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Research Report
RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENT                                                                               ...
A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLE2
RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENT                                                          ABOUT GOVLOOP        ...
A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLE                                                                        FOREWARD ...
RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENT                                                   EXECUTIVE SUMMARYNearly one ...
A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLEvealed that it is difficult to define                        proving customer ser...
RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENT                                                            SUMMARY OF ONLINE  ...
A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLEtomer service. The majority of re-   efficiently do what we are called to tions t...
RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENTand “Understanding Customers.”      to review the case in question.” Asector ag...
A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLE                                                                          CORE FI...
RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENT                                         customers. Brack states, “Some de-    ...
A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLEWhat kind of CHannels Can                      trying to understand who yourCusto...
RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENT                                                                           CORE...
A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLEAlthough there are challenges with          prove customer service initiatives.  ...
RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENT                                                                           CORE...
A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLEkinds of problems.”                    To receive management support of          ...
RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENT                                                                          CORE ...
A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLEness or individual then gets to that         to be a very strong human aspect to ...
RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENT                                                                            COR...
A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLELISTEN                                                                           ...
RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENTDan Morgan stated why there is a              tiatives are tied to open governm...
A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLE                                                                                 ...
RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENT                                                                               ...
A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLESHAREA critical finding from the GovLoop Conservation, Re-Imagining Government Cu...
RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENTThe expected response time forcertain types of conditions sent by              ...
A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLEwe developed a phone app that al-              online through our Citywide Per-lo...
RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENT                                                                               ...
A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLE  How Oracle Powers Great Citizen ExperiencesOracle’s Customer Experience strateg...
Re-Imagining Customer Service in Government
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Re-Imagining Customer Service in Government

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Re-Imagining Customer Service in Government

  1. 1. Research Report
  2. 2. RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENT CONTENTSABOUT GOVLOOP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4FORWARD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5EXECUTIVE SUMMARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6SUMMARY OF ONLINE SURVEY FINDINGS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8CORE FINDING: GOVERNMENT IS CHALLENGED TO IDENTIFY CUSTOMERS . . . . . . . .11 Tactic: Develop Strategies to Identify Your Customer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Tactic: Use Multiple Channels to Reach Customers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13CORE FINDING: CHALLENGES EXIST IN USING CUSTOMER SERVICE DATA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Tactic: Consolidate Data Silos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Tactic: Identify Metrics that are Performance Drivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Tactic: Develop Customer Service Standards and Metrics for Agency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15CORE FINDING: CULTURAL HURDLES REMAIN FOR IMPROVING CUSTOMER SERVICE . . . . . . 16 Tactic: Find a Champion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Tactic: Work on Identifying Business Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Tactic: Learn to Navigate Organizational Culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Tactic: Be Transparent and Open to Critical Feedback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17CORE FINDING: TECHNOLOGY ENABLES IMPROVED CUSTOMER SERVICE DELIVERY . . . .18 Tactic: Implement, Train, and Staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Tactic: Use Collaborative Technology to Share Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Tactic: Use Technology to Improve Data Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19CORE FINDING: IDENTIFY AND REPLICATE BEST PRACTICES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Best Practice: Design With the Customer In Mind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Best Practice: View Customer Service in Context of the Mission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Best Practice: Share Resources Across the Agency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Best Practice: Tie Customer Service to Open Government . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Best Practice: Consider Lessons Learned from the Private Sector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22IN FOCUS: NEW YORK CITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24GOVLOOP RESOURCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28ABOUT ORACLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30ABOUT THE AUTHOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 2
  3. 3. A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLE2
  4. 4. RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENT ABOUT GOVLOOP Our mission is to “connect government to improve government.” We aim to inspire public sector professionals by serving as the knowledge network for government. GovLoop connects more than 55,000 mem- bers, fostering cross-government collaboration, solving common prob- lems and advancing government careers. The GovLoop community has been widely recognized across multiple sectors as a core resource for information sharing among public sector professionals. GovLoop members come from across the public sector; including federal, state, and local public servants, industry experts, as well as non-profit, association and academic partners. In brief, Gov- Loop is the leading online source for addressing public sector issues. In addition to being an online community, GovLoop works with gov- ernment experts and top industry partners to produce valuable resourc- es and tools, such as guides, infographics, online training, educational events, and a daily podcast with Chris Dorobek, all to help public sector professionals do their jobs better. GovLoop also promotes public service success stories in popular news sources like the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Government Tech- nology, and other industry publications. Thank you to our sponsor, Or- acle, for sponsoring the Re-Imagining Government Customer Service Report. GovLoop is headquartered in Washington D.C., where a team of dedi- cated professionals share a common commitment to connect and im- prove government. GovLoop 734 15th St NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20005 Phone: (202) 407-7421 Fax: (202) 407-7501 4
