicates the employee will be unavailable for telephone work during a specified portion of the tour of duty (TOD) because of training-related activities. Examples include partial-day off-site, on the job training (OJT), or instructor preparation.


    Employee should not sign on if they will be in training their entire TOD.

    5 Read Time This code indicates the employee will be unavailable for telephone work during a specified portion of the TOD because of read time as described in IRM
    6 Meeting Time This code indicates the employee will be unavailable for telephone work during your specific portion of a TOD because of team meeting time as described in IRM
    7 Break Time This code indicates that employee will be unavailable for telephone work during a specified portion of their TOD because of a scheduled rest break (other than lunch) or unavailable in order to relieve a stressful situation.
    8 Lunch Time This code indicates the employee will be unavailable for telephone work during a specified portion of their TOD because of a scheduled lunch break.

  3. To ensure adherence, monitor employee statuses using the appropriate system.

  4. If an employee fails to properly use the idle reason codes, counsel them according to the guidelines in IRM,Adherence.


    Reason codes are to be used solely for real time management of call volume. Do not use them for evaluating individual performance (e.g., to prepare a formal appraisal, performance indicator, or as an evaluative recordation, nor to make any comparisons, cross-references or reconciliation with Form 3081).  (10-01-2013)
Scheduling Employees on the Telephones

  1. Consider the following when you schedule telephone assignments:

    • Break/lunch schedules

    • Leave schedules

    • Training schedules

    • Team meeting schedules

    • Level of Service

  2. Attempt to assign an equal amount of telephone duty to each assistor.

  3. Remember that although a schedule has been provided by the PM staff analyst and the site operation telephone analyst creates the schedules, adjustments may need to be made during the day. To determine when adjustments should be made, use Webview.


    The EPSS telephone site analyst should be notified when scheduling changes are made (i.e., meetings, training).  (09-23-2011)
End of Day Procedures

  1. Assistors are required to sign on to Aspect at the beginning of their tour of duty (TOD) and remain signed on until their TOD ends. While signed on to Aspect, assistors will use the Idle Reason Codes found in IRM Codes for Idle. Exceptions to the requirement to sign into Aspect are as follows:

    1. Assistors in all day training sessions will not sign on at all.

    2. Assistors who attend training, meetings, or other situations, which will result in an absence from their workstation at the beginning of their TOD will not sign on until they are at their workstations.

    3. Assistors who report to their workstation at the beginning of their TOD, but thereafter attend training, meetings or other situations that result in an absence from their workstations until the end of their TOD, will sign off when they leave their workstation.

  2. Managers will allow assistors to sign off Aspect up to 12 minutes (0.2 hours) before the actual end of their shift. This time is to conduct end-of-the-day activities (Form 3081 preparation, complete reports, etc). Managers may approve more time on an as needed basis.

  3. On rare occasions, an assistor may not able to complete their call before the end of their TOD. If this happens, the assistor should notify their manager or lead immediately. The manager or lead will determine how best to handle the call and can offer Credit, Comp, or Overtime (if available) to the assistor as a resolution.  (10-01-2013)

  1. WebView is a web interface to the Intelligent Contact Manager (ICM) enterprise reporting. With WebView, you can work directly with ICM reports and scripts from the browser on your computer. Managers can use WebView to view reports (real-time and historical), create new reports (based on WebView's report templates), and modify reports.

  2. Depending on the report you choose, WebView shows the user the current state of the enterprise, a site, and/or individual employees. To access WebView follow these steps:

    1. Type http://joc.enterprise.irs.gov in your browser

    2. Select OPS

    3. Select Call Routing and Processing

    4. Select WebView Reporting 7.0

    5. Select one of the following options:

      1. WebView Reporting 7.0 Log In (to log into WebView)

      2. JOC WebView Account Management (to reset/change your password)

    6. Select Real Time or Historical

    7. Click on Submit

  3. At a minimum, managers should use the following Real-Time reports:

    • E-help/TSO Adherence – shows the adherence for each site, the number of agents in available, ready talking, wrap and hold. It shows the percentages of time spent in each of these different states per site.

      Figure 1.4.18-4

      To access this report on WebView, go to:
      Skill Group
      Saved Reports
      Select one of the following:
      • E_Help Adherence

      • TSO Adherence _TJ

      Hit "Run" at the bottom right-hand side of the page

    • Agent Skill Group Real Time Report (e-help Agents_ALL_TJ) shows each site's breakdown of agents logged in and the number of calls in the enterprise queues for the applicable agent groups. It also shows the current status of assistors (i.e., Ready, Talking, Idle, Wrap Up).

