Monday, October 01, 2012

It's Customer Service Week...What Have You Done for Your Customers Lately?

This is National Customer Service Week, and I hope you (yes, you!) take a few minutes to think about what you’ve done to help your customers lately.  Did you do a great job answering that email? Super!  Did you suggest an improvement to the website that made it easier for customers to find a top task?  Great!  Did you go out of your way to direct that phone caller to someone who could give her a real answer?  Spot on! 

What’s that you say?  You really haven’t done anything for your customers lately?  Well, then..start now.  Here are 3 things you can do, this week, to celebrate our dedication to giving our customers the best possible service.

Read and think. 

A lot of us have been thinking hard about customer service.  Do some reading, see where you agree and disagree, and think about how you could apply some of these ideas.  Here are 5 of my blog pieces that might spark some thoughts:
More places to look:

Gather your team or some of your colleagues and talk about what makes great customer service.  Then brainstorm ways you could improve service at your agency.  Or join an online discussion on GovLoop (Wendi has one there, too).    

Be a customer. 

Go to a government website (not your own!) and try to complete a task.  See how they’re doing it, and look for ideas you could replicate.  If you have a bad experience, why?  Are you doing similar things at your agency?  Maybe you should fix them.  There’s nothing like being a customer to understand what customers want.    

You don’t have to be a manager to create change.  Every single person at every single agency has opportunities – and responsibilities – to improve the way we serve our customers. 

So, what about it?  What have you done for your customers lately?


Jeremiah Hicks said...

That’s actually a really good question to ask! A lot of the time, we as customers find it so easy to either praise or rant about customer service, but we never really think about it from the other side. I worked in customer relations once, and have experienced opposite ends of the customer spectrum. In the same week, I was chewed out by an incredibly irate customer and praised to my superiors by a very satisfied one. There was definitely a sense of achievement and accomplishment in the latter, but the experience with the angry customer also made me think about how helpful I could really be. It’s not always an easy job to pull off, but when customer service is approached from the POV of helping people, it can be very rewarding.

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