  5. 5. A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLE FOREWARD We have all had one: a great customer experience. It is that feeling of being satisfied, with a sense that a company or agency respects you, is listening to you, and is going to meet your expectations, from your first contact through the entire experience. Great customer experiences are full of surprising “wow” moments. The customer experience is the sum of all interactions for goods and ser- vices over the duration of a customer’s relationship with the government or suppliers. Our private sector experiences have dictated our expecta- tions of what level of service we want and expect to receive in our inter- actions with government. The question now becomes, how do govern- ment organizations create “wow” moments that maximize the customer experience? This is particularly true when competition is minimized and culture is difficult to influence. SCOTT FRENDT Vice President It is possible to deliver optimal customer satisfaction to the citizenryPublic Sector CRM Solutions every day, and many organizations are already receiving rave reviews Oracle for their efforts. However, customer service requires a commitment to delighting customers and making it a priority within the agency. Public sector entities need to commit to consistently providing customers with the information and services they need, when they need it. Re-imagining Government Customer Service is a practical guide re- vealing real world successes for improved customer service in the pub- lic sector. The report suggests solutions that disclose the opportunity for government organizations to become more transparent, improve responsiveness, and enhance interactions to maximize the customer ex- perience. Organizations delivering superior customer experience are tapping into a core aspect of their mission- to service and fulfill the needs of the public and nation. Your opportunity to do the same begins right now. 5
  6. 6. RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENT EXECUTIVE SUMMARYNearly one year ago, President Barack Obama issued customer service is delivered. Our research report alsoExecutive Order 13571 “Streamlining Service Deliv- includes insights for state and local organizations, in-ery and Improving Customer Service.” The Execu- cluding a case study from New York City. The casetive Order states, “With advances in technology and study highlights procedures and steps the city hasservice delivery systems in other sectors, the public’s made to improve customer service, which can be ad-expectations of the Government have continued to opted by governments at any level.rise. The Government must keep pace with and evenexceed those expectations. Government must also This research briefing includes data from an onlineaddress the need to improve its services, not only to survey of 138 participants, interviews with elevenindividuals, but also to private and Governmental en- government employees, and a roundtable discussion,tities to which the agency directly provides significant held on May 15, 2012 in Washington, DC. In collab-services.” With this order, President Obama created oration with Oracle, we created this report to providea far-reaching directive that made customer service a insights and recommendations to government em-priority for the federal government. With improve- ployees and organizations focused on optimizing cus-ments to customer service in the private sector, citi- tomer service for employees, citizens and other stake-zens have heightened expectations as to how services holders. Throughout this report we identify commonshould be delivered by government. challenges and provide best practices to help you and your organization better serve your customers.Executive Order 13571 identifies some of the chal-lenges for federal government customer service. Our The research reveals five core findings that are fea-research report explores some of these challenges and tured in the report’s five sections. Each topic providesreveals that customer service in government is multi- tactics and best practices to help agencies identify andfaceted and serves a diverse set of customers that may address customer service objectives.be program specific, cross over channels and encom-pass both external and internal customers. Core Finding 1: Government is Challenged to Identify CustomersThis is not solely a federal issue, at all levels of govern- One of our findings was the difficulty agencies oftenment, organizations are challenged to improve how face in defining their customers. Many interviews re- 6
  7. 7. A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLEvealed that it is difficult to define proving customer service. This sec- prove customer service. This sectioncustomers at the agency level, but tion explored some of the cultural provides additional lessons learnedinstead it is best to consider cus- challenges found in our research and insights beyond the core areastomers by individual programs. study. addressed in the report. There are five lessons learned identified in thisCore Finding 2: Challenges Exist Core Finding 4: Technology section:in Using Customer Service Data Enables Improved CustomerA second area explored was how Service Delivery Design With the Customer Inagencies can use customer service Mind Technology was found to be onedata to improve customer service. View Customer Service in solution to help enable improvedOur findings show that many agen- Context of the Mission customer service. Although tech-cies struggle with data collection Share Resources Across the nology was mentioned as criticaland have a limited understanding Agency to improved customer service, con-how to analyze and manage data to Tie Customer Service to Open cerns remained related to trainingoptimize customer service. Government and implementation of technology Consider Lessons Learned within an agency. from the Private SectorCore Finding 3: OrganizationalHurdles Remain for Improved Core Finding 5: Identify and The findings in this report couldCustomer Service Replicate Best Practices not have been accomplished with-Organizational and cultural issues The final section identifies best out the support of our interviewees,were mentioned as a barrier to im- practices to help government im- survey participants, roundtable at- tendees and the sponsor for this re-RESEARCH REPORT INTERVIEWEES port, Oracle. GovLoop would like to thank all those who participatedARIANNE GALLAGHER in the online survey, and extend aPresidential Management Fellow, Policy Analyst, Office of Personnel Management special thank you to all of our inter-BENJAMIN JONES viewees for their insights for reportDeputy Director of the Mayor’s Office of Operation, New York City and the panelists who participatedBRACK BOEHLERDirector, IT Compliance, Department of Transportation in the roundtable discussion.BRUCE PEACOCKChief, Environmental Quality Division, Nat’l Parks Service, Department of the InteriorCANDI HARRISONFormer Web Manager, Housing and Urban Development GOVLOOP DISCUSSION ROUNDTABLE:DAN MORGAN RE–IMAGINING GOVERNMENTPhase One Consulting Group, currently on contract supporting Office of the CIO, U.S.Department of Transportation CUSTOMER SERVICE PANELISTSDENNIS ALVORDExecutive Director, BusinessUSA ABRAHAM MARINEZ Customer Engagement Advisor, Department of EducationE.J. (“NED”) HOLLAND, JR.Assistant Secretary for Administration, Department of Health and Human Services BRUCE MARSH Director, USPS Office of Inspector General’s Risk Analysis Research Center (RARC)ELIZABETH WEINSTEINDirector of the Mayor’s Office of Operation, New York City JOEY HUTCHERSON Deputy Director of Open Government, Department of CommerceFRANCISCO NAVARROCustomer Service Advisor, Mayor’s Office of Operations, New York City SCOTT FRENDT Vice President, Public Sector CRM Solutions, OracleJON FOLEYDirector, Planning & Policy Analysis, Office of Personnel Management 7
  8. 8. RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENT SUMMARY OF ONLINE SURVEY FINDINGSThis section provides an overview from our online veyGizmo. The survey included government employ-survey and key findings. Throughout the report we ees from federal (46%), local (30%), and state (24%)have further identified results from our survey. The levels of government.survey was conducted between April 9 and May 14,2012, and had a total of 138 participants. The sur- Using a scale of 1-5, with 5 as “Extremely Satisfied”vey participants were recruited from the GovLoop and 1 as “Not Satisfied,” survey participants werecommunity. The service used for the survey was Sur- asked to rank how well their agency provides cus- NOT APPLICABLE: 1% What Level of How Would You ON % Government Rate Your : 11 E: 5 VE FI % do you Agency’s TWO : 15% work for? Customer THR LOCA EE: L 30% Service? 34% STAT E 24 (scale from 1 - 5 % 5 = extremely satisfied AL 46% 1 = not satisfied) FOU R: 3 FEDER 4% 8
