Bright Ideas: Customer Service

Conducting customer service surveys and using the results to address customer concerns is just one way to improve user satisfaction.

June 2010, Government Fleet - Feature

by Staff

Columbus, Ohio Welcomes Feedback in All Forms

Fleet customers at the City of Columbus, Ohio, can rate the City's level of service and customer satisfaction a few different ways. First, a traditional Customer Satisfaction Survey is utilized. A survey tag is attached to the rear-view mirror of each vehicle upon service completion. The tag requests customers rank their service experience and return the survey via inter-office mail.

The same survey is also available on the City fleet Intranet site. "Customers are encouraged, via e-mail, to fill this survey out to rate their service experience," said Bill Burns, fleet manager, City of Columbus. According to Burns, both survey methods rate a 96-percent satisfaction.

Finally, fleet advertises an "open-door" policy; employees and customers are encouraged to stop by fleet offices to share their experiences. "We are fortunate in that we have a great working relationship with customers, and it's rewarding to see how they react when they stop by to discuss their experience, good or bad, and we get out of our offices to walk with them to go look at their vehicle to get a better understanding of the situation. Our customers realize they have a voice and are being taken seriously, where in the past, they never knew who management was," said Burns.

City of Durham Promotes Service-Oriented Environment

The City of Durham, N.C., implemented a number of programs to encourage employee growth and boost morale. The City started a new initiative called "Culture of Service," according to Larry Cash, director of fleet management for the City of Durham.

Members of fleet serve on start-up committees for the project. "The program has many tentacles," explained Cash. "It establishes training programs that will give employees a certificate in service culture. There is a recognition program in which city employees nominate another employee for a job well done. This is part of a monthly recognition program named Stars. Another facet is designed to find the employees that embody the culture of service, referred to as Finding the Best."

State of Georgia Strives to Achieve Customer Expectations

The State of Georgia Department of Administrative Services (DOAS) Office of Fleet Management (OFM) continues improving overall customer performance. Following this year's annual customer service survey, the division received suggestions about how it could improve its services. As a result, the division developed several objectives to address customer concerns and enhance customer service in 2010-11.

These objectives include:

  • Update Employee Performance Plans to re-emphasize customer service role.
  • Set individual goals to seek fleet education opportunities.
  • Reset office telephones with "zero-out" messages for customers to access a person directly.
  • Remind employees of the voicemail cleanup process.
  • Increase e-mail capacity for high-volume employees to reduce "mailbox full" messages.
  • Adjust schedules as needed to provide better service coverage.

"The fleet division understands customers are the key to its success and takes this responsibility seriously, looking for continuous improvement," said Steve Saltzgiver, director of OFM for the State of Georgia DOAS.

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