    Figure 1.4.18-5

    To access this report on WebView, go to:
    By Skill Group
    Saved Reports
    Select from the following
    • e-help Agents_ALL_RP

    Hit "Run" at the bottom right-hand side of the page

  4. Real-Time reports are updated in intervals of 15, 20, 30, or 60 seconds. The system default is set at 20 seconds. To change this, click on "Refresh" in the menu option and select the time interval preferred.

  5. Threshold values can also be set to alert the user when certain values exceed or do not meet expected levels by assigning a color to the display. This is done by clicking on "Threshold" in the menu option of any report.  (09-23-2011)

  1. Reports are used by management in EPSS and by product owners to track and address issues. Some reports are run on a daily basis; others are run on a weekly basis. There are also ad hoc reports that are run when a customer wants specific information that is not provided by the regular reports.

  2. There are two types of reports used in e-help:

    1. EHSS reports give a manager case statistics on either an assistor or a product. EHSS reports are provided to managers on a weekly basis. They can also be accessed from the EPSS web site at http://win.web.irs.gov/epss/epss_home.html.

    2. Aspect Crystal reports give a manager call activity statistics on a individual assistor or workgroup.

  3. Reports are indicators of an individual's performance but may not be used alone for evaluative purposes. Use reports to determine the need for further monitoring and/or assistance.  (10-01-2013)
EHSS Reports

  1. The following crystal reports are available in EHSS:

    1. Open/Closed Interaction Report - Shows all open and closed Interactions by Site and Assistor. The open cases are still assigned to the assistor and will also show in the Open Age Interaction Report. The closed cases are those opened and closed within the week.

    2. Open/Closed Incident Report (Telephone Report) - Same as open and closed Interaction report only will show the open/closed Incident.

    3. Open Aged Interaction Report - Shows all open Interactions and how long they have been open by an assistor or provider group.

    4. Open Aged Incident - Same as open aged Interactions, only will show open Incident.

    5. Open Aged Incident by Provider Group Report (Telephone) - Shows the number of Incidents over 7 days old that have been assigned to a provider group and have not been assigned.

    6. Product/Problem Type (Telephone Report) - Shows the number of Interactions opened under each Product broken down by Problem Type.

    7. Closed Interactions with Additional Email Response Report - Shows the email responses that were previously closed however, the customer is responding to the closed email.

  2. EHSS also provides a list of Dashboard Reports that provide a real time look at the system. It allows the user to see an overview and the functionality to drill down to a particular Interaction or Incident. Below is a list of reports:

    1. EPSS Open Inventory Report (Paper) - This report is for each site & TSO. It shows all open paper cases. This report can be exported into excel.

    2. Product Report - Weekly/Cum Chart - This chart/graph shows the Interactions opened for the week (last 7 days) and year to date. The user is able to link into any section of the chart for more details. The volume is shown when hovering over a section of the chart.

    3. Provider Group Aged Incidents (Telephone) - This chart/graph shows the aged Incidents by provider group. The user is able to link into any section of the chart for more details. The volume is shown when hovering over a section of the chart.

    4. Weekly Aged Interaction Report By Provider Groups Charts - This report shows the number of aged Interactions by person & provider group. This report allows the user to link into the aged Interaction case or export to excel.

    5. Open Email Interactions by Provider Group Chart - This chart/graph shows the open email Interactions by provider group. The user is able to link into any provider group by clicking within the chart/graph to see the details of the case.

    6. Resolved on First Contact - This report shows if an Interaction was resolved on first contact. It allows the user to link into the Interaction and can be exported into excel.

    7. YTD Source Report - This report shows the source used to open all Interactions. It shows the Business Unit, Provider Group, Product, Problem Type, date opened, and closed. It can be exported into excel.

    8. Inventory by OFP and Problem Type (Paper Reports) - This report will show the weekly inventory counts for each OFP (Product) and its related sub program (Problem Type). It will show the Receipts, Closures, Ending Inventory, Aged Incidents, Rolling Inventory, and the Average Days to Close.