  9. 9. A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLEtomer service. The majority of re- efficiently do what we are called to tions that apply. The top responsespondents selected a 3 or 4 at 34%, do for the citizens of state/country.” was improved services (70%), fol-followed by 2 (15%), 5 (11%) and Another respondent stated, “Ex- lowed by friendliness to customers1 (1%). cellent customer service is what all (51%), shortest time to provide citizens deserve. They are paying us information (48%), shortest timeThe survey also explored what the to help provide services that don’t to resolve complaint (44%) andgreatest benefit to providing cus- make sense for individuals to do or decreasing customer complaintstomer service is for government. that need to be done collectively.” (39%). Participants were also of-The survey respondents identified Finally, a third participant stated, fered an “Other” option. Survey re-that the greatest benefit to provid- “Education of the public in their spondents stated, “Creating a stel-ing customer service is improving right to know.” lar experience from start to finish,”government trust (50%) followed “Delivering an engaging serviceby improving government account- When asked, “How do you define that delivers to agreed timeframesability (26%), improving trans- good customer service?,” survey re- and specifications,” “Ongoing com-parency (7%) and the remaining spondents were presented with six munication to follow up on com-17% of responders identified other options and asked to check all op- plaints and to share information,”benefits. In the “Other” category,survey respondents mentioned ef- How Do You Define Good Customer Service? (Check allficiency and one survey respondent that apply)stated that the greatest benefit toproviding customer services is, “to SHORTEST TIMEWhat Do You Believe is the Greatest Benefit of 44% TO RESOLVE COMPLAINTExcellent Customer Service in Government? 48% SHORTEST TIME TO PROVIDE INFORMATION IMPROVES 50% CUSTOMER TRUST FRIENDLINESS TO 51% CUSTOMERS IMPROVES 27% ACCOUNTABILITY IN GOVERNMENT DECREASING CUSTOMER 39% COMPLAINTS IMPROVES TRANSPARENCY 7% IN GOVERNMENT IMPROVED SERVICES 70% 17% OTHER 25% OTHER 9
  10. 10. RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENTand “Understanding Customers.” to review the case in question.” Asector agency or department. The final comment shared was, “If moresurvey found staffing to be the keyAnother question that revealed information is needed, the Depart-barrier (39%), a lack of organiza-interesting findings was asking if ment will contact the customer viational support (32%), technologysurvey participants had a defined telephone/e-mail/regular mail to (19%) and budgetary restrictionsprocess to re-engage with a cus- request the additional information(17%). There were 32.3% of re-tomer if a complaint is not resolvedto assist with the complaint. If the sponders that listed “Other” andor if more information is needed. customer is not satisfied with thespecified a variety of barriers to im-The survey found that 56% had a resolution, then we try to addressproved customer service. Some ad-defined process and 44% did not their concerns to achieve a positive ditional input included road blockshave a process to re-engage. Par- resolution.” such as “Data, insufficient dataticipants responded by stating, “We across channels to formulate properstick with it until it’s resolved. If The survey also explored the com- business cases,” and “Knowledge ofthe resident is not happy with the mon roadblocks to implementing Customer Service.”resolution, we have an independent customer service within a publicombudsman’s office that can inves-tigate.” Another respondent stated, What is the Largest Roadblock You“Sometimes it isn’t that the com- Have Seen to Improving Customer Ser-plaint is not resolved, it is that thecustomer does not like the resolu- vice Within Your Agency/Department?tion. We will continue to answerquestions regarding the decisionand we will offer another channel 17% BUDGETARY(a supervisor or another specialist)Do You Have a Process to 39% STAFFINGRe-Engage with a Customer ifa Complaint is Not Resolved orMore information is Needed? 19% TECHNOLOGY LACK OF 32% ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORT NO 45% OTHER 32% % YES 55 10
  11. 11. A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLE CORE FINDING Government is Challenged To Identify Customers Tactics: Develop Strategies to Identify Your Customer Use Multiple Channels to Reach CustomersThrough the government employee interviews, we grated customer service approach across the agency.found that identifying and defining agency customers Many of our interviewees mentioned that customeris a core challenge for organizations. Customer service service functions in a decentralized structure withinwas ultimately defined between external and internal their agency. Additionally, some functions of thestakeholders. The kind of customer the agency serves agency work to help internal customers and otherswill truly impact the kind of service provided. Jon function to serve external customers. Again, FoleyFoley from the Office of Personnel and Management stated, “Our customer is also federal employees or(OPM) stated, “Our customers are varied. And it re- federal agencies, or retirees, and their families whenally depends on what people are interested in. At one we talk about health services, annuity services, thoselevel our customers are the American public, and that kinds of things that have a direct impact on federalcomes out in various ways, but probably most directly employees and their families. And so we tend to re-to job applications and people looking for work in late to them a lot. We also work a lot in tandem withthe federal government. And so USA Jobs is one of agencies, because, we have a somewhat decentralizedour most prominent ways of reaching the American way of handling HR matters in the federal govern-public.” ment, and so while we are the policy-setting agency, a lot of the operations and delivery is done by eachWith OPM focusing on such a wide variety of cus- of the federal agencies. So, there’s a lot of interactiontomers, the challenge becomes how to have an inte- with them as well.” 11
  12. 12. RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENT customers. Brack states, “Some de- entity,” stated Dan Morgan, fromClearly, for agencies to improve how partments, for instance NHTSA PhaseOne Consulting Group. Mor-customer service is delivered, they (National Highway Traffic and Se- gan indicated that with direct ser-will have to start by defining which curity Administration) deals with vice agencies, there are clear metricsset of customers they are serving. consumers. Others like FMCSA that can be tracked, and the impactNed Holland, Assistant Secretary (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Ad- of customer service initiatives canfor Administration, Department of ministration) deals with small busi- be measured. Morgan also notedHealth and Human Services, also nesses. For example, they’re engag- that, “It’s hard to calibrate customeroffered a great example of how he ing and interacting with truckers service for regulating agencies.”views his internal customers, and and motor coach (bus) companies.how they will ultimately serve exter- Many of our other Administrations Tactic: Develop Strategies tonal customers. Holland states, “For deal primarily with state and local Identify Your Customerthe most part, my office doesn’t deal governments, granting huge blocks The key lesson learned is that iden-with our external customers. My of money out to build bridges or tifying customers is foundational torole is to provide support for the airport runways or different things improving customer service in gov-department’s internal customers, like that. So they each have to look ernment. Agencies need to thinkwho provide support for our exter- at their own stuff, they each have to critically about whether their cus-nal customers. So I’m essentially figure out what their customer base tomer is internal, external or both,the Chief Administrative Officer of is, and they all have to deal with and then craft a policy that identi-the department. My staff supports them differently.” Clearly, in order fies how to best serve their custom-the folks who provide services to to provide great customer service, ers’ needs.our beneficiaries. I have made a agencies need to focus on definingmajor effort in the area of customer