Washington, DC * November 18, 2020 – Today the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the official launch of the AskUSDA Contact Center program. The AskUSDA Contact Center will serve as the “one front door” for phone, chat, and web inquires. It will transform how the public interacts with USDA and provide an enhanced experience for the public.
Prior to the creation and implementation of AskUSDA, members of the public had to navigate dozens of phone numbers and had no chat function or online platform for self-service. This situation created frustrations and inefficiencies. AskUSDA was created to make USDA more responsive to the public by providing a single destination for phone, chat, and web inquiries. Whether it’s talking to a USDA representative via phone, chatting with a live agent on our website, or communicating with USDA via email, the public will have streamlined access.
The launch of AskUSDA delivers a centralized contact center that offers customer service and consistent information for the public. With over 29 agencies and offices, USDA’s mission impacts every single person in the US and hundreds of millions around the globe. AskUSDA assures that farmers, researchers, travelers, parents, and more have efficient access to the information and resources that they need.
AskUSDA is set up to handle common questions across programs that service a variety of audiences. For example, customers who may have basic questions about USDA’s nutrition services can be assisted via phone, email, and web chat by trained AskUSDA representatives. Meanwhile, customers who may have complicated questions about loan programs can be quickly connected to agency experts. AskUSDA also hosts over 5,000 articles for a self-service option to help with more common questions such as food safety inquiries or pet-travel guidance.
Over the course of its pilot program, AskUSDA successfully assisted with over 93,000 citizen inquiries, and the AskUSDA website received over 1.4 million knowledge article page views. USDA looks forward to continuing to implement this enhanced best-in-class contact center across the department.
The public can contact AskUSDA by phone at (833) ONE-USDA. Representatives are available from 9:00 am – 5:30 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) on weekdays. The website is available 24/7 and includes live chat agents who are available from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm EST on weekdays. Inquiries can also be sent via email at any time.