    9. Inventory by OFP (Paper Reports) - This report will show the weekly inventory counts for each OFP (Product). It will show the Receipts, Closures, Ending Inventory, Aged Incidents, Rolling Inventory, and the Average Days to Close. It will be used to report volumes to BBTS.

  3. Managers should review each report to determine if organizational and/or team goals were met. Determine reason for aged cases being open for more than 7 days. If there is no valid reason for the open case, managers should discuss it with the assistor. Instruct employees not to use any products that are prefaced by the word "Inactive" on the product report.  (09-05-2008)
Aspect Crystal Reports

  1. Aspect Crystal Reports are used by team managers to determine the status of telephone activity. Some reports are received daily and others weekly.

  2. The EPSS Aspect telephone system analyst (SA) runs these reports and automatically schedules them for delivery via email or server. They have the capability of running ad-hoc reports for various time-frames or for a specific type of data. If you need an additional report, contact them to have the data pulled from the Aspect system.

  3. Reports are a tool that managers can use to identify areas where the team members excel (adherence, efficient talk time, and minimal use of wrap time) and areas that need improvement (adherence and improper use of idle reason codes). Reports can be used as a diagnostic tool. They can be used to support your personal observations.

    • Managers cannot share the Aspect report information with employees because the report may suggest a production quota or goal on employees.

    • Managers can use the Aspect reports as an indicator to locate areas that need additional monitoring.


      In conjunction with your observation the reports can be used as an indicator of time. e.g. I have not seen you since... I noticed you were away from your desk while in wrap.

  4. The reports received vary by site. However, at a minimum, each manager should receive the following reports:

    1. Agent Performance Summary by Team – This report shows general call activity for all agents signed on to the system during a specified period.

    2. Application Management Summary – This report displays the call statistics based on the different Application groupings.

    3. Abandoned Calls Profile – This report shows the number of incoming calls abandoned during each half hour segment of the day. It uses the Application Detail view and sorts by half hour.

    4. Excessive Reason Code Report – This report shows agents in idle codes for an excessive amount of time. It uses the Agent Idle view and is available by daily intervals.  (09-05-2008)
Agent Performance Summary by Team

  1. This report shows general call activity for all agents signed onto the system during a specified period. See the figure below for a description of each section of the report.

    Figure 1.4.18-6

    Section Description
    Agent Lists each employee within the team and their Aspect number.
    Duration The amount of time during the period that the agent was signed on the system.
    • Shows the number of incoming calls the agent received during the period.

    • Shows the average length of those calls.

    • Shows the percentage for this overall period the agent spent on incoming calls.

    • Shows the number of outgoing calls the agent made during the time period.

    • Shows the average length of those calls.

    • Shows the percentage for this overall period the agent spent on outgoing calls.

    • Shows the number of inside calls the agent made during the period.

    • Shows the average length of those calls.

    • Shows the percentage for this overall period the agent spent on outgoing calls.

    Customer Messaging
    • Indicates the time spent on reviewing messages.

    • Shows percentage of time spent for the period.

    Voice Messaging
    • Indicates the time spent reviewing messages.

    • Shows percentage of time spent for the period.

    Percent Spent In This column breaks down the amount of time spent in Available, Idle, and Wrap Up.
    Work Time This column captures the entire time for the period spent on the Aspect system and the percentage.
    Group Totals This section is across the bottom of the report and provides totals of the entire group in each of the above sections.

  2. This report is useful in evaluating individual agent productivity. Ways to use this report:

    • Compare talk times for all agents on the team. Do you have 1 or 2 with considerably higher talk times? You may need to ascertain why.

    • Does an employee have a higher number of inside calls? The employee may be relying too heavily on the lead for assistance and is not performing required research. This may be an indication that additional training is needed.  (09-05-2008)
Application Management Summary Report

  1. The Application Management Summary report summarizes call activity for applications. The chart format shows handled calls versus abandoned calls for each application. Also shown are:

    • The total number of offered and outgoing calls made by each application.

    • Percentage of calls abandoned.

    • Service level percentage.

    • Average call time for incoming and outgoing calls.

    • Speed of answer for incoming calls.

    • The number of calls handled by the primary agent group, the number that went to another agent group, the number handled by voice messaging, and the number handled by another resource, such as an auxiliary device.  (09-05-2008)
Abandoned Calls Profile

  1. The Abandoned Calls Profile report charts incoming calls abandoned by the application during each half-hour segment of a day. With this report, you can see:

    • The number of received calls that were abandoned.