the program’s specific customer, Morgan identified, “No one is real-service internally.” identifying strategies to improve, ly the customer of the government; and then effectively sharing infor- they are a customer of a program.”The concept of a decentralized sys- mation across the agency. He then presented a challenge fortem and serving both external and federal agencies, “One of the thingsinternal customers also occurs at A distinction that became clear dur- that we don’t know is whether or notthe Department of Transportation. ing the interviews is the difference people are customers of multipleBrack Boehler, Director, IT Com- between a regulating agency and a programs.” As previously identified,pliance, Department of Transpor- service-oriented agency, and specifi- agencies debated what constitutes atation, explains, “We don’t have acally the way they view their cus- federal government customer, andcentralized customer service organi- tomers. Similar to the differences how to best serve their needs. As wezation here at the Department. So,between internal and external cus- have found that customers tend tothat’s a huge problem that we have. tomers, regulatory and service agen- be from the program, and not theBecause it really comes down to cies will define customer service in federal government, a clear idea ofeach one of the operating adminis-different ways. “Agencies that are whom the program is serving is es-trations, each has to take a step back providing benefits tend to put more sential to improving customer ser-and look at their initiatives.” clear emphasis on customer service, vice. so IRS, Social Security, those kind ofBrack shared similar comments as agencies tend to use their data more Foley also ascertained that identify-other government officials inter- efficiently. But regulating agencies ing your customer is one of the mostviewed, that within the Depart- have customers too, and need to be basic starting points for improv-ment of Transportation the agency careful when thinking about how ing customer service. Foley states,serves both internal and external to serve customers as a regulating “The first and most basic thing is 12
  13. 13. A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLEWhat kind of CHannels Can trying to understand who yourCustomers Use in Your Customer customer is; it sort of flows from Tactic: Use Multiple Channels to there. Who they are, and then how Reach CustomersService Initiatives? (Check All you can support them, and what Since government serves a diversethat Apply) are the different ways that you can set of customers, one recommenda- support them. So, it’s really doing tion is for agencies to offer informa- your homework in advance to try tion and services across multiple 83% WEBSITE to understand who you’re serving communication channels. Survey and, how you can best serve them, participants and interviewees are before you spend a lot of money de- using numerous channels to en- 45% SOCIAL MEDIA veloping the process.” gage with customers. Foley stated, “I think one of the things is that IN-PERSON CENTERS There is a clear distinction within there are various ways of respond- 63% government between external and ing to customers, and listening to internal customers. When devel- customers. And one of the things is CALL CENTERS oping a new service or process, for to just keep current with the infor- 67% internal or external customers, the mation systems in place. Facebook agency needs to be cognizant of de- and Twitter were not something we PAPER FORMS veloping a strategy that integrates engaged in a year ago. That was a 59% all stakeholders. If this does not shift in thinking here.” happen, the agency risks building itself into a silo, and creating an en- 31% OTHER vironment absent of collaboration.IDENTIFYOn May 15, GovLoop hosted an event specifically addressing how agencies can Re-Imagine Government Customer Service; this waspart of the “GovLoop Conversations” series. GovLoop conversations events have a unique format that encourages participation fromattendees. This event was sponsored by Oracle. Our experts sit at tables among attendees and serve as facilitators to a larger discussion.The speakers for the event were: JOEY HUTCHERSON, Deputy Director of Open Government, Office of the Secretary, Department of Commerce ABRAHAM MARINEZ, Customer Engagement Advisor, Department of Education BRUCE MARSH, Director, Office of Inspector General Risk Analysis Research Center, USPS SCOTT FRENDT , Vice President, Public Sector CRM Solutions, Oracle CHRIS DOROBEK, ModeratorThere were 10 key findings from the event, and throughout the guide we will identify all ten. The first finding was Identify Your Cus-tomer. There was an interesting conversation that identified the difference between internal and external agency customers. Participantscommented in order to provide improved customer service; agency leaders need to distinguish between their internal and externalcustomers. 13
  14. 14. RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENT CORE FINDING Challenges Exist IN Using Customer Service Data Tactics: Consolidate Data Silos Identify Metrics that are Performance Drivers Develop Customer Service Standards and Metrics for AgencyMany of the interviewees noted that they conducted experience, from the facilities, through the ranger ledsurveys as a tool to measure their customer service ini- programs.”tiatives. Dan Morgan believes, “There is a minimumamount of data that agencies need to collect to op- Although agencies collect data, agencies are chal-timize customer service.” Along with collecting this lenged with using data to make informed decisions.data, Dan believes it is critically important to share The research finds that the use of data for improvedthe information across the agency. customer service is complicated and compounded by a variety of factors. As many agencies are servingBruce Peacock provided some insights as to how multiple customers, finding the right data to improvecustomer surveys are used within the National Park decisions is a challenge. Morgan also identified thatSystem, “One of the things that we’re keen on here for an agency focused on regulation, it is very difficultin the National Park Service, is actually finding out to measure impact. Further, with limited standardswhat our visitors think of our parks and so we have a for customer service metrics, there is confusion tocustomer satisfaction survey that we conduct in most understanding the data and what value it represents.of the parks. Some of the parks are not very ame- Without a clear set of standards for customer service,nable to surveying. Every year, we survey roughly 330 an agency will continue to struggle with how data isparks, and we ask about all different aspects of their being used within the agency. 14
  15. 15. A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLEAlthough there are challenges with prove customer service initiatives. for results. Agencies should workmanaging and analyzing customer to centralize their customer servicedata to make informed decisions, Tactic: Consolidate Data Silos data and work towards standard-the research did produce some best Managing data is challenging izing their metrics agency wide topractices and recommendations to enough, but when data rests in si- measure customer service.help organizations use customer los and across the agency, data be-service data to gain insights to im- comes nearly impossible to mine Tactic: Identify Metrics That are Performance Drivers Another core challenge for data isAre You Using Data Collected to Make Informed Decisions to identifying the right metrics for theImprove Customer Service Efforts? performance measures the agency has defined. Agencies need to im- prove what their core performance YES - AS NEEDED BASED ON drivers are for customer service, and 29% FEEDBACK RECEIVED appropriately identify metrics. Tactic: Develop Customer Ser- vice Standards and Metrics for YES - QUARTERLY 6% Agency A final data challenge is to develop common customer service stan- dards and metrics for an agency. There remains confusion on how 7% YES - MONTHLY to leverage metrics to adequately evaluate customer service initia- tives. With stronger customer ser- vice standards, agencies can work to improve their own metrics. DATA COLLECTION IS LIMITED - 39% NOT USED TO IMPROVE DECISION MAKING OTHER 19%DATAA finding from the GovLoop Conservation, Re-Imagining Government Customer Service was to understand Customer Service Dataand how data can help improve customer service. Data and analytics were touched on this morning, and the need for data to be usedto help improve how agencies are making decisions based on customer service. 15
