Karen Howard is one of the speakers for the CX Imperative Forum. She will shed light on how government agencies can tailor their customer service strategies to serve the multicultural citizenry better. Know more about Karen Howard here and why she’s a valuable participant in the forum.
Who is Karen Howard?
As the Director of Online Services at the Internal Revenue Service, Karen Howard leads a dynamic team of over 100 digital subject matter experts. Together, they work closely with internal and external stakeholders to enhance the taxpayer experience by delivering digital services through the IRS.gov website.
Since joining the IRS in August 2020, Karen Howard has brought over 35 years of private sector experience. Her expertise includes improving the online shopping and engagement experience within the retail, manufacturing, and financial sectors.
Karen Howard has also demonstrated her expertise through speaking engagements covering job hopping, chatGPT, and cultural technology modernization.
Catch Karen Howard at the Potomac Officers Club’s CX Imperative Forum
Karen Howard is a speaker at the Potomac Officers Club’s CX Imperative Forum on January 25, 2025. She will be joined by other speakers, including Jeffery McLaughlin, Dr. Shankar Rachakonda, and Victor Udoewa.
Karen Howard is a valuable participant in the forum because of her extensive 30-year background in retail, manufacturing, and financial services. At IRS, she leads a team dedicated to digital services and enhancing taxpayer experience.
She is a part of the initiative to thoughtfully and firmly improve the taxpayer experience, which aligns with the CX Imperative Forum’s goal of enhancing customer service experience through digital transformation.
Additionally, Howard’s work at the IRS uses technology to modernize services, making them more user-friendly, accessible, and transparent. Her expertise here makes her a valuable speaker at the forum, contributing insights on how government agencies can harness technology to enhance service delivery.
How is the Internal Revenue Service Using Digital Services to Enhance Customer Experience?
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been implementing various strategies to enhance the customer experience for taxpayers. These help improve service delivery, modernize technology, and ensure a more efficient and user-friendly interaction with the agency.
Paperless Processing Initiative
The Paperless Processing Initiative aims to provide better phone service and achieve paperless processing so that all tax returns are processed paperless by the 2024 filing season. This is a part of the IRS’s plan to improve customer service, led by the Taxpayer Experience Office (TXO).
Customer Service Satisfaction Surveys
The IRS uses surveys to determine what taxpayers think, which helps them understand what taxpayers want. They want to replace the old manual survey with a new system, the Customer Service Satisfaction Survey (CSSS) to make it cheaper and just as good. This automated telephone survey encourages taxpayers to use the new system instead of hanging up during the survey.
In 2019, the IRS tested a system where customers could wait for a call back instead of waiting on the phone to speak with an IRS customer service representative. When given the option, about 77% of customers chose to receive a callback. Over 90% of these callbacks successfully reconnected the customer to an IRS representative. It saved an estimated 111,000 hours customers would have spent waiting on the phone.