    • The half-hour segment in which the call abandoned.

    • The average time callers waited before hanging up.

    • The longest wait before a call was abandoned.

  2. Calls queue at the Intelligent Contact management (ICM) / Customer Voice Portal (CVP) level, so this report only shows calls that abandon after being routed to a local queue. This can happen when a call is in flight from the ICM/CVP to an assistor and the assistor goes from an available status into a non-available status (Idle, Wrap, or Log off) or the caller hangs up while the call is in flight.


    If you see a high number of calls abandoning at particular times of the day, it may indicate a problem with staffing. Check to see if you have assistors moving from an available status to a non-available status for lunch and breaks.  (09-05-2008)
Excessive Reason Code Report

  1. This report shows the team, individual agents, time entered into an idle code, the idle reason code used, and the duration of time spent in idle. The data is sorted by team and agent.

  2. Use the Excessive Reason Code Duration report, along with WebView, to determine if employees are properly identifying their change of work status, via their Aspect telephone, and using the correct idle reason codes. See IRM,Idle Reason Codes.  (10-01-2013)
EHSS Business Continuance and Disaster Recovery

  1. In the event of a disaster or other event that interrupts the service of the e-help Desk, or TSO the following strategy should be used to ensure that the business continues.

  2. Scheduled Interruption of Service:

    1. The site manager will notify the Operations Support senior manager, e-help Desk or TSO senior manager, and telephone analyst by email at least 48 hours before the interruption begins. List the reason for the request, the desired start time, and the duration of the interruption.

    2. The e-help Desk or TSO senior manager will notify all site managers.

    3. The JOC will be contacted by the telephone analyst if a routing change needs to be performed.

    4. The receiving site manager will reallocate resources in anticipation of the increased call volume(s), if applicable.

  3. Unscheduled Interruption of Service (Site Recognized):

    1. The site manager or a designee will notify the Operations Support senior manager, e-help Desk or TSO senior manager, and telephone analyst by telephone. Provide as much information as possible about the disruption and the anticipated recovery time.

    2. The e-help Desk or TSO senior manager will notify their site managers.

    3. The JOC will be contacted by the telephone analyst if a routing change needs to be performed.

    4. The receiving site manager will reallocate resources in anticipation of the increased call volume(s), if applicable.

  4. Unscheduled Interruption of Service (JOC Recognized):

    1. The JOC will enable the current e-help disaster closure matrix.

    2. The receiving site manager will reallocate resources in anticipation of the increased call volume(s).

  5. All applications, except Suitability and TSO (Applications 806, 811, 812, 813, 814, 815 and 816) are distributed among at least two sites so a back-up site has not been specified. The following chart shows the alternate or fail-over site for suitability if the primary site is compromised:

    Compromised Site Failover Site
    Andover Austin


    At this time TSO does not have an alternate or fail-over site.

  6. When EHSS, e-services, FIRE or one of the other systems used by the e-help Desk and TSO is experiencing a problem or outage the manager/ lead will report the problem by submitting an email to the appropriate personnel. Refer to the Reporting System Issue Job Aid located on the EPSS SERP Portal for the required actions.

    1. Reminder:

      Assistors should manually record all data during the outage. See IRM, System Downtime Procedures.  (03-01-2007)
Miscellaneous Procedures

  1. Various miscellaneous managerial functional responsibilities are included in this section.  (10-01-2013)
Organization, Function, and Program (OFP) Codes

  1. Organization, Function, and Program (OFP) codes are recorded by employees on Form 3081, Employee Time Report, to identify work that IRS employees perform daily.

    1. Organization Code – A five digit code used to describe where (e.g., Document Perfection or Input Correction) the work is being performed. In EPSS, the first and second digits identify the Operation, the third digit identifies the Department, and the fourth and fifth digits identify the Team.

    2. Function Code – A three digit code that is used to describe what (e.g., e-help assistor) is being done.

    3. Program – A five digit code that is used to describe the program (e.g., Form 8453, EFTPS) being worked.

  2. OFP codes have various uses including the preparation of work plans and work schedules. For this reason, it is important that this information is reported consistently and accurately. A complete list of all OFP codes can be found at http://ofp.web.irs.gov/index.asp, Organization Function Program (OFP) Code web site.

