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New tool: Live chats on myPers

Feb. 25, 2014 - 12:36PM   |  
Toni Abrego, a Total Force Service Center customer service representative, talks with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh about the TFSC during his September tour of the Air Force Personnel Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph. Airmen can chat online with TFSC reps to get answers to personnel questions.
Toni Abrego, a Total Force Service Center customer service representative, talks with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh about the TFSC during his September tour of the Air Force Personnel Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph. Airmen can chat online with TFSC reps to get answers to personnel questions. (Joel Martinez/Air Force)
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The myPers website — no matter how user-friendly — sometimes just doesn’t come up with the right answer. With that in mind, Air Force personnel officials have implemented live chats on the site to allow real-time communication between airmen in the field and personnel specialists.

“The chat feature gives airmen a fast and convenient way to get answers directly from subject-matter experts on specific questions that may not be available on the website,” said 2nd Lt. Zachary Newman, Air Force Personnel Center Transitions Branch support officer.

Here’s what you need to know:

1 Just in time. Newman considers the chat feature a good example of a “just in time” tool because of the current heightened force management activity.

“We want to ensure airmen always know where they can find the most current information. This is especially important in this climate of transformation,” he said. “We do everything possible to ease the stress that is inherent whenever major policy changes occur.”

2 How it works. The chat feature comes up automatically when airmen search for key topics such as retirement, separation or retraining. While force management is not a topic that generates a chat, airmen can ask about force management during a retirement or separation chat.

For example, a military person applying for retirement or separation will be able to chat with a customer service representative about his or her application, or ask a specific question on force management and get a real-time response through chat, or be directed to the proper reference by the customer service representative.

Following the session, the Total Force Service Center emails a chat transcript to the member for his or her records. Records of a member’s previous chats are also available on the myPers website.

3 Making contact. Chat hours are 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Central time Monday through Friday.

4 myPers. The myPers website provides airmen a single access point for information and personnel services. Launched in 2012, myPers represents a shift from primarily face-to-face personnel interaction to a process that enables airmen to handle their personnel transactions — on demand, 24/7 — from a military or personal computer using a Common Access Card or login identification and password.

The site is customized — recognizing the user as officer, enlisted, civilian, Reserve or Guard — and provides links to the most commonly used applications.

myPers information is constantly refreshed to ensure airmen have the most up-to-date information, Newman said.

“We are constantly seeking new ways to better serve our airmen,” he said. “The myPers website, with its multitude of topics and information, gives airmen efficient and timely tools to access and manage their personnel information any time and anywhere they might be.”

5 For more information. Visit the myPers website here.

“The myPers website should be the first stop for airmen seeking access to personnel information services,” Newman said. “However, if they find they need further assistance, they can call the Total Force Service Center to speak to a customer service representative. The TFSC centralizes processes and access for most military and civilian personnel services, and center phone staff can answer whatever questions an airman might have on personnel topics.”

To contact the TFSC, call 210-565-0102, DSN 665-0102 or toll free 800-525-0102.

Airmen can also select the myPers “contact us” link to email questions to the TFSC.

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