  16. 16. RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENT CORE FINDING Cultural Hurdles Remain For ImprovING Customer Service Tactics: Find a champion Work on Identifying Business Case Learn to Navigate Organizational Culture Be transparent and Open to Critical FeedbackMany of our interviewees mentioned that there are Government and Government 2.0 movements havestill significant cultural barriers to improving customer also impacted customer service in government. Simi-service within government. Brack Boehler stated, “As lar to the Executive Order 13571, President Obama’smuch as anything, it’s a cultural issue. People don’t memorandum to mandate government to becomeperceive the Department of Transportation as being more transparent, collaborative and participatory hascustomer focused. They perceive us as an Agency that had a long reaching impact for federal agencies.provides blocks of money for people to do things.” Although there has been a movement to make gov-Candi Harrison mentioned that one challenge to re- ernment more transparent, participatory and collab-moving cultural barriers is that government functions orative, cultural barriers to impact customer servicewithin silos, “Throughout the federal government, we still exist, Survey participants indicated, “Manage-operate in silos. And sometimes even within agencies. ment believes this is the way we have always done it.”We need to break down those silos and start looking “We’ve always done it this way.” Ned Holland assert-at government from the customer’s point of view.” ed that he has encountered cultural barriers, stating, “People tell me all the time, Mr. Holland, you don’tWith Executive Order 13571 from President Obama, understand; this is the government. And I say, no,agencies have been forced to make changes on how you don’t understand. This is just another big com-they traditionally view customer service. The Open plex human organization and they all have the same 16
  17. 17. A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLEkinds of problems.” To receive management support of data collection, how information customer service initiatives, leaders is used, and putting the customerAcross all sectors, changing cul- need to see the new business value first. Further, administrators ofture is challenging. It is not easy to created by improved customer ser- customer service initiatives shouldchange the mind set or norms of an vice, and how the old model is anti- be open to feedback. Being openorganization. The study found four quated and needs to be replaced or to feedback is critical for improvedkey findings as ways public sector modified. customer service, and using theorganizations can work towards re- feedback constructively to improvemoving cultural roadblocks. Tactic: Learn to Navigate Organi- services provided to customers. zational CultureTactic: Find a Champion Many of the interviewees who hadInterviews and roundtable par- success improving customer serviceticipants stressed the need to iden- initiatives was due to their ability totify customer service “champions” carefully trend along political lineswithin the agency to push improved and balance contradicting interests.customer service initiatives. These Being too assertive in views andpeople are critical to helping orga- not paying attention to the culturalnizations improve customer service, environment can be damaging toand can serve as a way to build up working towards improved custom-support for new initiatives and help er service initiatives.work through cultural barriers. Tactic: Be Transparent and OpenTactic: Work on Identifying Busi- to Critical Feedbackness Case Transparency is an essential tacticIdentifying the business case is criti- for improving customer service.cal to improved customer service. This means openness in regards toCULTURE OF CUSTOMER SERVICEA crucial finding from the GovLoop Conservation, Re-Imagining Government Customer Service was to Develop a Culture of Cus-tomer Service. Culture was touched on a few times throughout the discussion. One of the themes was agencies need to “develop aculture of customer service.” This was a fascinating discussion, but agencies need to have support from all levels within the agency toimprove how customer service is delivered in government. 17
  18. 18. RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENT CORE FINDING Technology Enables Improved Customer Service Delivery Tactics: Implement, Train, and Staff Use Collaborative Technology to Share Information Use Technology to Improve Data ManagementTechnology is a critical component to improving thing that technology is really going to help us with ishow agencies can deliver improved customer service. providing that direct link to the customer, having thatAlthough technology is imperative to improved and opportunity for customers to have better access to us,optimized customer service processes, technology and to communicate to us about our programs anddoes have a set of unique challenges to implement ef- about the different ways that we serve them.” Arianneficiently within an agency. Dennis Alvord, Executive reiterated that the improved use of technology helpsDirector, BusinessUSA, stated, “Frankly, technology facilitate a better relationship between governmenthas been critically important to helping us to achieve and citizens.better outcomes, including increasing awareness, andcertainly increasing accessibility of resources.” In ad- In order to fully leverage the potential of technologydition, Holland mentioned, “We couldn’t do what we for improved customer service, it is important to re-do without technology.” member that technology is only a tool to enable im- proved customer experiences. Alvord described thisArianne Gallagher, Presidential Management Fel- lesson learned, “It’s definitely not all about technol-low, Policy Analyst, Office of Personnel Management ogy. Technology is really the tool that can help us tonoted, “There is a lot of new technology coming out, achieve greater outcomes. For example, connectingwith a lot of new opportunities. I think the main to the best program resource is great, but if the busi- 18
  19. 19. A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLEness or individual then gets to that to be a very strong human aspect to agency.resource and they have a really bad making sure that we’re delivering ancustomer service experience because improved customer experience.” Tactic: Use Technology to Im-they weren’t prepared to handle the prove Data Managementinquiry or they just didn’t have the Tactic: Implement, Train, and The third finding is that data man-right customer outlook; then while Staff agement is critical, and agencies of-we won the battle, we got them to Technology facilitates improved ten have large volumes of data thatthe right resource in a streamlined customer service, but there is an they are unsure how to use and toand efficient manner, we lost the enormous amount of planning and drive decisions from the data. Tech-war, because we didn’t provide good preparation that allows technology nology can help with the data man-customer service.” to work as intended. In order to agement and drive efficiencies and fully leverage technology, agencies optimize services through improvedAlvord said that at BusinessUSA the need to implement, train and prop- use of data.goal is to not only be efficient with erly staff to fully leverage new andthe use of new technology, but also emerging technology. As we haveto provide a value added service, mentioned, technology will enable“We hope that we’re also improving agencies to improve customer ser-the efficiency and the effectiveness vice delivery, but agencies need toof program delivery, not just get- focus on the correct strategy, staffting them in a streamlined manner accordingly and train end users howto the resources that they need, but to use the new technology.offering them complementary andvalue added services.” Tactic: Use Collaborative Tech-Dennis was clear to mention that nology to Share Informationtechnology offers various oppor- Another finding is the need for col-tunities, but is only one element laborative technology to efficientlyto improving customer service in share information. This could meangovernment. “Technology offers sharing everything from data, poli-us some wonderful opportunities, cies and best practices across thebut it’s not the end all, be all of cus- agency, all in order to facilitate thetomer service. There’s always going sharing of knowledge across theTRAINProviding training was another finding from the GovLoop Conservation, Re-Imagining Government Customer Service. Anotherresult was a great discussion on how training has been used to improve customer service within government. Participants provided a fewexamples how they have required training for employees and they are considering using customers service as part of their performanceevaluations. 19