  3. Managers must ensure that employees use the correct codes when working telephones, email, and paper. These codes can be found in , Exhibits 3.42.7-1 and 3.42.7-2 provide a breakdown of each codes' function, program, and title.

  4. Employees should be instructed to make every effort to track and report the time spent on programs accurately. When making assignments, limit frequent program switching, whenever possible, to help employees record time accurately.  (10-01-2013)
Subscribing to QuickAlerts

  1. QuickAlerts is a free, online service that disseminates mass e-file messages, within seconds, to all "subscribed" individual and business e-file software developers, transmitters, and authorized e-file providers.

  2. Quick Alerts also provide e-file information to assist employees in their job performance and enhance the filing season.

  3. There are three categories that the assistor should subscribe to:

    • Alerts – Processing delays, programming issues, changes to any filing season procedure.

    • General Notifications – Seminars, Conferences, e-file publication changes.

    • General IRS e-file Service Center Messages – IRS e-file program updates, general information, service center maintenance schedules, IRS e-file Help Desk phone numbers and more.

    • Technical - Updates on Schema Information and Software (PATS/ATS) testing.

  4. As a manager you should, ensure all new employees subscribe to QuickAlerts and verify all returning seasonal still have a subscription to QuickAlerts.  (10-01-2013)
EPSS Communications

  1. EPSS Communications were developed to keep employees informed of the myriad of policy and procedural changes impacting IRS electronic products such as:

    • IRM updates

    • New procedures or information that impact the e-help Desk and or TSO

    • Solutions

    • Site Closures

    • Programming changes

    • System/application changes

  2. To request an EPSS Communication, send pertinent information to the designated EPSS, Operations Support analyst with a courtesy copy to the back-up analyst. For example, systems used for software testing or e-file production should be sent to the program analyst assigned to the program. Use the EPSS communication template available that will ensure the following information is captured.

    1. Subject –This is the title of your EPSS Communication.

    2. Content – Your message should be clear and concise. Remember to check spelling and grammar.

    3. Source – Organizational symbols (i.e., EPSS:OS:PSS, EPSS:TSO, etc.).

  3. Once an EPSS communications are located on the EPSS Servicewide Electronic Research Portal (SERP) Portal.  (10-01-2013)
PII (Personally Identifiable Information)

  1. PII is taxpayer information or any combination of information that can be used to uniquely identify, contact, or locate a person that could subsequently be used for identity theft. Some examples of PII include, but are not limited to:

    • Names

    • Home or email addresses

    • Telephone numbers

    • Social Security Numbers

    • Date and place of birth

    • Family information such as a mother's maiden name

    • Tax return or salary information

    • Credit card or bank account information

    • Biometric data (height, weight, eye color, fingerprints, etc.)

    • Other numbers or information that alone or in combination with other data can identify an individual

  2. The protection of this information is of vital concern to the Service; every effort must be made to protect it. Ensure that you and your employees review your electronic files and paper holdings for this type of information. Verify that you have only PII in your possession that you have a "need to know" .

  3. You and your employees must follow proper procedures for safeguarding PII information that you have in your immediate possession. PII stored on computer hard drives or transferred to CD-ROMs, jump drives, or other portable media must be encrypted. The FIND-IT Icon on every IRS computer has step-by-step guidance on methods of Encryption.

  4. If a laptop or other electronic device is lost or stolen, it must be reported within one hour to:

    • Your manager

    • The Computer Security Incident Response Center (CSIRC) at 866-216-4809

    • Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 800-366-4484

    The timely reporting of all information losses or thefts to CSIRC and TIGTA is critical to ensure that any needed investigation and recovery can be initiated quickly. This can decrease the possibility that the information will be compromised and used to perpetrate identity theft or other forms of fraud.

  5. Additional information on how to protect PII can be found on the Privacy, Governmental Liaison, and Disclosure (PGLD) web site, http://irweb.irs.gov/AboutIRS/bu/pipds/default.aspx.  (10-01-2013)
Customer Engagement

  1. While EPSS supports external customers, it enjoys relationships with internal customers as well. Customer Engagement relates to how EPSS conducts business with these customers. Policy owners (i.e., organizations within the IRS and other government agencies) contact EPSS to support their products or programs. Form 13764, EPSS Customer Engagement Request Form, should be used to initiate this process. This document serves as the basis for an initial meeting with EPSS to discuss the project and tailor support to meet the needs of the business organization.  (10-01-2013)
Business Requirements

  1. The success of the support provided by EPSS is largely dependent upon the commitment of the policy owner to providing quality service and customer satisfaction. The business must provide the following:

    • Completed Form 13764,EPSS Customer Engagement Request Form.