  20. 20. RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENT CORE FINDING IdentifY & REPLICATE Best Practices Best Practices: Design with The Customer in Mind View Customer Service in Context of The Mission Share Resources Across THE Agency Tie Customer Service to Open Government Consider Lessons Learned from the Private SectorThis section identifies five best practices to help agen- Alvord also suggested that communication with cus-cies to improve how they deliver customer service. tomers cannot stop and that communication with key stakeholders is critical to the entire process. “You haveBest Practice: Design With the Customer in Mind to continually engage customers, in an active feed-One of the keys to improved customer service is to back loop, so you’re designing, testing, gaining theirdesign with the customer in mind. Alvord reminded feedback, and adjusting to accommodate customerus that this process should start from the very begin- needs.”ning. Alvord stated, “I think quite often, with thebest of intentions, we embark on efforts to fix some- Listening to customers throughout the entire cus-thing without truly understanding what the custom- tomer experience is critical. Candi Harrison stated,er wants, or what the customer needs are. It is very “Great communication makes customer service bet-important at the front end to start by understanding ter. It’s sharing, getting to know and understand yourwho your customers are, and then designing your so- customer. I think a lot of it can happen at the grass-lution to meet the needs that they’ve expressed.” roots level. It’s about thinking about the customer first, asking questions such as, what have I done to- 20
  21. 21. A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLELISTEN aware of the customers they serve, how multifaceted each department might be, and develop standardsAn imperative finding from the GovLoop Conservation, Re-Imagining Government for departments throughout theCustomer Service was to Listen to Customers. The discussion included advice to be agency to follow. “It really has tosure you are listening to customers and incorporating their feedback to improve customer come from the highest levels of theservice. This involves having a two-way discussion with the customer. department, and needs to be viewed in the context of the mission,” states Dan Morgan.day? Did I answer the phone a little really make customer service a per- Best Practice: Share Resourcesbit more pleasantly? Did I respond sonal responsibility of every singleto that email a little more pleasant- government worker.” Across the Agencyly? What have I done to help you Throughout the interviews weget better service?” found a decentralized approach to Best Practice: View Customer customer service. This was predom- Service in Context of the Mis- inately due to different agenciesCandi also asserted the importance sion serving different customers withinof face-to-face communication and Agencies need to understand the the agency. In order to improvetalking with the agency’s core cus- business case and value of improved customer service in government,tomers. Candi mentioned, “You got customer service for the agency. Jon agencies need to find ways to im-to get out of your office. You got Foley stated, “Really understand the prove how they share resources. Toto get out and find out what those business case first, and business pro- improve customer service, the focusfield people are talking about, what cess first and using the technology should be on the best practices andyour customers are saying. You got to support those aims, rather than trends in customer service. Agenciesto go where they are and listen to the other way around. That is a les- will have to invest the time to ap-them and talk to customers face-to- son we have learned with a lot of ply these trends and best practicesface.” the information systems we have.” to multiple kinds of customers in aDesigning with the customer in decentralized setting. By sharing in- For customer service to improve formation across agencies, althoughmind is critical as new services are within government, there needs to customers may be different, agencyreleased. Arianne Gallagher men- be support from the most senior leads can learn, apply and modifytions how important it is to always levels of the agency. This involves strategies from colleagues through-remember the human element. tying customer service into the core out the agency to improve their cus-Arianne notes the importance of mission of the agency. It also means tomer service initiatives.bringing a human element into that agency leaders need to becustomer service, “It is importantto bring that human aspect backinto some of the work that they’redoing. And I think it provides a lotof motivation to know that there isa real person behind a retirement BUDGETapplication, or that there’s a real ap- A key finding from the GovLoop Conservation, Re-Imagining Government Customer Service was budget constraints. Budget constraints have been one of the most pressingplicant behind a USA Jobs profile.” themes across government - the charge of doing more with less and working to improveCandi Harrison expressed similar customer service. Throughout the event, open government came up and the connectionsentiments, stating, “You need to between customer service and open government initiatives became clear. 21
  22. 22. RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENTDan Morgan stated why there is a tiatives are tied to open government grams and initiatives within theirneed to share information across programs. Brack Boehler stated, agency to improve customer servicethe agency, “We need to understand “For us, we were trying to make our in government.cost across each channel, channels data sets available to the public, soneed to talk to each other, so gov- that entrepreneurs can go out and Best Practice: Consider Lessonsernment can optimize across chan- say what could we do with this in- Learned from the Private Sectornels and know where and how to formation.” Dan Morgan further Ned Holland expressed that theremove people to lower-cost, higher- stated, “One of the things that we are lessons learned from the pri-service channels effectively.” recognized very early is that we see vate sector, Holland stated, “I don’t a very strong connection between think you can run government likeThe survey also provided some ways open government and customer a business, because it has very dif-that agencies could improve cus- service.” ferent objectives. But you can runtomer service. 70% believed that in- government in a business-like fash-creased collaboration is one way to Morgan also reminded that, like ion. There is a subtle difference,improve customer service, followed open government, customer service but it’s an important one.” Hollandby 45% increased staffing, 41% in- does not involve just one solution, continued to express the differencecreased customer service channels, stating, “It’s not just about being between providing a return on in-28% increased funding and 32% open or just about APIs, it is about vestment and a return to service,responded with “Other.” Some of the whole stack in the context of the “In the private sector where yourthe responses included, “Customer mission. Open Government doesn’t ultimate outcome is, if you will,Service standards and staff training. work well without some kind of the bottom line, you have to pro-At present neither exist,” “Consoli- context, or else it is just dumping duce a return on the shareholderdating/making channels seamless data onto the Internet.” Dan con- investment so you can return thatbecause many/most customers use tinues, “You take the open govern- investment to them, that is a differ-multiple channels; and the biggest ment approach to fulfilling that ent thing than in the public sectorone of all: valuing great customer mission need, put it in the context where what you have to do is returnservice as a top agency goal,” and of the citizen, and figure out the a service to the taxpayers. It’s mea-“Better guidelines, more policies technology and the channel to de- sured differently, it’s thought of dif-that show the importance of cus- liver that service most effectively.” ferently, but the processes of gettingtomer service.” to those two things are surprisingly The same goals of government be- similar.”Best Practice: Tie Customer coming more transparent, partici-Service to Open Government patory and collaborative can be ap- Dennis Alvord also highlighted plied in a customer service context. that there has been much innova-Initiatives Agencies should look to see how tion from the private sector, andIn many cases, customer service ini- they could leverage existing pro- new technology can help enableTHINK OUTSIDE THE BOXAnother lesson learned from the GovLoop Conservation, Re-Imagining Government Customer Service was to Think Outside theBox. Many participants and our speakers identified that in order to improve customer service in government, agencies will need to thinkcreatively how they are providing services. There is no easy or quick fix, and things can change very quickly. 22
  23. 23. A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLE COMPETITIONCompetition was also mentioned during the GovLoop Conservation, Re-Imagining Government Customer Service. One interestinginsight was how there is little competition in the federal government in how they deliver customer service. Without a clear competitor,it is important to tie customer service to a business objective and tie into the mission of the agency.improved customer service in the where you can actually do things system, the idea of personalizingpublic sector. “I think there are that are more transactional, and and preserving a user profile wouldtremendous opportunities for the they’re providing a greater level of be an enormous benefit for custom-public sector to leverage some in- value to customers.” er service initiatives. Sites like Ama-novations that have occurred in zon.com and Zappos.com do a fan-the private sector to provide greater Dennis Alvord also noted that the tastic job of recommending similarlevels of customer service.” Dennis use of personalization is one im- products and services for customerscontinues by stating, “I think the portant strategy in the private sec- to store and potentially purchasecustomer service space has evolved tor that can be implemented within items at a later time. These kindsvery rapidly over the last few years. government, “In the private sector, of innovations should be replicatedWe are now seeing static flat web- the aim may be monetary and it within government.sites evolving into service portals, may be selling something. We have different objectives in the public sector, but can still benefitWhat Are Ways/Opportunities For Your from some of the tools thatOrganization To Improve Customer Ser- the private sector uses. Onevice? (Check all that Apply) example of that would be something like personaliza- tion.” INCREASED 28% FUNDING The idea of personalization is intriguing, as personaliza- tion can possibly be imple- mented within government. 45% INCREASED STAFFING Dennis states, “On many websites you come to now, INCREASED you establish a login, and a 41% CUSTOMER SERVICE CHANNELS user account of some kind, and you’d be able to preserve your history of transactions INCREASED COLLABORATION with that agency. And also 69% ACROSS AGENCY get referred in a very effec- tive manner to additional OTHER complementary solutions.” 32% With the challenges of a de- centralized customer service 23
  24. 24. RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENT IN FOCUS New York CityAs part of our research study, GovLoop sought to in- walk-in center inspections,terview not only federal agency leads, but also those Provide plain language edits for rules issued byinvolved in customer service at the local level. Fran- City agencies,cisco Navarro, Customer Service Policy Advisor, New Market and help oversee Customer Service Cer-York City, agreed to sit down with us and talk through tificate Program, andhis role as Customer Service Policy Advisor. Provide input, guidance, and analysis for other customer service related programs and projects.In a city as large as New York City, providing greatcustomer service is no easy task. Navarro listed his Undoubtedly, Navarrro has his hands full to provide acore responsibilities as: great customer experience in New York City. Coordinate participation of thirty agencies in Navarro described the City of New York customers: New York City’s Customer Service Week, “Our customers are anyone who lives in, works in or Edit, publish and distribute a quarterly custom- visits New York City.” Navarro highlighted dozens of er service newsletter, initiatives that the City of New York has undertaken Oversee the Citywide Excellence in Customer to improve customer service in government. One ini- Service Awards, tiative that is unique to New York is how the City Provide guidance and leadership for citywide conducts citywide inspections of walk in facilities; this 24
  25. 25. A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLESHAREA critical finding from the GovLoop Conservation, Re-Imagining Government Customer Service was to Share Resources. Anotherfinding from the event was the importance of sharing information across the agency, sharing best practices and working across govern-ment to improve customer service.initiative is called Customers Ob- stating, “The CORE inspection New York City’s customer serviceserving and Reporting Experiences program has resulted in improve- approach is that NYC requires all(CORE). Navarro stated, “I believe ments in the conditions at walk- agencies to survey customers at leastour City is unique in conducting in centers. Also, City agency staff once a year. Navarro stated, “We docitywide inspections of walk-in fa- looks forward to Customer Service require that all agencies survey theircilities via the CORE program. Our Week and the Excellence in Cus- customers at least once a year andinspectors visit approximately 300 tomer Service Awards that are given report the total number of custom-walk-in centers at 28 different agen- during that week. This week has ers surveyed. Agencies now reportcies located throughout the City’s become a highlight for many agen- on their surveying activities viafive boroughs, and observe and rate cies and their staff.” the Citywide Performance System.facility conditions and customer (The results can be found here.)”service. Inspectors visit sites that With great customer service ini-provide a wide range of services, tiatives like CORE, there are a lot Navarro provided numerous exam-from handgun licensing, to income of positive outcomes. Navarro be- ples how NYC uses data to improvesupport to payment of parking tick- lieved that by providing great cus- customer service, and how NYCets. “ tomer service, trust in government has worked to identify and measure improves. “The most important their customer service initiatives.Navarro explained further how outcome of good customer service Navarro stated, “In June 2008 theCORE works, “Inspectors rate both is building trust in government. City conducted a comprehensivefacility conditions and customer Too many customers have the at- feedback survey using data gatheredservice interactions. Agency CORE titude that “the City just wants the from surveys sent to 100,000 ran-overall results are available in each revenue”, or “you can’t fight City domly selected households.” Fur-agency’s Agency Customer Service Hall.” When customers are treated ther, Navarro identified, “In 2009section of the Mayor’s Management fairly and with dignity, and when our office created the NYC Feed-Report, the MMR: (The main entry they understand why a certain de- back form, a small card with fivepage to the MMR is here).” cision is made or an outcome re- customer service questions. Agen- quired, and that ultimately deci- cies are encouraged but not man-The CORE program is a great ex- sions and policies are made with dated to have these cards in theirample of a successful customer some greater good in mind – public walk-in centers.”service initiative. Navarro defined health and safety, a healthy environ-a successful customer service ini- ment, educational attainment, then In addition to surveys, New Yorktiative as, “A successful customer customers will develop respect and City has also set a standard of re-service initiative is one that has trust for the staff and the govern- sponse to customers to 14 calendartangible positive outcomes that last ment it represents,” said Navarro. days. Navarro stated, “The stan-over time.” Navarro then credited dard for response to written cor-the CORE program for this success, One requirement that distinguishes respondence is 14 calendar days. 25