    • Approved Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining business, funding, and training agreements.

    • Completed solution documents (also known as Knowledge Management (KM) articles) in electronic format within 60 days of EPSS support start date. Solutions must provide instructions on how to resolve customer issues. Policy Owners must approve all new solutions, and participate in the annual solutions update process.

    • Staff (a primary and a secondary contact) to work all Level 3 Incidents assigned to their respective business provider group.



      business analysts will be assigned to a Provider Group. Incidents that require a business response will be assigned to this group. Analysts must login to EHSS daily to work any cases assigned. If the Incident remains open, EHSS will automatically send an email to the analyst’s manager every two hours until the case is assigned.

    • Negotiated agreements with National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) for any labor issues related to EPSS bargaining unit employees.

    • EPSS clearance on all Unified Work Requests (UWR) related to products supported by the e-help Desk and TSO.

  2. EPSS support includes the following:

    • Business requirements consultation

    • Professionally trained staff committed to timely resolution of customer issues

    • Toll-free technical support number (e-help Desk 866-255-0654 or TSO 866-455-7438)

    • Technical support number for international callers (e-help Desk 512-416-7750 or TSO 304–263–8700)

    • Email support, if appropriate

    • EHSS training for policy owners (IRM,Training)

    • Weekly call volume and Interaction/Incident reporting (IRM

    • Annual Filing Season Readiness Workshop

  3. Policy owners should contact EPSS headquarters analyst with all issues regarding product support. They should not go directly to the EPSS sites to initiate or change support. Information can be found under the EPSS Customer Engagement on the EPSS web site at http://win.web.irs.gov/epss/epss_home.html.  (10-01-2013)
Training Requirements

  1. A highly-trained workforce is an EPSS priority. As such, products will not be supported without appropriate training material. The training should cover system functionality and a review of the solutions that will be added to the EHSS database for Interaction/Incident research and documentation. The Policy Owner (business) must provide:

    • Formal training material during the project planning phase. Guidance for the development of training material may be obtained from Learning and Education or the EPSS Workforce Planning, Training, and Quality Section.

    • Just-in-time classroom training for EPSS help desk assistors prior to product deployment. Logins and passwords should be provided as needed.

    • On-site expert(s) for 2 to 4 weeks after the product "go-live" date.

    • Annual filing season readiness updates and training material will be due June 30th. Requests for updates for course development will be sent from the Workforce Planning, Training, and Quality Section and/or the Technology Design and Support Center.  (09-05-2008)
Funding Requirements

  1. Policy Owners may be required to provide funding reimbursement to EPSS for new products or services that increase e-help Desk/TSO support. Reimbursement amounts are calculated by the FTE expended to provide direct support, overhead, and training hours. Additional funding may be required for special reporting and programming.  (09-05-2008)
The Process

  1. The average lead time for EPSS is 6 months for the following tasks:

    • Telephone Scripting

    • Solutions Program to EHSS

    • Technical Support Staffing Analysis

    • Training Development and Delivery


    These tasks may be handled concurrently.

  2. To begin this process take the following steps:

    1. The policy owner should complete Form 13764,EPSS Customer Engagement Request Form, and send it to designated EPSS staff members.

    2. EPSS will review the request and contact the business for a project planning meeting, usually within 10 business days. The meeting will serve as a forum to discuss help desk services, product details, resources, and expected delivery dates.

    3. EPSS will develop a project plan detailing tasks to be completed prior to the support start date.

    4. An MOU will be prepared which outlines the business, training, and funding agreements between EPSS and the Policy Owner. The MOU must be approved before the EPSS support start date.

  3. IRM 3.42.7, e-help Desk, provides instructions for assistors at e-help Desk sites. Business analysts responsible for the product should also use this IRM for procedures.  (10-01-2013)
Discovered Remittance

  1. If remittances are found in the work area, they are to be immediately taken to the unit manager. The Manager/Coordinator will immediately record the remittance daily on Form 4287"Record of Discovered Remittances" log.

  2. Refer to IRM 3.8.46, Discovered Remittance, for more information on handling Discovered Remittances.

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