  26. 26. RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENTThe expected response time forcertain types of conditions sent by Other interesting initiatives from thephone, text, iPhone or online to City of New York include:311 vary by condition reported orcomplained about. For example, Establishment of Customer Service Liaisonsthe Department of Buildings has Establishment of Language Access Coordinatorsthree categories of seriousness of 311 iPhone Applicationcomplaints with varying levels ofexpected response times.” Business Customer Bill of Rights Walk-in Center Inspections (CORE – Customers Observing and ReportingNew York City is also using feed- Experience)back from customers to help enable Customer Service Weekpolicy change. Navarro provided Customer Service Certificate Program, includingthe following example and insights Customer service trainingas to how feedback from customerservice initiatives is used, “Feedback Plain language trainingfrom customers, where possible and Cultural sensitivity trainingappropriate, is used to make process Excellence in Customer Service Awardsand policy changes. For example, Language Access Policyin response to a customer survey NYC Certified – Program to Certify City Volunteers to Translate and Interpretthe Department of Transportationmodified hours of operation and NYC Customer Service Newsletterenabled cell phone service at one of NYC Feedback Comment Cardstheir facilities.” NYC.gov Language Gateway – multilingual web portal Mayor’s Management Report Customer Service IndicatorsAlthough New York City excels in Volunteer Language Bankproviding customer service, there 311 Service Request Mapare still challenges. Similar to oursurvey results, Navarro cited thatresources, budgets and time are themain barriers, “The two probablymost obvious barriers are resourc- champion of customer service in projects are adding real value ines (people and money) and time. government who created the 311 some way. To overcome resistanceThere is also the organizational cul- customer service center and who to change, customer service needstural resistance to change,” stated signed an executive order compel- to be sold as something that ben-Francisco. ling agencies to assign a liaison and efits both customers and staff. Fur- make customer service an explicit ther, those overseeing change needEven with these barriers, Navarro priority.” to make sure that they can providewas able to provide some solu- guidance and support.”tions to removing roadblocks and Navarro continued by asserting,delivering great customer service. “Without adding new resources, Technology clearly plays a criticalNavarro noted, “The most impor- another barrier to overcome are role in enabling customer service.tant element in overcoming barriers the barriers of time and money to Navarro stated, “Technology is anis the need for executive support. prioritize projects. You also need enabler of customer service goals,In our case Mayor Bloomberg is a to make sure that those prioritized a means to an end. For example, 26
  27. 27. A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLEwe developed a phone app that al- online through our Citywide Per-lows customers to report conditions formance Reporting (CPR) system,like graffiti and dirty vacant lots via reinforces the commitment to cus-their iPhones. They can send pic- tomer service.”tures and text descriptions. This al-lows agencies to more firmly docu- Finally, Navarro advised to be per-ment conditions and to respond sistent, and incorporate a culture ofmore effectively.” service within your agency, stating, “You need to be persistent and cre-Navarro also mentioned that new ate an environment that sends themedia is at the forefront of enabling message that customer service is aimproved customer service in New permanent component of service,York City, along with training, re- that it is not a “flavor of the month”sources and technology. He stated, or a temporary morale booster. This“Training, resources and technol- is accomplished by establishing var-ogy are the enablers of customer ious programs, especially trainingservice improvements. Today, new and recognition, and communicat-media is at the forefront of enabling ing the customer service messagethese improvements via phone as many times and as many waysapps, social media networks, and as possible.” NYC has made greatonline services.” strides in the way in which they de- liver customer service. By offering aNew York City is a great case study variety of services through multiplefor government to analyze for cus- channels and using data to drivetomer service. Navarro shared some improved services, New York Cityof his best practices and lessons has a great customer service modellearned from his work in New York for government to replicate.City, “A major factor in our suc-cess has been having the supportfrom the top. In our case it comesfrom Mayor Bloomberg himself.In addition, establishing report-ing requirements to track customerservice indicators, as we do in theMayor’s Management Report andMOBILEAn insightful and important finding that developed from the GovLoop Conservation, Re-Imagining Government Customer Servicewas to understand how Mobile is a game changer for customer service. Like many areas across government panelist mentioned thatmobile is game changing for customer service. In particular, citizens expect to be able to access certain services on their mobile devices,participants stated that this adds pressure on the agency to deliver customer service through the right channels. 27
  28. 28. RE-IMAGINING CUSTOMER SERVICE IN GOVERNMENT GOVLOOP RESOURCESAs the leading knowledge network 10 Ways Government Can Re-Imagine Government Customer Servicefor government, GovLoop focuses Pat Fiorenza, GovLoopon seven core areas of government,acquisition, career, communica- 22 Ideas to Improve Customer Servicetions, human resources, leadership, Steve Ressler, GovLoopproject management and technol-ogy. Through partnerships with Announcing GL Infograph - How to Create Great Government Customerexpert facilitators, GovLoop pro- Serviceduces thousands of blog posts per Pat Fiorenza, GovLoopmonth. GovLoop also offers train-ings, events, and produces research Should Local Government Offices Develop Customer Service Plans?reports and guides for the Govern- Paul Wolf, Attorneyment community. Does Customer Service Matter for Government? 5 Examples for ChangeGovLoop has developed a variety Steve Ressler, GovLoopof resources available for employeespracticing customer service. Below Listing of Federal Agencies Customer Service Initiativesare some of the top blog posts and Data.GovLoopresources related to customer ser-vice in government. Announcing the GovLoop Excelling with Customer Service Guide Steve Ressler, GovLoop Agency Customer Service Plans John Kamensky, IBM NYC Online Newsletter Francisco Navarro, New York City Mayor’s Office of Operations Customer Service Act is Good News for Customers and Employees Candi Harrison, Harrison Consulting 28
  29. 29. A RESEARCH REPORT FROM GOVLOOP AND ORACLE How Oracle Powers Great Citizen ExperiencesOracle’s Customer Experience strategy outlines how organizations can rise to meet customers’ expectations for superior levels of serviceby delivering consistent, relevant, and personalized citizen experiences across all interaction channels. Oracle helps organizations fulfillcustomer expectations, empower employees with consistent and real-time knowledge, and gain deeper insight into conditions impact-ing organization mission while simultaneously increasing productivity and reducing costs.Complete Citizen Experience for Public Sector Serves the anytime, anywhere citizen in a seamless, personal way Across all channels: the web, in an office, over the phone, via mobile device, through social media Empowers today’s governments Strategic tools and applications that enable personalized interactions with citizens Accelerates delivery of services to citizens, maximizes government employee time, and improves operational efficiency and results Significantly increases citizen and employee satisfactionCustomer Experience Offers Government Measurable Results Increase agent productivity – Army, reduced agent training time by 1/2 Improve multi-channel support – Texas Tech Improved cross channel consistency Empower citizens through self service – Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services achieves a 99% self service rate Netherlands Social Service Agencies Modernize IT Systems to Connect Citizens with Jobs City of Riverside Responds to More than 160,000 Service Requests Annually with Integrated 311 System New York City Tracks Performance, Enables Financial Transparency with Oracle BI Solution Designed by AccentureKey links/resources White Paper: Seven Power Lessons for Customer Experience Leaders Eight Steps to Great Customer Experiences for Government Agencies Forrester Report: Navigate The Future Of Customer ServiceOnline Resources: Read Follow Learn Watch Join 29

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